Mount Saint Vincent has cared for children and their families since 1883. It was founded by the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth, Kansas, as an orphanage. At one time, Mount Saint Vincent housed nearly 300 children.
Stepping Up Again to Help Children
As social philosophy moved away from orphanages, foster care services were designed to provide a family home for each child. However, for some children, a residential facility was preferable if it had trained staff and could better address medical and behavioral needs than could be provided in a family home. Just as the Sisters stepped up to become a home for boys in 1909, they stepped up again in 1969, training their Sisters through advanced degrees in social work and hiring the best staff to care for children with severe emotional and behavioral challenges due to trauma, mental illness, abuse or neglect.
Accommodating A Changing Population
As a result of the 2006 shift in Medicaid funding to counties for the residential care for children with mental health issues, the dynamics of the child population at Mount Saint Vincent changed. Children with the most severe mental health challenges were referred to the residential program. The residential program was one step below a psychiatric hospital with more severe and complex diagnoses. Children with less severe challenges attended the day treatment program.
Taking Another Big Step
In 2009, Mount Saint Vincent took another big step by adopting the Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics (NMT), a developmentally sensitive approach to trauma treatment from The ChildTrauma Academy. In 2012, the Academy granted its Flagship status to Mount Saint Vincent, making it the fourth treatment facility in the world to earn the distinction. Today, NMT is still utilized by staff as one of Mount Saint Vincent’s trauma-informed frameworks along with Therapeutic Crisis Intervention.
Supporting Children and Families in A Changing Environment
In 2022, national and state trends in youth service delivery were making it difficult for Mount Saint Vincent and other similar programs in Colorado to provide residential treatment of the type and level they were used to delivering. Therefore, after an intensive evaluation of how best to support children and families the changing environment, Mount Saint Vincent’s Board of Directors decided to discontinue the Residential Treatment Program.
Mount Saint Vincent’s primary mission remains--to help abused, neglected and behavioral health-challenged children function fully in their homes, schools and society. We deliver on this mission through a continuum of care that includes pediatric behavioral healthcare, a foster care program and community preschool.