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The Koba Institute has proven its flexibility over the years, participating in numerous projects in research, education, and services across a wide range of fields. The current scope of our operations focuses on providing two critical services for at-risk adolescents: education and residential care. As an outgrowth of our operations and a way to help strengthen the community, we will expand our psychiatric and psychological care offerings in the near future to include community-based health services. Throughout our many changes, we have never forgotten our central principle: helping those most in need to achieve personal and professional success.
Our Mansion at Focus Point residential care facilities provide adolescents with therapeutic treatment services in a community-based, family-like atmosphere, where they learn personal responsibility and self-sufficiency. This atmosphere is coupled with strong therapeutic milieu components, facilitated by community meetings, therapeutic recreation, and a behavior management program. Residents take part in developing their own individual service plans (ISP) and are given incentives to help them achieve the goals set out in their ISPs. Some of our adolescents have secondary problems with substance abuse and/or learning disabilities when they come to us. We embrace teenagers who face these difficulties. At the Mansion, we recognize that “place matters,” and we find that many of our residents benefit by relocating away from their home communities and away from significant negative peer influences. The ultimate goal of the Mansion is to prepare residents for successful transition to less restrictive family or community settings.
The Accelerated Achievement Academy (AAA) is Koba’s high school program, based in our Mansion at Focus Point group homes. When we began to see that available resources for our former special education program were being steadily reduced, we redirected our efforts into expanding educational offerings within the structure of our residential care program. The AAA draws on technology and incentivized learning to re-invigorate students who have struggled or failed in traditional academic environments, addressing the high truancy and dropout rates that are endemic among foster care and congregate care residents. The program gives our students a pathway to educational success and a vision for their future. All the students have access to an accredited, self-paced high school curriculum, allowing them to finish their high school education and earn their diploma – a diploma many of them thought they would never be able to get.
Community-based mental health services are based on the belief that mental wellness is just as important as physical wellness and that visiting a mental health clinic, like visiting any doctor’s office, should come with no stigmas attached. We see this avenue of care as a logical addition to the therapeutic services we already provide for our youth, expanding out to serve the broader community as well. Based in our own clinic, with a Harvard-educated psychiatrist on staff, we will be able to offer a variety of individualized, outpatient mental health services to our clients.