Agape
(pronounced ah-GAH-peh)
a greek word meaning a 'special kind of love'

Agape Inn is a long term and respite program designed to provide nurturing care, therapeutic programming, and social, recreational and learning experiences for children with developmental disabilities, autism and other behavioral and emotional problems.

The Agape Inn facilities include handicapped accessible residences, an activity building, swimming pool, basketball court, nature trails, picnic areas, indoor and outdoor craft areas, and playground, set on five acres of attractively landscaped and wooded property.

Established in 1987, the mission of Agape Inn is to provide each individual, regardless of ability, with a respectful, safe, nurturing and supportive environment, designed to create positive change towards the acquisition of new skills, to foster relationships and promote personal independence.

A program of James F. Farr Academy, Inc. in Cambridge, Agape Inn is a 501(c)(3) non profit organization. We welcome anyone who wants to learn more about our children and/or our programs.

 

SERVICES PROVIDED AT AGAPE INN

As a community residence, Agape Inn offers a home-like environment where residents are provided a structured learning and living experience through instruction in daily living skills, vocational, and recreational activities. Specific services include:

Medical
Agape Inn has on-site medical staff who provide oversight of the residents’ daily health needs. Nurses coordinate community based routine medical services and specialty evaluations. Parents or guardians shall have the right to maintain and arrange for services provided by the physician and/or dentist of their choice.

Clinical
Counseling, therapy, and psychiatric services may be arranged in the community, as needed. The program has access to community-based clinical resources for individual and group therapy, expressive therapy, and family/parent support services in addition to in-house clinical services including individual, group, and family therapy. The focus is on supporting the resident and family during the stay in the program and on assisting in a smooth and orderly transition to the community or other group care setting upon completion of the program.

Family Work
One of the goals of Agape Inn is that each resident will eventually be returning to his/her home, if appropriate, or to a semi-independent living situation. In order for this to occur, the parents/guardians are expected to participate in the process of transition developed by Agape Inn. Provision of counseling services is the responsibility of the referring placement agency. The nature and scope of services will be outlined in the Individual Service Plan. To read our Plan for Family Work click here.

Education
Although some residents may remain in their present school placement, Agape Inn works closely with several public, private, and collaborative school programs. All are available as day school placements to residents of Agape Inn. It is the intention of Agape Inn to work with school systems and agencies to assure the most appropriate educational and/or vocational setting for each resident.

Transportation
Transportation to attend counseling, medical, dental visits and program activities will be provided by Agape Inn. Children will use seat belts and be supervised at all times. Permission forms for in- and out-of-state travel must be signed.

Recreation
A variety of leisure and recreational activities are offered both on-site and in the community. All activity planning includes input from staff and residents and is supervised by the Activities Coordinator. There is a structured schedule for weekly activities which includes a wide range of gross motor, fine motor, sensory integration, and skill building activities which relate to the residents’ ISP goals. For example, arts and crafts, cooking, sports, Boy and Girl Scouts, nature walks, various seasonal activities, including supervised swimming in the Agape Inn pool.

ADL (Activities for Daily Living)
Independent living skills are taught daily. Each child has a plan which addresses his/her unique needs to further the ability to acquire skills required for independent living. In addition, there are structured group activities including a girls’ “Beauty Night” and “Boys’ Group” weekly.

Communication
For residents with limited communication skills, staff utilizes PEC (Picture Exchange Communications) which provides the child with an alternative method of communicating.

Collaboration with Placement Agency
Agape Inn will maintain regular contact with social workers via telephone, e-mail, Incident Reports, and written quarterly progress reports. The placement agency will be notified of planning meetings and quarterly reviews.

Transition Planning
For planned terminations, predictability and communication are essential. Meetings between Agape Inn and the placement agency will be scheduled on an ongoing basis to discuss appropriate “next steps” as the resident makes progress in his/her placement with us.

Population Served
Agape Inn is licensed to admit children from 0-21. We serve children with a wide range of needs including autism spectrum disorder diagnoses, expressive communication issues, medical conditions requiring supervision, emotional disturbance, and histories of acting-out. The program does not accept children with a history of firesetting. We will respond to referral inquiries within three days with an initial indication of appropriateness of the referral, and our standard intake takes about two weeks to complete.

 

RECREATIONAL SERVICES
The recreation program is overseen by a full time staff member. She is responsible for all aspects of arranging offsite activities and maintaining onsite supplies. She assigns the staff member that will provide transportation in a program van and facilitate the offsite recreation opportunity. Case managers are responsible for identifying a resident’s interest areas and sharing them with the recreation manager, who will attempt to match a weekly off site activity to the resident’s interest. While all residents are strongly encouraged to participate in on and off grounds activities, participation is voluntary. Activities that are inherently dangerous, such as sky diving, will not be approved. Activities that are developmentally inappropriate will not be approved, this determination will be made by the Program Director, with input from the resident’s case manager.

Onsite Activities include: Examples of Offsite Activities:
  Basketball
Soccer
Bocce Ball
Bike riding
Swing set
Nature walks
Arts and crafts
Coloring
Gardening
Baking/cooking
Puzzles
Board games
Reading
Black History month celebration
Dance instruction
 

Hiking
Dining out
Museum attendance
Movies
Boy scouts
YMCA
Swimming
Picnicking
Singing lessons
Dance lessons
Library
Wood working
Sailing
Horseback riding

 

PLAN FOR FAMILY WORK
*Note: Family Work section applies to cases where DCF (Department of Children and Families) allows residents contact with their families. In some cases, contact between a resident and their family is restricted, if not completely prohibited.

During the initial referral contact, needs of the family are described by the referring person or agency, typically the Department of Children and Families. During the intake process, parents are invited to visit Agape Inn with the child. During this visit, child and family needs are discussed and assessed. At this time and during the first 30 days of placement, the child is observed and assessed.

Parents of children in the residential program are expected to participate in the program to the greatest level possible. Visitation on a regular basis and an active role in seasonal activities of the program is offered.

For the children in long term residential care, contact with families is maintained by phone calls, meetings, and invitations to family members to share in various activities and field trips (e.g. parties, circus, and museum trips). In cases where parents are not actively involved, for any or many reasons, Agape Inn, with the cooperation of the referring agency, will attempt to maintain sibling contact through visitation here at Agape Inn or in a neutral setting, whichever is most beneficial to the children. Parents are also invited to participate in our training program to learn techniques of working with their children and to develop a better understanding of the various medical conditions and/or other disabilities. The nature and scope of services will be outlined in the Individual Service Plan.

Prior to admission, parents are given an organizational chart. In addition, parents are informed of the assigned case manager and means of contacting him/her. An information packet is provided which describes the program, services and related policies and procedures. The designated staff person is expected to establish a professional relationship and maintain regular contact for the purpose of:

Obtaining parental consents
Providing crisis intervention/assessment, if necessary
Assist the family to adjust with the resident placement and separation
Provide overview of behavior management and restraint procedures and if requested a copy of the restraint curricula
Develop a visiting plan
Providing updates and progress reports
Assist families to participate in planning for the child’s return home or to another community setting

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