The opening of an adolescent treatment

facility in southern Scott County may bring new options for Southern Indiana parents.

“There’s been a big response,” said Chris Halbleib, facility’s staff member and spokesman.

Set on historic Englishton Park, the all-male program is operated by Three Springs Inc. of Huntsville, Ala., which has similar operations in 10 states. Three Springs-Englishton Park officially opened its doors this week and caters to boys ages 12 to 18 who have significant emotional and behavioral disorders that prevent them from succeeding in a traditional environment. Children with moderate to sever emotional disorders and have no history of committing sexual offenses can be accepted into the Lexington-based program.

“There’s mental health hospitals and group homes, but nothing like this,” Halbleib said.

Applications from potential residents are being reviewed and Halbleib said the program will likely kick off with three live-in residents and build up to half its licensed capacity of 36 boys within the next

year.

“This is a good option for counties because it has an on-site school,” said Three Springs-Englishton Park Administrator Michael Cummings.

The state Department of Education gave Three Springs a $250,00 grant to hire three full-time special education teachers and provide basic educational materials. Residents will study to earn transferable class credits at the facility’s year-round academic program, which is based on the state’s curriculum.

Three Springs-Englishton Park’s academic program operates out of four classrooms. Students are referred to the program by the state Department of Education, the Department of Child Services, Juvenile

probation and private referrals. Boys enrolled in the therapeutic program will live in a dormitory style setting and have access to a gym,

cafeteria, library and two common greatrooms.

The Three Springs-Englishton Park building boasts 20,000 square feet and sits on 250 acres of woods.

But of this does come at a hefty price.

Daily fees for boys referred by the state is $155, and county and private referrals will cost a nearly $200 a day.

With state-funded organizations such as Silvercrest Children’s Development Center in New Albany planned to close,

some parents may be left without affordable treatment options.

Lance Rhodes, assistant commissioner with the Indiana Department of Health, has met with Silvercrest’s Advisory Board and explained the state’s move towards privatizing these types of mental health services.

Community agencies, such as Three Springs Inc., are being sought and financially supported by the Indiana Department of Education and Family and Social Services Administration. These two state agencies are

also redistributing money from institutions such as Silvercrest, which is set to close this summer, to the clients themselves

“If we attach that money to the specific child, the advocates say that most of the kids can be helped in their community,” Rhodes said.



So You Know:

Englishton Park in Lexington sits on the former estate of Captain William English, a lawyer, member and speaker of the Indiana State House of Representative and founding president of First National Bank in Indianapolis. He also ran for Vice President of the United States with Winfield S. Hancock. The estate was used by the English family as a summer residence. Upon English’s death, the 400-acre grounds were donated for use by needy children in Marion and Scott counties.

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