Adolescent Residential Care Program
Intake Procedures

Parent or Teen Referral Intake Procedure

Parent/legal guardian(s) must contact Attention Homes to refer youth to our Adolescent Residential Care program; a youth cannot self-admit.  A youth can make an inquiry, but must have parental/guardian participation and agreement regarding placement.

  1. Upon calling 303.499.1241 Attention Homes' direct care staff (DCS) completes an inquiry and phone screen to assess whether or not the prospective resident meets program criteria (see below). 
  2. The DCS informs parent/guardian our Attention Homes case manager (CM) will contact them to set up an interview within 48 business hours.
  3. The CM calls the family to set the interview time and date and informs both parents and teen they must attend the interview. The CM provides an overview of our program, answers questions and explains the placement process at the interview.
  4. A discussion of program components, youth/family program compatibility and financial obligation and assessment (based on a sliding scale) occurs during the interview.
  5. After the interview, the CM reviews the prospective resident case with the program director.  The CM contacts the family the next business day with the placement decision.
  6. If placement is recommended an intake date is scheduled. Youth and parent(s) must attend.  If placement is not recommended, referrals to other services will be provided.  Determined payment in the form of check or credit card payment is due at time of intake

Download full Private Placement Packet.

Download Attention Homes' Resident Handbook.

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Social Services Agency Referral Intake Procedure

  1. Upon calling 303.499.1241 a staff member will conduct a phone screen to assess whether or not the prospective resident meets program criteria (see below).  Please be aware you may be asked to provide more information before a decision can be made. 
  2. If the prospective resident meets program criteria (see below) and there is availability, we proceed to the intake.  An intake appointment occurs after all necessary documentation is completed.

General Intake Criteria for Placement 

Our goal is to help our residents develop into healthy, productive members of our community. It is important before placement takes place that you are aware of our criteria, including certain youth behaviors that are inappropriate for our programs.

1. Populations Attention Homes will serve or consider include:

  • Youth 12 years of age up to their 18th birthday (exception if in DSS custody upon 18 birthday, placement can extend beyond 18 years of age.)
  • Youth who have been removed from their home and/or are experiencing the following while residing in home:
    1. domestic abuse parent
    2. parent - child conflict
    3. neglect
    4. physical abuse
    5. refusal to abide by family rules and structure
    6. BCOP – Beyond Control of Parent
  • Youth with the following diagnosis as long as they are compliant with a psychotropic medication regime:
    1. ADD/ADHD
    2. Oppositional Defiant Disorder
    3. Mood Disorders
    4. Attachment issues
  • Youth with delinquency issues including first or second time offenders for crimes such as theft, criminal trespass, criminal mischief, minor in possession and possession of a controlled substance.
  • Youth who agree to reside within Attention Homes and youth and family who agree to participate in Attention Homes’ program and services.

 2. Populations that will be considered on an individual basis include:

  • Youth diagnosed with Conduct Disorder – depends on the severity of Conduct Disorder.
  • Youth who have more than one substance abuse related charge.
  • Youth who have documented or reported substance abuses and repeated usage, that youth and others would constitute as “experimental".
  • Youth with felony charges/convictions.
  • Youth who are under the influence of a substance (drugs, alcohol). Acceptance will be contingent on the substance used and whether or not the ARC will admit the youth for either detoxification or a stabilization period.
  • Youth who are deemed detrimental to current population’s issues.
  • Youth who have successfully completed a DSS approved Sexual Specific Offender Treatment program and have not re-offended in the last year.
  • Youth with unfounded or dismissed allegations of sexual perpetration.
  • Youth diagnosed with Attachment Issue and/or have a formal diagnosis of Reactive Attachment Disorder.
  • Youth who have demonstrated past suicidal or homicidal thought/intent/plans to harm self or others but no current thoughts or plans.
  • Sibling groups.
  • Youth on ankle monitors.

