The AMIkids Day Treatment Program is an intervention for 10- to 17-year-old at-risk youths, which is designed to target and reduce the risk factors that sustain delinquent behavior and academic failure, to reduce recidivism from incarceration, to improve program completion rates, and to promote academic achievement. The program serves youths who have experienced family issues, are struggling in school and are at risk of dropping out, have demonstrated behavior that could lead to offenses, or have been adjudicated delinquent by the court for misdemeanors and lesser felonies and attend the day treatment program in lieu of incarceration. In this way, the youths can reside at home and attend the program daily. Day treatment programs are co-ed, serving both boys and girls and typically last from 4 to 6 months. Staff are able to address issues in both the home and in the students' neighborhoods by working with the kids and family together.
According to the study that was used to evaluate this program, the program is delivered Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm, and usually on the weekends, in community-based experiential learning environments. During the 4-to 6-month implementation period, youths participate in skill-building and vocational treatment services.
The program is based on the Personal Growth Model, which is an approach to treatment that integrates education, challenge experiences, cognitive–behavioral therapy, strengths-based case management, behavior modification, family partnership, problem-solving and social skills development, and community service.
Students who participate in the AMIKids Day Treatment Program are referred through juvenile justice agencies or school districts. Following an initial assessment of the unique risk and needs of the youth participants who need a higher level of care and supervision than traditional probation supervision, treatment plans are developed that incorporate a combination of education, behavior modification, and treatment. Throughout implementation, providers employ such techniques as motivational interviewing; instruction in problem-solving skills, life skills, and social skills; role playing and modeling; and relapse prevention strategies.
Vocational education is an additional component of the program; training and certification is provided in such industries as construction, food service, welding, healthcare, and information technology.