The Recreation Therapy (RT) program at Copper Hills Youth Center was presented the “Outstanding Program Award” by the Utah Recreation Therapy Association (URTA) on Friday February 22 at the URTA Annual Conference. This award is highly honored in the field of RT and is given to programs that provide exceptional RT services including an impressive level of professionalism and quality of work.
The RT program at Copper Hills Youth Center was recognized for being founded on solid research, theory and models, utilizing true evidence-based practice and following a clinical process in providing RT services. They were also recognized for having a team of Recreational Therapists who are highly competent, professional, who value continuing education and are active members of the overall treatment team.
Any program would feel proud to receive this award, however for Copper Hills Youth Center is also signifies the progress they have made in revamping the RT program. The program use to be viewed as inadequate and was primarily focused on providing diversional activities, arts and crafts and P.E.; all of which are not RT services. In-fact the University of Utah viewed the program as being so poor that they would no longer allow RT students to do internships at CHYC. In December 2010 with a new Director of the dept. the RT program has been focused on changing the RT program from the ground up and step by step they are now viewed as an “Outstanding Program” and have set the standard for other RT programs to follow. Additionally, they have a competitive internship program in which the University of Utah now refers their top RT students.
The RT program at Copper Hills Youth Center follows The Leisure and Well-being Model and The Resiliency Theory. Therefore RT services are geared towards enhancing lifetime resources, positive leisure experiences, and the seven resiliency characteristics: insight, independence, creativity, humor, initiative, relationships, and values orientation.
The RT program follows a clinical process involving assessments, individualized goals, ongoing evaluations, and discharge planning. All Recreational Therapists are licensed in the state of Utah and are nationally certified by the National Council of Therapeutic Recreation Certification.