3. Populations that are not appropriate for our programs include:

  • Youth charged with violent crimes against another person or crimes involving a weapon. Crimes include but are not limited to charges such as assault with a deadly weapon, murder, manslaughter, aggravated assault and vehicular assault or homicide.
  • Sexually offending youth who have an open investigation or case with Dept. of Social Services/Judicial system or where an investigation has confirmed the sexual perpetration allegations with a confirmed/substantiated youth and who have not had Sex Offender Specific Treatment. 
  • Multiple charges/incidents related to fire starting/arson in which the youth has not received treatment or has engaged in fire starting in the past three years.
  • Active reported and legal documentation of current gang involvement. Youth in a leadership role within the gang. No desire to change behaviors. 
  • Youth diagnosed with an Axis One diagnosis that are not compliant taking their psychotropic medication, are not under a psychiatrists care and have not had time to stabilize on their medications.
  • Youth with an IQ below 80, due to the inability to abide and comprehend structural components of program and the inability of the program to meet the youth’s needs.
  • Youth who have demonstrated active suicidal (within 24-72 hours) tendencies or homicidal plans and intent.
  • Youth with any infectious and contagious diseases including but not limited to: HIV, chicken pox, lice, mumps, measles, rubella, the infectious stages of tuberculosis, or a diabetic youth who is inconsistent in regulating their insulin and/or dietary restrictions.
  • Runaway and/or Homeless youth without parent(s)/guardian(s) authorization/consent for placement.

4. Substance Abuse Program Track Specific Criteria:

  • Substance Abuse program track placements are contingent on youth meeting the Attention Homes General Placement Criteria
  • Youth who have a history of substance abuse or dependence (see definition below)
  • Conditions that warrant individual consideration:
    1. Youth with current & multiple drug trafficking charges.
    2. Youth engaged in intravenous drug usage.

5. Private Placement Track Specific Requirements:

  • Private placement is contingent on meeting the Attention Homes General Placement Criteria.
  • Youth and parent(s) have completed an assessment interview.
  • Youth and family demonstrate motivation and are committed to following the expectations of the program.
  • Youth and family attend all staffing meetings and family coaching sessions.
  • Financial agreement including initial payment.
  • Parent agreement not to remove youth prior to agreed upon length of stay; typically 30 days. 


1. DSM-IV, defines abuse as:

  • A maladaptive pattern of substance use leading to significant clinical impairment or distress, as manifested by one (or more) of the following, occurring within a 12-month period:
    1. Recurrent substances use resulting in a failure to fulfill major role obligations at work, school, or home (e.g., repeated absences or poor work performance related to substance abuse use; substance-related absences, suspensions or expulsions from school; neglect of children or household).
    2. Recurrent substance use in situations in which it is physically hazardous (e.g., driving an automobile or operating a machine when impaired by substance use).
    3. Recurrent substance-related legal problems (e.g., arrests for substance-related disorderly conduct).
    4. Continued substance use despite having persistent or recurrent social or interpersonal problems caused or exacerbated by the effects of the substance (e.g., arguments with parents about consequences of intoxication, physical fights).
  • The symptoms have never met the criteria for Substance Dependence for this class of substance.

2. DSM-IV defines dependence as:

  • A maladaptive pattern of substance use, leading to significant clinical impairment or distress, as manifested by three (or more) of the following, occurring at any time in the same 12-month period:
    1. tolerance, as defined by either of the following:
      • a need for markedly increased amounts of the substance to achieve intoxication or desired effect.
      • markedly diminished effect with continued use of the same amount of substance.
    2. withdrawal, as manifested by either of the following:
      • the characteristic withdrawal syndrome for the substance.
      • the same (or a closely related) substance is taken to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms.
    3. the substance is often taken in larger amounts or over a longer period than was intended.
    4. there is a persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control substance use.
    5. a great deal of time is spent in activities to obtain the substance, use the substance, or recover from its effects.
    6. important social, occupational or recreational activities are given up or reduced because of substance use.
    7. the substance use is continued despite knowledge of having a persistent or recurrent physical or psychological problem that is likely to have been caused or exacerbated by the substance (e.g., continued drinking despite recognition that an ulcer was made worse by alcohol consumption).

[DSM-IV, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, ed. 4. Washington DC: American Psychiatric Association (AMA). 1994.]                           

Updated 2.20.2012

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