Frequently Asked Questions


We know that families seeking support for your child are making some of the most challenging decisions you will ever face. And we know you will have have questions. Please contact us to discuss any concerns you may have. In the meantime, the questions and answers below will help get you started on your journey. 

Is Grafton primarily a provider for children with Autism? Does it provide services for other ages, populations and challenges?

Grafton serves children, adolescents, and adults with a wide range of complex challenges. We often work with the most at risk and vulnerable populations, many of whom have co-occurring diagnoses.

In addition, we are at the forefront in working with individuals on the autism spectrum, having worked with this population throughout the past six decades.

What specific challenges/diagnoses does Grafton treat/work with? And for what age groups?

With a long history of clinical experience and having gathered a great deal of evidence-based data in behavioral health and intellectual/developmental disabilities, we are uniquely qualified to deliver improved outcomes for a variety of mental health challenges. We serve children 0-preschool and from K-12 as well as young adults.

Is Grafton different than other organizations that provide these services?

Yes. One of the ways in which Grafton is most unique is our philosophy of treating our clients through the use of “Comfort vs. Control.” We want to help clients thrive in the least restrictive environment consistent with achieving the best outcome.

Well over a decade ago, Grafton implemented an organization-wide initiative to minimize and, where possible, eliminate the use of coercive techniques such as restraint (manually limiting the ability of a person to move his/her arms, legs, body or head freely) and seclusion (completely isolating a client, either for a short or even a long amount of time). These approaches have been — and continue to be — used in many other facilities including schools and hospitals, yet research shows that they are ineffective and harmful. More than a decade after beginning our effort to eliminate restraints, Grafton achieved a 99.8% reduction in the use of restraint and 100% reduction in the use of seclusion. We have also dramatically reduced the number of injuries to clients and staff.

How will Grafton create a treatment plan for my loved one?

All clients entering a Grafton program have an individualized treatment plan based upon their particular needs and the reason for which they have been referred. This includes a detailed discharge plan that is tied to measurable goals and objectives. The plan will be assessed at different points during their stay at Grafton – after two weeks, again after 30 days and then on an ongoing, weekly basis to ensure continued progress.

How does Grafton receive referrals? How can I have my child referred to Grafton?

Referrals are made to Grafton in a number of ways. referral form is located in the upper right corner of our website. Admission staff is available Monday thru Friday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. by calling 888-955-5205. Voice mail is available for calls received outside of those hours. All calls are returned within 24 hours.

Parents can go through their local school system, Department of Social Services office, and Community Service Boards or Community Service Agency. They can also be referred through their child’s physician or current hospital provider. Grafton can also assist in navigating these local systems.

How are admission assessments made?

Grafton’s admission decision for each individual is based on is based on the information we are given, and our personal interview of each potential consumer. From these sources, we determine how we can best support the individual and their family.

Providing the following information will assist in expediting the decision making process:

  • Medical Information to include current medications, physical and immunization records
  • Clinical Information that would include psychiatric and/or psychological evaluations, current treatment plans
  • Educational Information to include current or previous IEP, transcripts and educational history
  • Insurance information
Are there situations in which Grafton will not accept an individual for services?

While we welcome and admit many individuals with complex co-occurring diagnosis and challenges, there are a few situations in which Grafton will most likely refer an individual for treatment to a more appropriate facility. These include individuals who:

  • Have major medical problems requiring continuous medical oversight or treatment such as that provided in an acute care hospital (i.e.: 24-hour skilled nursing care, on site physician, technological monitoring)
  • Who are currently suicidal and are in imminent danger of harming themselves and, therefore, require an acute care inpatient level of care
  • Who are currently homicidal and are in imminent danger of harming others, and, therefore, require an acute care inpatient level of care
  • Who require inpatient medical detoxification for drug or alcohol abuse 
What does tuition/fees cover at Grafton?

The tuition paid for educational services covers all materials and instructional services provided to the students. Rates for services are posted online in the Virginia’s Office of Comprehensive Services Act for At-Risk Service Fee Directory:

Day: Day fees cover all academic costs including tuition, textbooks, writing and other instructional materials, library resources, program supplies, lunch on each academic day, and supervision on those days during school hours. Unfortunately, we do not provide transportation to and from clients’ homes.

Residential: This covers room, full board seven days a week, all regular recreation programs and supervision and instruction during all non-academic times, seven days a week.

Therapy: When needed, an individual’s program will be designed to include speech-language therapy, occupational therapy, or other individualized services, as appropriate.

