Frequently Asked Q's & A's

When was Davis-Stuart founded?

      Davis-Stuart School, Inc. (the original name) began when George N. Davis and his wife, Mary Estelle Kinports Davis donated their 574 acre farm near Lewisburg, WV to the Synod of West Virginia, now part of the Synod of the Trinity, Presbyterian Church USA to serve as a home for orphaned and dependent children. The home was chartered in 1919 to a board of directors in memory of Mr. Davis’ father and mother, Col. James Ward Davis and Margaret Lynn Stuart Davis, hence the name "Davis-Stuart."

Is Davis-Stuart still an orphanage?

     No. While it is true that some of our residents have no families or circumstances prevent them from returning to their homes; Davis-Stuart is a residential treatment facility serving youth ages 12-18 that are in WV State’s custody.

How did Davis-Stuart evolve from orphanage to residential care?

      Davis-Stuart’s existence has always been based upon the level of need for the youth of West Virginia. The need in the early 1900’s was for a home for orphaned or dependent children. The original program was designed to provide an environment in which children could learn values, habits, manners, and vocational skills. The girls were taught homemaking techniques and the boys participated in the daily operation of the farm. The children also participated in school, recreational activities, and worship services. In the 60’s the Board of Directors restricted the age of children served to over 12 years of age. By the 70’s the number of children in each of the six campus cottages was limited to eight and the licensed capacity established at forty-four residents. During this time, the program expanded and became more and more specialized in its focus with the addition of staff specializing in education, work training, family services, and the utilization of positive peer culture problem solving groups to teach the residents how to communicate and assist each other. By the 90’s a full treatment program had been developed and initiated that provided for both the resident’s basic and therapeutic needs. In 2007 Davis-Stuart, Inc. was fully accredited as a residential treatment facility by the Council on Accreditation, the nations leading accrediting body for child welfare agencies.

When were the Group Homes initiated?

      From 1970-1972 the first three group homes were initiated in the communities of Beckley, Bluefield and Princeton, WV. The Alicia McCormick House in Maxwelton, WV was initiated in 2000.

Is Davis-Stuart governed by the Presbyterian Church?

      No. Davis-Stuart is a validated ministry of the Synod of the Trinity, Presbyterian Church, USA; however, it is operated as a private, non-profit agency governed by an independent Board of Directors.

How many residents can Davis-Stuart serve at any given time?

     Davis-Stuart is licensed for 44 residents at our Lewisburg campus and 6 residents at each of the group homes for a total occupancy of 68 residents at any given time, which equals approximately 140 youth per year.

Why do youth come to Davis-Stuart in need of services?

      All too often, our residents have been victims of abuse and/or neglect. Others may have had court involvement or truancy issues. Nonetheless, the youth has either been court order removed from the home, or parental rights have been voluntarily relinquished by the parent on a temporary basis in order for the youth to receive treatment services out of the home.

Does Davis-Stuart accept private referrals and/or pay?

     No. To be considered for placement, the resident must be in WV State’s custody. If you are a parent or guardian who believes your child is in need of residential treatment, contact your Department of Health and Human Resources and speak with a youth services worker for placement options.

How long do the residents stay at Davis-Stuart?

      A typical length of stay for our Level II Main Campus program is 6-9 months with the primary goal being family reunification when possible. The Level I Group Homes tend to have a longer length of stay due to a large percentage of these residents not having viable discharge options. The primary goal is to assist the resident with achieving a level of education and skills sufficient for independent living.

Do you care for both girls and boys? Where do the residents live?

     Davis-Stuart’s Main Campus is co-ed. We currently have five cottages where the residents live. Of these, three are for male residents and two are for female residents. Our group homes are also divided with two serving male residents and the remaining two designated for female residents. This is subject to change at any time depending on the population in need of services.

Is Davis-Stuart a juvenile delinquent or detention center?

      No. There is a definitive difference between a detention and residential treatment program. Our Level I Group Homes and Level II treatment program are not defined as lock-down facilities, nor are we equipped to deal with violent offenders with a history of criminal behavior, fire setters or sexual predators.

Do the residents have contact with their families while in treatment?

     If the resident’s goal is to be reunited with the family, the resident and family will have regular home visits and family therapy sessions. The family will be allowed contact, as is defined by the DHHR worker assigned to the case. This often includes phone calls, day visits and mail. The family will also be notified of and encourage to attend all treatment team meetings. When parental rights have been terminated by the court, residents are not permitted contact with their biological parent(s) for the safety and well-being of the resident. Other family members identified by the DHHR worker as an approved contact will be permitted the types of contact specified with the resident.

What are the primary differences between services provided at the Level I Group Homes and Level II Main Campus?

     The Level II Main Campus serves youth in need of more intensive therapeutic services. These residents tend to have more significant behavioral difficulties, problems in school, require greater supervision and monitoring by professional staff. All individual, supportive, group and family therapy are provided by Davis-Stuart staff. The residents live and receive all services, with the exception of emergency and specialty medical services, on campus. Davis-Stuart employs highly skilled nursing staff and contracts with a psychiatrist to monitor the residents’ mental health needs.

     The Level I Group Homes are primarily for residents in need of step-down (or less restrictive) care prior to family reunification, do not have family reunification plans, or need a stable environment in which to live until they reach an age of independence or complete their education. Staff assists the residents in learning valuable life and coping skills and sees that all basic needs are met. All therapeutic and medical services are community based. The residents are capable of attending public school or working toward their GED, are often employed within the community, and exhibit fewer behavioral problems.

How are the educational needs of the youth met while in placement?

     There is a school on-campus! The WV Department of Education alternative learning center occupies Robinson and Childress Cottages where they provide certified teaching staff and serve all residents admitted to the main campus. Each resident must complete Levels 1-4 of the on-grounds school before being evaluated for public school eligibility. Once deemed public school eligible, the resident is transferred to the appropriate grade level at either Eastern Greenbrier Middle School or Greenbrier East High School. Public School Liaisons are in place to ensure that the resident has all of the tools to make his/her public school experience a success. It is recommended that a resident successfully complete a minimum of 9 weeks public school before being discharged from the program. Group Home residents attend public school.

How are the spiritual needs of the residents met while in placement?

     Davis-Stuart offers a voluntary Chaplaincy program conducted on a weekly basis to provide for the residents spiritual growth and nourishment. A typical service includes praise and worship songs, a scripture lesson and group discussion, a time for prayer requests, moment of reflection and prayer. Special services and events are also planned for the residents, featuring guest speakers and musical performances. Bibles are distributed as a special gift to each new resident willing to accept God’s word. These are theirs to keep, regardless of their length of stay or participation in the Chaplaincy program.

How is Davis-Stuart funded?

     Davis-Stuart, Inc. is funded by a contractual relation- ship with the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources Bureau of Children and Families and West Virginia Medicaid. In addition, Davis-Stuart relies on the benevolence of individuals, foundations, community groups, and the Presbyterian Church, USA and its members.

What services cannot be funded by state/federal dollars?

     Many of our services and families cannot be maintained solely upon revenue received from contracted services. Therefore, we rely on private giving to continue service provision such as our spiritual life program, i.e. chaplaincy, family services, and after care services such as college and vocational training.

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