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Turn-About Ranch

Residential Treatment Center

Turn-About Ranch Program Information

Gender: Coeducational
Ages: 13 to 17
Grades: n/a
Estimated Enrollment: 51
Length of Stay:
Program was founded in: 1989
Accreditations: Affiliations:

Turn-About Ranch Contact Information

PO Box 345
Escalante, UT 84726
Phone: (800) 842-1165
Fax: (435) 826-4261
School Contact: Drew Fosse
Alternative Contact: Luke Hatch, M.S.W., L.C.S.W.
Therapy Provided?: Yes

Program Description:

Turn-About Ranch - Residential Treatment for Teens on a Working Ranch

Real Ranch. Real Values. Real Change.
Few images capture the imagination more strongly than that of the American Cowboy - this powerful icon of the American West captivates and inspires teens who have become jaded and hostile toward authority. The Ranch setting takes defiant teens out of their comfort zone and reminds them that success is achieved through teamwork and cooperation, not through entitlement and manipulation. They learn that while they might feel entitled to get what they want, when they want it, in the real world rewards come through dedication and hard work.

Turn-About Ranch differs from typical residential treatment centers for troubled teens because it values action – not just talk. During their time at the Ranch, students don’t only go to school and participate in therapy; they also take an active role in the daily running of a working ranch. They feed the chickens at dawn and bring in the cows before dusk – real-life experiences that enhance the therapeutic process by putting behavioral changes in action, which is much more effective than just talking about doing things differently.

At Turn-About Ranch, once-troubled teens discover the great rewards of working within a family, developing trust toward one another, and earning respect. Real change happens on this historic horse and cow ranch as young people learn the value of a day’s work, experience the power of working in cooperation with others, and develop stronger senses of accountability, respect, and compassion.

We talk a lot about values at Turn-About Ranch. Real values are something teens often forget or ignore as they get caught up in popularity contests, the desire to get the latest gadgets, and the hunger to appear "cool” in the eyes of their peers.

We are a Christian-based boarding school program. We teach traditional ethics and morals and remind troubled teens how important the values of honesty, respect, teamwork, and accountability are to their success.

Realizing that a once-a-week session with a professional counselor is not always an effective intervention method, Turn-About Ranch employs a team approach that features daily therapy sessions.

Our clinical team consists of master’s level (and above) therapists who are either licensed or in the process of obtaining a license in clinical social work, marriage and family therapy, or professional counseling. In addition to planning the treatment and charting the progress of each student, these experienced and dedicated individuals are responsible for conducting individual, group, and family therapy sessions; maintaining contact with parents on a weekly basis; and conducting mid-term and graduation visits with families.

All other staff members are trained and experienced in the most effective techniques for supporting the clinical team, and regular communication ensures that our students are provided with the optimum environment in which to work toward their goals on a daily basis.

Throughout the entire program at Turn-About Ranch, changes are not just talked about – they are put into practice to create lasting benefits.
Turn-About Ranch’s academic program consists of a fully functioning high school and middle school, which are accredited through the Northwest Association of Accredited Schools.

The program offers credit in the following subject areas:

Science: Earth Science, Biology, Chemistry
English: English 7- 2, Literature, Creative Writing
Social Studies: U.S. History I & II, World History I & II, World Geography, U.S. Government, Economics, Psychology, Sociology
Math: Basic Math, Pre-Algebra, Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry
Physical Education: Credit is earned through participation in the Horsemanship Program, hikes, and team sports.

Turn-About Ranch's unique environment allows the students to reach their full potential by using a wide variety of learning techniques. For example, class lessons will incorporate visual learning, audio learning, interpersonal relationships, and the natural environment. This approach encourages students to broaden their learning capabilities and discover new skills.

The educational program at Turn-About Ranch is individualized for each student, and integrates real-life experiences into the curriculum. Also, many different aspects of the ranch and the surrounding environment are incorporated to create a learning experience that is stimulating through hands-on learning and practical application. For example, the environment is incorporated by visiting sites of geological interest, analyzing the water in nearby Pine Creek, studying the area’s cryptobiotic soil, taking a field trip to fossil sites of dinosaurs, or creating an oral history of Escalante by interviewing some of its residents. This serves the dual purpose of getting students interested in their environments and creating an excitement about learning.

To ensure that the specific needs of each student are met, our academic director creates an Individualized Academic Plan (IAP) from information gathered from the student, parents, and the sending school.

If a student needs a particular class that is not offered in-house, there are distance learning courses available for the additional cost of the course.

The horsemanship program goes beyond equine-assisted therapy and teaches real life skills taught by real horsemanship experts using practical application.

Each student is assigned a horse to take care of and work with. They start by learning the basics of the anatomy of the horse, safety, and care for their new 1,200-pound partner; then they move on to developing riding skills both in the arena and out on the trail. Finally, they are skilled enough to actually go out and work with the cattle. There is no greater feeling than what a student experiences at the end of a long hard day of being on the back of one of these magnificent creatures, and knowing that he and his horse worked well together and contributed something to the ranch.

The horsemanship program helps students learn the value of patience and the need to be focused, connected, and committed. They learn about relationships; how their thoughts, feelings, and actions affect others close to them; and that they need to set aside their personal frustrations so their negative attitude doesn't contaminate their environment. Working with a horse strengthens communication skills, decision-making abilities, and judgment skills. It helps the students develop and increase self-awareness and leadership while learning that they need to be responsible for themselves and others.

All of the skills that are acquired in the horsemanship program can be applied to developing healthier relationships and making positive contributions to one’s family, church, school, and community.

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