Working together to protect, enrich, and give hope

Gateway Longview Rolls Out Professional Certification for Direct Care Workforce

Mark Williams, Kristin Rivera, Dr. Keith McGriff, and Stacey Dunmire will be certified to train staff in the RCYCP model later this month.

Staff members Mark Williams, Kristin Rivera, Dr. Keith McGriff, and Stacey Dunmire (l-r) will lead instruction of the RCYCP model to Gateway’s direct care staff.

Gateway Longview Rolls Out Professional Certification for
Direct Care Workforce Supporting Youth Services

Agency is first in New York State to offer nationally recognized
Residential Child & Youth Care Professional credentialing

Williamsville, NY – Gateway Longview recently announced the investment in a national training program for direct care staff working with youth on the agency’s Main Street campus. Credentialing, which will be offered to employees in residential treatment services, provides a nationally recognized professional certification that will stay with them permanently throughout their career. Gateway Longview is the first and only agency in New York State to offer this training and certification as part of employment within the field.

Working through the National Resource Center for Youth Services, a division of the University of Oklahoma, the Residential Child & Youth Care Professional Certification (RCYCP) is a comprehensive credential to standardize services provided by youth care workers across the country. The competency-based curriculum is comprised of four modules: developing a culture of care, understanding child development, building relationships, and teaching discipline.

The program’s philosophy centers on the idea that direct care staff have the most interaction, and therefore the greatest ability to impact youth in care. As such, employees should be equipped with a professional knowledge-base which supports strength-based approaches, positive communication techniques, and methods to advocate for youth, amongst other topics.

“Our direct care staff are at the forefront of our mission to protect, to enrich lives and to give hope when it’s needed most,” said Dr. Keith McGriff, Gateway Longview’s Vice President of Residential Treatment Services. “Many times, people enter this field with the passion to make a difference. We have the opportunity to foster professional success by providing focused training and valuable resources. By supporting our workforce, we ultimately enable the highest level of services for all youth entrusted to our care.”

Instruction, which is currently led by the Agency’s Training Specialist and Vice President of Residential Treatment Services, is being rolled out to an initial class of 10 direct care staff. By month’s end, the Clinical Director of Residential Treatment Services and a veteran department manager will also be certified by the National Resource Center for Youth Services to teach the RCYCP curriculum.

Certification will ultimately be made available to all direct care staff. Invitation to participate will be based on level of employment commitment, including length of stay and positive performance reviews. The certification process includes 42 hours of focused instruction and assistance in preparing for the National Resource Center for Youth Services standardized test. Cost associated with instruction, testing and certification is fully covered upon successful completion.

As a result of the enhanced training and certification, Gateway Longview’s direct care staff in Residential Treatment Services will now hold the title of Youth Care Professional (formerly Residential Counselors). The agency looks forward to incorporating the concepts integral to the program into all aspects of care supporting youth.