CJR Announces New Residential Program in Litchfield
Litchfield – Daniel W. Rezende, Executive Director of the Connecticut Junior Republic (CJR), has announced the official opening of a new residential program on the organization’s Litchfield campus. The official opening of the new program will be held on Thursday, September 22, at 1:00 PM, with Joette Katz, Commissioner, Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF) as the keynote speaker. Additional speakers at the event include State Representative Michelle Cook, CJR Executive Director Daniel Rezende and a student speaker who is one of the first young men referred to the program.
The new Connecticut Junior Republic Residential Program (CJRRP) is funded by DCF and is a four month program for up to eight young men, ages 14 to 18, who have been committed to DCF for substance abuse treatment needs and may also have co-occurring behavioral health disorders. The CJRRP incorporates Multi-dimensional Family Therapy (MDFT), a family-based treatment developed for adolescents with drug and behavior problems and for substance abuse prevention with adolescents.
CJR’s new residential program was licensed by DCF on July 1. Based in the Junior Republic’s newly-renovated Hartford Cottage, the CJRRP is designed to decrease recidivism and criminal activity; decrease substance use dependence; improve educational functioning and mental health; and increase stability and overall family functioning. Intensive integrated behavioral health and therapeutic substance abuse services are provided for all enrolled youth. Program participants attend the Junior Republic’s Cable Academic and Vocational Education Center and also benefit from all of the educational, recreational and therapeutic resources located on the organization’s 150-acre rural Litchfield campus.
Intensive and comprehensive aftercare services are coordinated for enrolled youth as a part of the program. Utilizing evidence and research-based programming and pro-social activities, CJRRP staff work extensively with boys and their families to ensure re-engagement and connection to family, community and other support networks. Multi-dimensional Family Therapy is integrated into all components of the program to achieve these goals and post-residential services are provided through community-based services. During the first year of operation, it is anticipated that 24 to 32 boys will be served.
“While the Department has moved away from congregate care – we have reduced its use by two-thirds – this is the kind of residential program that fits with the new direction we have set under the Administration of Governor Dannel Malloy,” Department of Children and Families Commissioner Joette Katz said. “It is family focused, and its strong emphasis on transitioning youth back to home and community will support more children living with families and receiving needed services.”
“This new program is an example of a public/private collaboration which will ensure that a population of young people with service needs can be helped in the most positive and least restrictive manner, and in a way that supports and strengthens the entire family,” stated Mr. Rezende.
Founded in 1904, the Connecticut Junior Republic (CJR) provides care, treatment, education and family support for vulnerable at-risk, special needs and troubled young people so they can become productive and fulfilled members of their homes, schools and communities. Today, the organization’s combined programs serve approximately 1,800 boys and girls annually in 11 locations across Connecticut.
The Junior Republic serves more than 100 young men annually through three residential programs on its Litchfield campus. Regular, special, vocational and alternative education programs are provided for boys from communities throughout Connecticut at
A private charitable organization, the Connecticut Junior Republic is accredited by the Council on Accreditation (