student safety is our top priority

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All young people, especially those who are vulnerable, have a right to safe, humane mental health care. The CERTS Programs take the safety of our students seriously.  In fact, student safety is our top priority.  Our team is committed to our student's care, safety and treatment.  We respect and understand that treatment is inherently difficult for students and their families.  

While we are so lucky to continually hear from past students about the healthy and awesome lives they are now living, recently we've also seen an uptick in negative online reviews about residential treatment.  This has been disheartening at times, given that anyone who works with teens in treatment does so to truly try and help others, to be a positive contributor to the lives of teens who  are all working on challenging issues.  So to occasionally hear that some teens did not appreciate the help, or worst yet - claim that it was intentionally harmful- can be so sad to the helper's heart. 

 Being away from home is hard, and healing is painful, no matter what.  It makes sense that some students might look back and denounce their parents' efforts to help them, and that some mental health issues persist.  We oversee our programs carefully to make sure the care and treatment at the CERTS Programs is compassionate, ethical and transparent, but we also know we can't control how a person opts to experience it or reflect back on it.

Call us at 888-406-5968 to learn more.

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Student Safety Is Critical

How does the State of Utah assure programs are safe?

All CERTS Program are licensed by the State Office of Licensing, a division of the Department of Human Services. As licensed programs, CERTS follows stringent safety and effectiveness standards called Congregate Care Core and Categorical rules.

Specially trained State licensors are assigned to inspect and oversee all Utah programs.  These licensors inspect each program four times per year.  Half of these inspections are planned, the other half are unannounced, assuring programs are evaluated as they “really are.”  Additionally, programs are required to report safety related incidents to the Office of Licensing, which investigates all critical incidents.  Programs that can’t maintain a track record of safety and effectiveness are sanctioned or shut down.

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Are the CERTS Programs Safe?

Yes. Having witnessed the problems and limitations of programs in the 90s, the CERTS Group founders developed a treatment environment characterized by evidence-based best practices, clinical sophistication, and a philosophy that puts inspiring interpersonal relationships first.  The CERTS Programs don't employ complex system of punishments and rewards designed to shape behavior.  Instead, students are treated with the utmost dignity and respect.  As they learn more about themselves, students are invited and inspired to experiment with new beliefs and behaviors that support greater happiness and safety.  Cutting edge therapeutic modalities are used to teach skills and build competencies, always with the best interest of the students in mind.

The CERTS Programs staff are at the top of their profession.  The clinicians, teachers, and administrators are professionally trained and fully licensed.  CERTS mentoring staff are composed of paraprofessionals who are:

  • Certified in CPR and 1stAid
  • Cleared to work with youth by a national background check
  • Trained in the latest de-escalation and safety techniques
  • Enrolled in Clinical Deep Dive Training Levels 1, 2 and 3
  • Engaged in ongoing trainings 
  • Overseen by licensed clinicians  
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The simply answer is yes.  The Joint Commission’s standards and emphasis on clinical practice guidelines help CERTS establish a consistent approach to care, reducing the risk of error. Certification standards help organize the management of the program. This helps to maintain a consistently high level of quality, using effective data-driven performance improvement. Consistent alignment with Joint Commission standards promotes an environment of continuous improvement in the care of the teens at the CERTS Programs.