This designation was given by NATSAP, the National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs, after years of data gathering and other requirements were met.
“We made an application for it, one of many programs,” said John Nielsen, therapist and research supervisor at Heritage School. “Probably a small percentage of applicants were awarded the designation. Heritage has been pretty active in encouraging research and data collections for the last five years.”
John said this collection involves research and outcome, building a database for outcomes generated treatment.
“So treatment actually has some science behind it,” he said. In 2007-09 the NATSAP organization began to set the wheels in motion to gather data using the YOQ (Youth outcome questionnaire).”
He said Heritage became interested in using the YOQ as a tool to measure growth and progress during treatment, rather than only administering it during the admissions and discharge processes.
“Heritage began administering the YOQ on a monthly basis in 2010,” John explained, “so we’ve have lots of time to gather data. Being awarded the designation was an honor but it wasn’t a surprise as we’ve been one of the primary contributors to YOQ data in the NATSAP organization.”
Heritage applied for the designation in March and received it in July.
“It’s a nice recognition,” John said. “Only a handful of organizations have received it. It shows we are a responsible organization interested in outcome driven research, science that can validate our outcomes so that when we present information it has some scientific validity to it, not just supposing or guessing.”
In addition to YOQ data Heritage partnered with Brigham Young University’s psychology department on other research projects with YOQ and other TSMs (treatment support measures).
“Since 2011 we have been measuring reliability and validity for them on the TSM in a residential setting,” he said. “This partnership will continue. We’ve finished the first phase of the study and have other phases to partner with them regarding clinical predictability.”