After paying out almost 100,000.00 by our insurance company for our son trying to get him the help he needed, this program in the end is just a waste and a wash-up. I could see if you lived in the Ames area how it could possible work better because you would probably have the counseling and the after care support then. But living 2 hours away it just was not an option. In the end I understand that it was all up to our son but when you are a teen and don't have the coping skills it makes it very difficult! I feel he should have been set up with a sponsor and a support system here before he ever came home! Doing the couple sessions VIA Skype (when skype did work) with the counselor after coming home was just a waste.
The facility is a very old and drafty home. The meals were not always what I would consider up to USDA food and nutrition guidelines as sometimes there was no milk, juice and such. My son was always fed 3 meals but I am saying they were not always what I would consider healthy like he would have received in a school or medical facility. He was put on more medications while being placed here for 5 months then ever in his life. He went in with an antidepressant and anxiety drug and came out with 9 different prescriptions. It was insane to my husband and I at how many meds he was placed on. The billing system here has major issues.... A year later and we are still receiving bills for things that were either paid by us or our insurance. This has been such an insane problem to deal with not to mention so frustrating! If you are there during the Spring, Summer or Fall they keep the kids very active with healthy walks, trails, state park walks and such. They visit the YMCA several times a week also. They also have the kids volunteer at the local church helping serve food once a week. They attend group sessions and do one on one with their counselors along with family counseling. The teacher that comes there from the Ames School District and works with all the boys during the week is very good! Even though our son missed the last month of his Junior year and the entire first semester of his senior year he graduated with his class on time. The other staff there at YSS while our son was there were fairly good. Some better than others but we rarely had a problem. If I had it to do over again I think I would have done more research and found something closer to my home. The traveling back and forth every weekend took a toll on us.