ACYFS is designed to serve males and females between the ages of seven and seventeen. They typically have a long history of psychiatric disorder, poor interpersonal relationships and behavioral acting out. When situations of divorce, death, abuse, social difficulties, academic struggles, adoption issues and unhealthy coping mechanisms (lying, selfishness, manipulation, entitlement, depression, lack of motivation, disrespect for authority, confusion) are present.
It is likely that the majority of our residents have a significant historical track record of being committed to or confined to institutional settings ranging within all levels of care, i.e., foster homes to state hospitals. Hence, it is easy to see how these past experiences create institutionalization, defined as an emotional deficiency disease. This also teaches a socially aberrant way of life.