How are Grafton services billed?

All general fees for Grafton services are posted online in the Virginia’s Office of Comprehensive Services Act for At-Risk Service Fee Directory, and are the responsibility of the sponsoring agency(ies). The funding agency is billed weekly (in the case of Medicaid and private insurance) or monthly (in the case of agencies). When other services (e.g. speech, occupational therapy, individual therapy, etc.) are warranted by the student’s individualized treatment plan, they will be billed, per the published rate schedule, to the funding agency/assigned payer.

Who, on the Grafton team, will be coordinating the different aspects of my child’s care?

Each individual enrolled at Grafton is assigned a case manager who coordinates all activities and programs for the client. The Case Manager will also ensure communications between you, Grafton and all the agencies supporting your child including the local school division.

Grafton case managers participate as a member of the multidisciplinary team (MDT) serving your child. This team meets regularly and parents are invited to join these discussions. The MDT — which will include a therapist, physician, direct care supervisor, among others — will provide regular progress updates to you/your family, coordinate treatment and care, secure after care services and advocate for your clients’ needs.

Can I visit my child/family member? How do I go about doing that?

We absolutely encourage parents and guardians to visit. To ensure that the student is not away from the home or campus, or involved in a scheduled therapy session, at the time of your visit, we encourage you to schedule them in advance with your case manager. If you wish for extended family or friends to visit, specific written permission must be given in advance.

How often can I visit my child?

Parents/guardians are encouraged to visit the group homes as frequently as you would like. Support strategies are used to help make those visits go more smoothly. Grafton’s goal is to provide the family with enough education and support so that you will be a natural support, fostering functional autonomy, during and after your child’s placement with Grafton.

Can my child return home for visits throughout the course of his/her treatment at Grafton?

Yes. We believe weekend and therapeutic home visits are opportunities to maintain family connections and coordinate efforts to help students make progress. Individual schedules will be worked out among the parents, agency/guardians and the multidisciplinary team.

How do I know my child will be safe in a Grafton facility?

One of our greatest achievements has been our Minimization of Restraint initiative. We have nearly eliminated the use of physical restraints (we are 99.8% restraint free) and are entirely seclusion free. In so doing, we have greatly reduced both client and staff injuries significantly in the past decade.

Grafton also performs detailed reference checks and carefully screens and interviews every employee applicant. The process includes a thorough investigation including checks of the Child Protective Services Central Registry, Criminal History Record Checks (both federal and state), Drug Screening, Department of Motor Vehicles Report, and the Federal Exclusion List. We also carefully review staff credentials and monitor work histories, to ensure that the people we hire are caring, compassionate individuals with the appropriate education, experience, certification and licensing.

In addition, all Grafton staff who are responsible for client care are certified in adult/child CPR and First AID. All teachers are certified in using an Automated External Defibrillator.

How can I be involved in my child’s care?

Grafton believes that family engagement is vital to successful outcomes. Family members are encouraged to participate fully, from pre-admission to discharge. In fact, we request that family members serve on clients’ multidisciplinary care team. Grafton team members involve families and agencies through regular phone calls and periodic meetings.

How often will I be updated regarding my child’s care/progress either via a care team meeting or otherwise?

Your child’s Case Manager will ensure communications between you, Grafton and all the agencies providing support including the local school division. Case managers also participate as a member of the multidisciplinary team serving your child and will provide regular progress updates to you/your family, coordinate treatment and care, secure after care services and advocate for your clients’ needs.

If we do not live near a Grafton facility, is there still a way that the organization might be able to serve my child?

Grafton serves children from all over the country. Video conferencing may also be available for Family Therapy. We do ask that families be onsite at certain points during treatment as this aids in the discharge process. Grafton will work with available transportation providers to assist families who have barriers to travel.

Grafton is committed to helping your child meet his/her individualized goals, promoting a successful transition to a less restrictive setting, as soon as possible and appropriate, within their home community. We support the recovery and well being of clients and families by:

  • Enhancing their quality of life
  • Reducing their referral behaviors, addressing their needs and building resilience
  • Restoring or improving their ability to meet their own needs safely, and engage with their family and community

Over the past decade, we have successfully implemented a formal “Goal Mastery” initiative that works to assure objectives established for each child are clearly defined, meaningful, and measurable. Data for each goal is graphed, with formal systems in place for review. Changes are made, as the need indicates, to treatment and instructional strategies. Since this Goal Mastery initiative was implemented, Grafton has consistently exceeded its target goal rate of 80%.