Nestled in the farmland South West of Billings lies the just over 410 acres that is the Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch. The ranch was founded in the late 1950’s to help Montana with the “delinquent boys” problem making national headlines. Over the years the ranch has grown and turned into more then a place for boys without a home to live, it has become a safe haven for troubled boys and girls from all over the country.
Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch has become a locally and nationally recognized leader in the field of mental health care for children and their families. Their services reach beyond the boards of the ranch campus. The Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch is embedded not only in the Billings schools and community but also in communities throughout the state, providing a host of programs to serve youth and their families as they navigate mental health conditions.
The ranch itself is home to up to 80 boys and girls at a time. The youth live in lodges that are staffed 24 hours a day by highly trained, caring individuals. Youth participate in the ranch’s year-round school, Yellowstone Academy, where they receive a therapeutic based, accredited education, and can take part in credit recovery to graduate on time. They are also provided individual, family, and group therapy sessions as well as chemical dependency, art therapy, recreation therapy, animal assisted therapies, spiritual, and experiential activities-based therapies.
The Yellowstone Academy is a K-8 public school and private high school that not only serves the youth living at the ranch during their stay, but also youth from Billings and surrounding communities where a traditional education system is not the right fit. Class sizes are small and promote an exploratory- based approach to education to foster creativity, self-awareness, interpersonal relationships, and inspire a lifelong passion for learning.
Community Based Services is active in communities and school districts throughout the state and provides a host of services to youth and their families:
- Youth Case Managers help families access needed services for their child’s mental health needs.
- School Based Services help to keep kids in a traditional academic setting by providing therapy and behavior interventions in the school.
- Home Support Services focuses on strengthening families and keeping youth in their homes and successful in school and the community.
- Therapeutic Youth Mentors provide one-on-one time, guidance, behavioral treatment, and activities to assist youth in developing social skills and emotional regulation.
- Therapeutic Foster Care provides placement for youth in the foster care system that are struggling with behavioral, emotional, and mental health issues. The program also provides additional support and guidance for families as they care for the youth in their home.
- Outpatient Therapy services is in-person therapy, in a confidential home or community setting, to assist youth in improving social, emotional, and behavioral wellbeing.
- Psychological Testing provides information regarding a youths cognitive, personality, and behavioral functioning. It improves the understand of a youths needs and select the appropriate interventions.
- Chemical Dependency is an integral part of treating youth with substance use issues both in the community and residential setting. They also work with youth on substance use prevention.
The Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch is an asset to Montana, providing extensive resources to youth and their families to support them while navigating emotional, mental, and behavioral issues. The staff exemplifies their mission: Caring People Preparing Youth for Life.
For more information about the Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch visit www.ybgr.org. The ranch is a non-profit, to donate and support their mission please visit the Yellowstone Foundation at www.yellowstonefoundation.org.