Shelterwood Executive Director appointed as NATSAP Best Practices Chairperson

All of us at Shelterwood are committed to serving our students with excellence. The latest in our ongoing dedication is the appointment of Shelterwood Executive Program Director, Rujon Morrison, as Chairperson of the NATSAP Best Practices Committee. The committee reviews NATSAP Best Practice Guidelines for continuing relevance and handles concerns about programs, plus makes recommendations to the NATSAP Board. In this national leadership role, Rujon leads her team in guiding fellow member organizations towards exceptional service for teens and their families.

NATSAP, the National Association for Therapeutic Schools and Programs, is a national resource for programs and professionals assisting young people, teens and young adults. From residential treatment and wilderness therapy to long-term and transitional care, NATSAP organizations share a dedication to serving children, teens or young adults. NATSAP is governed by an elected volunteer board of NATSAP members.

Rujon 683x1024 Shelterwood Executive Director appointed as NATSAP Best Practices Chairperson

After serving on NATSAP’s Best Practices committee for two years, Rujon was tapped to become the committee Chairperson. “Receiving an appointment of this nature is exciting.  It is an honor to serve NATSAP in this way,” Rujon says. “I love our involvement with NATSAP — the challenges, the conversations and the growth that can happen through it all. I am humbled to be the Chairperson of the Best Practices Committee.”

As Chairperson, Rujon leads the committee, facilitates meetings, communicates with members and is a liaison to the greater NATSAP board. Her committee also serves as a consulting group when a NATSAP member may need advising on ethical practices and principles. “Having served on the committee, I was very excited about this new role because it is a way to stay sharp and stay on top of the best practices in our industry,” Rujon continues. “Best practices will always be a relevant and excellent topic.”

This appointment is meaningful for Shelterwood holistically as well. “This is a tremendous opportunity for Shelterwood,” she says. “In addition to taking on an even higher level of involvement, we are being recognized by NATSAP as a program doing cutting-edge things and really serving our teens well.”

Rujon’s appointment as Chairperson is only the latest in our ongoing commitment to exceptional work at Shelterwood. “Excellence is vital to our work here, and best practices create that important structure,” she says. “Best practices are not static, they are dynamic. We need to always be proactive in our pursuit of excellence.”

Shelterwood receives the NATSAP Gold Seal Award

Everyone on the Shelterwood team is committed to serving our students with excellence. That’s why we’re especially humbled and thankful to receive the NATSAP Gold Seal Award For Evidence-Based Outcomes. This designation is just the latest in our ongoing commitment to measure our success.

As one of the first recipients of this award, this designation demonstrates the positive outcomes taking place every day at Shelterwood, says Rujon Morrison, Program Director. “The bottom line is, what we’re doing here at Shelterwood is working, and the Gold Seal Award says we have the evidence to prove it.”

DSC 3214 Shelterwood receives the NATSAP Gold Seal Award

NATSAP, the National Association for Therapeutic Schools and Programs, was founded in 1999 as a national resource for programs and professionals assisting young people. From residential and wilderness programs to long-term care and transitional living, all NATSAP organizations are dedicated to serving children, adolescents or young adults.

One of NATSAP’s key endeavors is helping their member organizations conduct outcome studies. From this effort comes the Gold Seal program. To receive this designation, a minimum of 70% of Shelterwood students and parents must participate in and complete the outcome study on an annual basis. 

The outcome study provides important scientific evidence to back up the Shelterwood program, Rujon adds. “It’s so important for us to know what we’re doing well and where our opportunities for growth are. We take what we’re doing here seriously, and there’s nothing quite like hard data to support our efforts.”

%name Shelterwood receives the NATSAP Gold Seal Award

Also driving the study is Stacy DeVries, our Shelterwood Research Coordinator. Having worked for our ministry for more than 17 years, Stacey is committed to seeing and tracking student progress. Furthermore, her efforts help our therapy team track clients and interpret the results of these important surveys.

At Shelterwood, we’re gathering data from parents and students several times along the way: within a week of enrollment, upon departure, six months after discharge and then a year after discharge. These parameters mean we’re gathering long-term data, and we’re seeing restoration and transformation that lasts long after a student’s departure from Shelterwood.

“We’re very proud of this award,” Rujon says. “The Gold Seal demonstrates that the Shelterwood program has evidence-based treatment that creates reliable change. The outcome study provides that important scientific evidence that promotes what we’re doing here.”