Vol 2 • Issue 3 • Jun 2011

June 11, 2011

Message from the CEO

While the debate over the efficacy of residential treatment continues, there is no question that there are cases where clients – in particular, children and adolescents – are too acute to serve safely without the infrastructure of a residential setting. To respond to this need, Grafton has developed a short term psychiatric stabilization program and community-based triage service on our Leesburg campus (formerly Graydon Manor). I will share more this new offering a bit further on; first let me outline the case for these critical services.

Meeting a Critical Need

In recent years, localities within Northern Virginia have indicated that the lack of short term psychiatric stabilization programs is the number one priority for children and adolescents. Northern Virginia is certainly not alone; it is something with which many communities struggle.

Why does this type of psychiatric service continue to be a challenge? In our experience, there are some critical factors that contribute to the dilemma:

  • Due to their presentation, many children often must “fail up” the system to the appropriate level of care. They may be in a “gray area,” not quite meeting the criteria for in-patient care, yet not functioning in their home or community either. Once they have “failed up,” they have experienced a significant amount of trauma and dislocation.
  • Often, the right resources are not present in the community. Even in those localities that have a wealth of disparate resources, programs are not necessarily integrated or coordinated in a manner that produces long term or lasting benefits.

Short-Term Psychiatric Stabilization Program

This new program offers person-centered treatment plans designed to support the rapid stabilization of both the child and the family through a variety of interventions. This 24-hour trauma-informed program serves individuals aged 12 – 17 over the course of, typically, a stay of 30-45 days. Other programs within Grafton’s full continuum of care are also available as “step-down” services or for longer term treatment as appropriate.

Admission criteria for this program include (but are not limited to):

  • Disruptive or aggressive behaviors
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Self-injurious behaviors
  • Co-occurring substance abuse
  • Ability to engage in a therapeutic program in an open campus-like setting

Admissions to the short-term stabilization program can take place within 24 hours of an initial contact to our access center and if needed, emergency admissions can also take place.

To create this program, we tapped into our experienced professionals from across the entire network to provide the best multidisciplinary team including: psychiatrists, individual and family therapists, nurses, teachers, group life counselors, case managers and others.

Following our system-of-care model, Grafton works closely with the communities, integrating our services with – and providing a complement to – available resources. In so doing, we will better be able to limit each client’s length of stay. By working closely with the local supports, we will also be able to develop comprehensive community-based services while the child is safe and making strides through the therapeutic process.

Our hope is that interventions provided within the short-term stabilization program will encourage resilience and help the family and child see possibilities and solutions that last a lifetime.

A Benefit of the Grafton/Graydon Manor Consolidation

The short-term psychiatric stabilization program is only the one of the many benefits of the recent merger between Grafton and Graydon Manor. This program serves as an exciting example of how the consolidation of our two legacy organizations allows us to meet the needs of the communities we serve in an even more powerful way.

So, let me address the elephant in the (virtual) room: I realize many of you may be wondering about the next steps of the merger. We have made great progress in centralizing our resources and combining the two sets of legacy systems and processes. While all of this was very necessary, it was also very internally focused. I encourage you to stay tuned for updates on our external activities in the very near future. In the meantime, I wouldn’t say its business as usual. Far from it, actually. I’d say it’s better than ever.

Jim Gaynor


  • “Early Detection of Disabilities in Children Pays Off”, letter to the editor written by Jim Gaynor published in USA Today on May 5th.
  • Grafton’s Leesburg campus was selected as a site for AOL’s Monster Help Day on Friday, May 20th. Over 200 AOL employees volunteered their time to beautify the campus by weeding, mulching, planting and painting the facility.
  • Autism, a course offered to graduate students through Shepherd University in affiliation with the Regional Educational Service Agency—presented by Kim Sanders, Executive Vice President & Chief Outcomes Officers and Shamsi Sadeghzadeh, Director, Outreach Services at the James Rumsey Technical Institute in Martinsburg, Virginia.


We want to hear from you! Do you have something you want to tell us? Is there anything else you’d like to know about Grafton? Please share your thoughts by sending an email to communications@grafton.org.