The Problem

Amidst a statewide foster placement crisis, the need for supportive and therapeutic residential services for youth and their families is profound. In Cuyahoga County alone, there has been a decline of 300 residential treatment beds over the past decade. Oftentimes, children living with the greatest trauma and behavioral challenges are rejected from available bed space and the closest provider that will accept them is out of state.

Throughout Ohio, youth with high-acuity needs and nowhere to live are often housed at local Job and Family Services offices. In fact, between 2018 and 2022, there were at least 617 instances of youth being housed temporarily in the Jane Edna Hunter office building where the Division of Children and Family Services is located. In 2022 alone, more than 500 Ohio youth spent 1,225 nights sleeping in local county government offices because there was nowhere else for them to go. Others stayed in hospitals even though they were not sick and had no medical reason for being there.

The Centers’ Solution

The Centers’ Cleveland Christian Home (CCH) is partnering with Cuyahoga County to construct a brand-new Child Wellness Campus at the current CCH site (11401 Lorain Ave). The campus transformation will promote a comprehensive model for assisting with rapid reunification and kinship diversion for children in county custody, while providing a safe location where youth awaiting placement can be assessed and receive treatment. The goal of this project is to provide one central location where County Children and Family Services (DCFS) Staff and child-serving nonprofits can work in lockstep to get children into their best placement as quickly as possible.

The campus will also provide residential treatment, short-term emergency placement, and other support for youth and families. With approximately 50 specialized beds in a comfortable, trauma-informed environment, youth will have seamless step-down and step-up options as they receive treatment close to home and work toward a path back to their families.

Funding Plan

The total cost of the planned renovations is estimated at $14 Million. Renovations are being prioritized in three phases. The funding for phases 1 and 2 was provided by individual, philanthropic, state capital grant, New Market Tax Credit equity and loan.

Phase 1: Fundraising and renovations completed in 2023. Total cost $3 million.

Phase 2: Fundraising complete. Renovations in progress. Total cost $3 million.
Renovations of three units will be completed by Fall 2024.

Phase 3: Fundraising in progress. Renovations to begin late 2024. Total anticipated cost $8 million.
Renovations will include building a Welcome Center, renovating a Kitchen and Cafeteria, stabilization of grounds, school and treatment area, exterior renovations, elevator and common area sprinkler. State Capital support and private philanthropy has been secured. Please check for current funding gap.

Planned Capital Improvements

  • Renovations of current three residential wings into six new units, each with a distinct specialization for residential treatment or emergency placement.
  • Renovations and equipment upgrades for kitchen and dining area
  • Exterior building and driveway restorations
  • Renovations of non-residential program/community space
  • Roofing Work
  • Elevator Installation
  • Sprinkler system installation & additional fire escape towers
  • HVAC and plumbing repairs/replacements

 

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Learn More About the Child Wellness Campus

  • 24/7 Child Wellness Welcome Center
    • A central location for all children entering care (police drop-off, parent drop-off, walk-in, etc.).
    • Co-operated by The Centers and Cuyahoga Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS).
    • Onsite partners include: Families and Children First Council, Collaborative to End Human Trafficking, Canopy Child Advocacy Center, Frontline Service, & MetroHealth.
      DCFS assessment and determination of custody, linkage to immediate supports as needed.
    • Return to home, kinship placement, rapid reunification response team, mobile response and stabilization services (MRSS), emergency childcare, emergency treatment.
  • Rapid Reunification Response Team
    • To address dependency causes of custody (behavior management, parent mental health, etc.).
    • Available 7 days a week, 9am to 9pm.
    • Staffed by social workers/counselors and case managers with close collaboration with DCFS.
    • Provide intensive intervention to reunite or prevent custody within 72 hours, handoff and linkage to ongoing support and treatment.
  • Emergency Childcare Beds

    10 co-ed beds reserved for short-term stays (<48 hours) for youth with low acuity needs, with support from a dedicated DCFS Placement Worker. This unit will provide safety, structure, and comfort for youth in their brief stay.

  • Emergency Treatment Beds

    8 co-ed beds available within our established T-Suites secure unit to support stays up to 30 days for high acuity, multi-system, high-risk youth.

    Intensive Treatment and stabilization provided by CCH, with a dedicated in-unit DCFS Placement Worker.

    T-Suites will become a licensed intensive treatment unit.

  • Long-Term Intensive Treatment

    8 beds reserved in a secure unit for youth with developmental disabilities and/or who have been involved in the Juvenile Justice system.

  • Teen Girl Intensive Treatment

    8 beds reserved in a secure unit for high-risk girls who have been victims of human trafficking and/or are trauma survivors.

  • Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility

    10 co-ed beds reserved for youth with severe emotional disturbance requiring a high level of care. This secure unit will be funded through Medicaid and OhioRISE.

  • Flex Open Residential Treatment Unit

    8 beds reserved for step-down, respite care, or flexible space for overflow emergency beds for low-acuity youth.

  • Staffed Group Homes

    Two off-campus homes with 4 beds each reserved for youth who don’t do well in a congregate setting, youth stepping down and preparing for foster home placement, or youth who are aging out.

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The CCH Child Wellness Campus Will Provide:

  • Specially trained staff & treatment for each unit
  • Trauma Informed, Evidence-Based Treatment
  • Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)
  • Individual & Group Counseling
  • Family Counseling
  • Life Skills Training
  • Recreation
  • Social and Emotional Learning
  • Primary Care
  • Psychiatric Care
  • Nursing
  • School
  • Transportation
  • Reunification
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