The Program

Sunny Crest Youth Ranch (SCYR) is a non-secure Residential Treatment Program that admits males ages 10-17 that need out of home care due to Abuse/Neglect issues or who are under jurisdiction of court. Youth live in a home environment supervised by staff 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (Ratio is 5 youth to one staff). Currently, SCYR is licensed by the State of Michigan, Division of Child Welfare Licensing for 30 beds. Length of stay for a youth could be anywhere from 6 months to 1 year. However, youth are allowed to stay at Sunny Crest Youth Ranch until all therapeutic needs are met and can continue to serve youth up to their 21st birthday through Young Adult Voluntary Foster Care. 

Individual, group and family counseling which is rooted in Cognitive-Behavior Therapy with emphasis on Social Learning and Rational-Behavior Therapy is utilized. Psychiatric and medical services are also coordinated for youth placed in care.

SCYR utilizes a line staff model in the supervision and implementation of their programming. Staff are trained and emphasis placed on the therapeutic relationship as a means to build trust and ultimately change. The Relationships that staff build allow them to utilize their skills to teach  basic values, daily life skills, social skills, and virtues as well as helping youth with developing problem solving skills. 

An educational program is offered through the local school district (Lakewood Public Schools). If a youth needs special requirements SCYR collaborates with Lakewood Public Schools to meet their individual needs. In addition, Daily study groups and tutoring are available through our educational programming. 



Vocational Development Programs

Vocational Development offers the youth the opportunity to experience a multitude of work activities in order to develop a sense of personal responsibility and pride in his effort. The activities help teach the youth patience, planning, work ethic, teamwork, and valuing the outcome of effort. Success in small projects like raising a 4-H animal for the fair, building a birdhouse or selling produce raised in the organic garden nurtures confidence by giving the youth a taste of the satisfaction that comes from work well done. Other activities such as wood shop, metal shop, welding or driving a tractor may also be offered to provide exposure to a wide range of experiences.

Animal/Horsemanship Programming

Animal Assisted Programing is one of the cornerstones of the SCYR program.  When each Rancher moves in, it is determined which program is best suited for him.  The program is carefully selected from the beginning to the end of his stay at SCYR. Each Rancher will learn the proper care, feeding and handling of his animal. This experience provides a safe opportunity for the Rancher to gain compassion, gentleness and respect for animals, other people and themselves.

Using a variety of animals, large and small, Animal Assisted Programming enables a boy to enjoy the healing magic of giving and receiving unconditional acceptance and love. He will also learn that living creatures, whether animals or people, respond positively to a human touch.

The Sunny Crest Youth Ranch Academics