AUGUST AICHHORN CENTER
ADOLESCENT RESIDENTIAL CARE, Inc.
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The RTF-Manhattan (RTF-M)
The RTF-Brooklyn (RTF-B)
The Aichhorn RTF-Manhattan (RTF-M)
The August Aichhorn Residential Treatment Facility-Manhattan (RTF-M)
is located at 23 West 106th Street, one block west of Central Park in Manhattan.
The RTF-M is a co-educational 32-bed Medicaid-funded, long-term psychiatric treatment facility for teenagers. Residents must be at least 12 and not yet 16 at the time of admission, and must be referred by the New York City Pre-Admission Certification Committee (PACC) operated by the New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH). The PACC will generally only refer youngsters who have had multiple unsuccessful placements and/or hospitalizations, and because of their psychiatric or emotional difficulties cannot be maintained in any less intensively-supervised setting. Most residents are admitted from acute care psychiatric units, State Children's Psychiatric Centers, other long-term psychiatric treatment programs (usually RTFs), or the juvenile justice system. Patients must be of normal intelligence and not so seriously physically challenged as to be unable to participate in routine activities with their peers. The PACC generally requires that these beds be reserved for residents of New York City. The RTF-M has no other admission requirements except provision of various Medicaid-mandated documentation.
The RTF-M is staffed and equipped to provide very high levels of supervision on an extended basis if necessary. However, its location in a popular residential neighborhood, with very easy access to a wide variety of educational, recreational and cultural resources as well as all the ordinary life of a thriving community, allows the RTF to offer residents extensive carefully-monitored opportunities to gain increasing independence and involvement in the "real" world. The facility provides on-site clinical, educational, recreational and medical services on a continuous basis.
The RTF-M opened in May, 1991 and has been at 100% occupancy since
that time. The average length of stay of discharged residents
is about 30 months. Residents referred by the PACC are accepted
for admission in the order in which completed required admission
materials are received, with some adjustments to maintain a gender
The former Building #2 of the Brooklyn Children's (Psychiatric) Center has been converted into the new, 24-bed Aichhorn Residential Treatment Facility-Brooklyn (RTF-B). To download a powerpoint presentation illustrating the renovation of the facility, click here. The program, located at 2050 Dean Street, in the Weeksville neighborhood of Brooklyn, opened on June 25, 2012. The RTF-B replicates the program features of the RTF-Manhattan, and it has the same admissions criteria and procedures, but referrals are limited to adolescents who have been remanded to the custody of the New York State Office of Children and Families (OCFS).
The Aichhorn School
The Aichhorn School, housed in the RTF buildings, is a secondary special education school chartered by the New York State Board of Regents under Article 81 of the State Education Law to service the 56 residents of both Aichhorn RTF programs. The school offers approved New York State curriculum for grades 7 through 11 in Language Arts, Social Studies, Science, Math, Art, and Physical and Health Education. The school’s mission is to provide our youngsters with the academic, social, and vocational skills necessary for them to return to their communities as self-sufficient adults.
All the children at the Aichhorn School are certified as special education students in need of related services. The primary diagnostic category for students at Aichhorn is emotional disability. However, many students are also burdened with learning disabilities.
All students are engaged in a secondary school departmentalized program except for our self-contained class, which has our most academically and socially disabled youngsters. All classes have a staff/student ratio of 6-1-2 . Formal classes are held from 9:00 a.m. until 2:40 p.m., with a lunch break during which students return to their "home" units. In addition, in order to fulfill our mission, we have incorporated an afternoon program of supervised study, tutoring, trips and workshops that enhance and expand the learning experiences of the children at Aichhorn. These activities occur every weekday afternoon
The education of the residents at Aichhorn is a major part of their psychiatric treatment and teachers’ daily conduct reports and monthly progress reports are a meaningful part of each child’s treatment planning. Teachers participate in each student's monthly comprehensive treatment planning meetings and have an important role in the implementation of each youngster’s academic and clinical plans.The Aichhorn YASL
The Aichhorn Young Adult Supported Living Program (YASL) is located at 311 West 112th Street, six blocks north of the RTF.
The YASL is a co-educational supported living "home" with 12 beds intended for young men and women (roughly 18 to 25) who have spent extended parts of their adolescence in congregate care settings (generally foster care or psychiatric facilities). It is located in a small brownstone on a rapidly "gentrifying" residential block in west Harlem. It was developed, with support from the New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH), in response to the difficulties that many "graduates" of the RTF program found in making the transition from the highly nurturing and protected program in which they had "grown up" to the completely unstructured life of "adults" with little or no family support. Normal young people in this age range continue to rely on their families for substantial guidance, direction and emotional (and financial) support, but our disabled young adults were being asked to suddenly assume full independence with very limited resources of any kind. Unlike the RTF, the YASL handles direct referrals. At present, about half the residents were admitted from the Aichhorn RTF, and the others from other programs.
The YASL is considerably less closely structured than the RTF. It is not a licensed or accredited treatment program, but it does provide 24-hour onsite staff supervision, and extensive individual case management and counselling services. However, residents must be willing and able to meet most of their needs utilizing community resources. They must participate regularly in some type of daily program in the community (school, vocational education, work), cooperate consistently with outpatient psychiatric treatment, handle basic activities of daily living with limited assistance (food shopping and cooking, etc.), and follow the program's rules and structure. They must also be receiving SSI or have some other means of paying a subsidized rent, and meeting their own living expenses.
The YASL opened in 1998. It is now 100% occupied, and there
is a short waiting list. The YASL now also has an emergency
"respite" bed for individuals who have other regular housing options,
and are being followed in other programs, but require temporary (under
21 days) shelter on an emergency basis. Inquiries about admission
directed to the attention of the YASL Program Director, Larry Fox.