The children's daily living environment, or milieu, is structured to facilitate close and meaningful relationship building. Our child care staff are trained extensively in the Attachment Model.
In order to promote continuity in the children's daily living, the staff schedules are divided into two three day shifts. Each side of the week is staffed with child care workers both male and female. Our student to adult ratio remains at about 1 to 3. Simultaneously, the milieu director is in the milieu throughout the whole week. At night, there is always a child care worker who sleeps at the house. He or she is accompanied by an awake staff member who is there to alert the Child Care Worker if a child is having difficulty and needs a trusted adult to be close to.
This staffing pattern has many benefits. For example, the person who puts the child to bed is also there to wake him up to provide support at a time when most children feel quite vulnerable. When challenging behaviors and emotions arise, the child can trust that the caregiver is not going to leave in a few minutes because her shift is over. Relationships are built on sharing the difficult as well as the fun times which rarely fit into an hourly schedule.