AMIkids Piedmont is a male residential program serving juvenile-justice involved youth ages 14-18. The program operates 24 hours per day with youth living in dormitories on campus. Together, with the support of families, AMIkids provides comprehensive services to South Carolina teens through the AMIkids Personal Growth Model©.
The AMIkids Personal Growth Model is a research-driven, evidence-based intervention at the core of all programming. It is a uniﬁed approach that combines education, treatment and behavior modification that provides holistic services to each individual teen, allowing them to grow personally and prepare for the future.
What makes us different? At the center of the AMIkids Personal Growth Model is our culture, essential as a foundation to everything we do for kids. We provide teens with a values-based environment. Students receive vital direction through role-modeling and showing kids every day, in every situation, what it means to be responsible and accountable. It is this family environment that sets us apart. Our culture is the link between what our kids are capable of and what they choose to become.
The conceptual framework for the AMIkids Personal Growth Model is grounded in research and theory and embodies the integration of evidence-based program components. The eight Principles for Effective Intervention encompassed in the AMIkids Personal Growth Model parallel with evidence-based interventions for juvenile delinquency prevention.
The AMIkids Personal Growth Model (PGM) is designed to target and reduce the risk factors that sustain delinquent behavior and academic failure, reduce recidivism, improve program completion rates, and promote academic achievement.
Before services are provided through the AMIkids PGM, the risks, needs, and motivation to change of the youth and his or her family are assessed. On the basis of these assessed needs, an appropriate treatment plan is developed, which combines the following components:
- Education. The education component uses three primary methods to enhance learning: experiential education, project-based learning, and service learning. Participants attend classes in an academic setting, and teachers use a rigorous curriculum designed to address the participants’ individualized needs and diverse learning styles. Teachers implementing this component are certified and highly qualified on the basis of State, local, and AMIkids requirements.
- Treatment. The treatment component is individualized on the basis of each participant’s assessments, and research-based mental health and/or substance abuse interventions (e.g., cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational enhancement therapy, functional family therapy, motivational interviewing) are provided to participants, as well as their families. Participants receive group services on a daily basis, and individual and family sessions are provided on a schedule determined by the individualized treatment plan. Staff implementing this component are licensed mental health professionals or therapists/counselors who are supervised by a licensed mental health professional.
- Behavior modification. The behavior modification component is designed to develop or strengthen desired prosocial behaviors and eliminate or weaken antisocial behaviors through three techniques using positive reinforcement: a point card system, a token economy, and a rank system. Staff implementing this component are designated AMIkids Behavior Modification professionals.