Vocational Certification

Jackson-Feild offers a beneficial educational component of our Gwaltney School. Vocational training and certification is offered to our boys and girls who wish to prepare for a career which can be utilized when returning to their community. Residents who participate in vocational training and gain experience and certification have the opportunity to secure work which pays a higher rate of pay than minimum wage, a beginning to a career with which additional education can become an advanced degree and opportunity for a life where they can be self-sufficient.

National Restaurant Association ServSafe Certification

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Jackson-Feild offers vocational training to meet the requirements to become certified by the National Restaurant Association (NRA) in the ServSafe program. Certification by the NRA gives the student an advantage over other potential employee candidates who have had no training in the food industry. Students may choose to specialize in Pastry and Cake Decorating or in the area of restaurant food prep and future management.


Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services provides treatment for boys and girls, age 11 to 17, in our Adolescent Psychiatric Residential Treatment Program and Addiction and Recovery Treatment Services.   Our residents have experienced significant trauma, mental illness and behavioral issues in their lives.  

  If you are interested in additional information or to refer a child for admission to our programs, please contact our Admissions Coordinator at (434) 634-3217 Extension 3027 or (434) 637-0995.  FAX may be sent to 1 877  991-8711.  You may also contact our Admissions Department at admissions@jacksonfeild.org.  

Addiction and Recovery Treatment Program

Adolescent and young adults referred to Jackson-Feild’s Addiction and Recovery Treatment program have not been able to function in the community even with the external structure and extensive treatment services. Males and females ages 11 to 17 receive treatment in a 24 hour supervised environment. Admissions of children 18 to 21 is acceptable if the residents are placed by a local department of social services, are court ordered, or are referred by a Family Assessment and Planning Team. In the case of a direct parental placement with no public agency involvement, individual approval must be received by the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services prior to accepting residents 18 and over.

A Team of Addiction Professionals and Medical Services

Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services staffs licensed and credentialed addiction professionals to help facilitate healing and recovery. Each resident and their family become a part of a multi-disciplinary treatment team of addiction counselors, physicians, LCSW’s LPC’s and credentialed Mental Health Professionals to ensure that residents receive appropriate care. There is a knowledgeable addiction counselor available on site or by phone 24 hours a day. Jackson-Feild provides daily clinical services that help residents improve their tasks of daily living and facilitate recovery. Residents participate in clinically directed program activities to help stabilize and manage substance use symptomatology and help them apply their recovery skills.

Substance Use Assessment and Evaluation

Certified Substance Abuse Counselors administer the Practical Adolescent Dual Diagnostic Interview (PADDI) with the resident. The PADDI is included as part of the holistic, comprehensive assessment which is designed to uncover co-occurring psychiatric and substance use disorders.

Target Population

Adolescents and young adults appropriately referred to JFBHS’ Addiction and Recovery  program have not been able to function in the community even with external structure and extensive treatment services. 

 The following are examples of characteristics that can be related to residents who may be appropriate to refer for services:

  • Unstable interpersonal relationships
  • Unstable moods
  • Alcohol and/or other substance abuse
  • Delayed emotional and mental development
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety/panic attacks
  • Intense anger that is difficult to control
  • Poor impulse control
  • Psychosocial immaturity
  • Unstable self-image (identity of self)
  • Running away from home, sexual misconduct, and/or other high-risk behaviors
  • Academic difficulties
  • Defiance/non-compliance with authority figures
  • Aggressive behaviors
  • Paranoia
  • Chronic feelings of emptiness
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Suicidal and/or self-injurious behaviors
  • History of experiencing physical, sexual or emotional abuse

Our program consists of the following services:

Individual Therapy and Addiction Treatment

Residents participate in individual therapy and addiction treatment sessions three to five times per week.  JFBHS acknowledges that substance use issues are connected to many concurrent mental health problems including PTSD, anxiety, and depression.  Because of the significant overlap among mental health diagnoses and substance use disorders, JFBHS utilizes an integrated treatment model in which therapists seek to explore and heal underlying causes of addiction, such as trauma, poor self-esteem, low self-worth, and unresolved pain.

Therapies utilized in this program:

  • Self-regulation and coping skill building (STEPPS)
  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Faith based practice and spiritual growth
  • Variations of traditional 12 Step Program
  • Neurotherapy
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
  • Trauma Informed Treatment
  • Addiction Relapse Prevention
  • Addiction Relapse Prevention and Process Groups
  • Practical Skills in living substance free

Programs and Services

Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services is known for providing innovative, intensive and effective therapeutic treatment services to boys and girls ages 11-17. If a child is in the 18 to 21 age group, the referral must be from the local department of social services, are court ordered or are referred by a Family Assessment and Planning Team, then a child may be admitted to Jackson-Feild. In the case of a direct parental placement of a child 18-21 with no public agency involvement, individual approval must be received from the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services prior to admission.

Our treatment services exceed those typically provided to children in need of a residential program. Children currently being placed at Jackson-Feild are those that have been seriously traumatized, are experiencing mental health and behavioral issues and require intense therapeutic services. Individual treatment is critical for each child placed in our care, and is essential to healing and moving forward to a healthy and successful future. Jackson-Feild’s Clinical Team has developed services to meet these needs so that our children can return home as soon as possible to their families and the community. Our philosophy is to provide support through high quality therapeutic services, education and vocational training in a caring and healthy environment.

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We consider family therapy a cornerstone to family reunification and successful transitioning back into the community. Family therapy is an important component to each child’s treatment. For those parents without means to travel to Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services for family therapy, we provide off-site lodging and cover transportation costs for families participating in family therapy. There are families that would be unable to participate in this key element of their child’s therapy without this assistance.

We believe that each boy and girl should have their basic needs met. Some of the children arrive at Jackson-Feild with minimal clothing and essentials for daily living. We strive to provide these essentials to relieve the childrens’ concerns and find it helps in providing a healthy, supportive and comfortable environment to allow each boy and girl to focus on their individual goals.

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Educational Services

Gwaltney School

Jackson-Feild’s students attend Gwaltney School, located on the main campus in Jarratt, Virginia.  Gwaltney School is licensed by the Virginia Department of Education and is accredited by the Virginia Association of Independent Specialized Educational Facilities.  Our school specializes in teaching those students who have been unable to reach their age-appropriate grade level due to circumstances in their lives. Upon enrollment, the boy and girls receive an educational assessment to determine their education plan. The plan allows the education staff to implement a curriculum to enable the student to achieve a level of education in line with the student’s appropriate grade level.

Graduation 2012

Gwaltney School provides educational services which include GED, Special Education, middle and high school curriculum.  College courses are offered through attendance at Southside Virginia Community College or through distance-learning on-line from University of Nebraska and University of Missouri.


The educational staff provides academic instruction tailored to meet the needs of each resident.   All residents’ academic progress and achievements are formally reviewed monthly with the multidisciplinary treatment team.

Residents who have completed their high school diploma or GED, receive assistance from the Gwaltney School staff to learn to complete college applications and financial aid applications. 

Vocational Services

Gwaltney School offers vocational training for students who are seeking tangible job skills leading towards a viable career path. With certification in our vocational programs, residents are able to return to their community with skills that allow them to be hired by companies who desire experienced workers.  Each graduate has achieved national standards certification showing they have completed each required area for their certification.   We partner with Southside Virginia Community College for our medical training classes.

Training includes:

Home Health Aide

National Restaurant Association ServeSafe Certification in culinary arts and cake decorating.


Trauma Informed Treatment

Jackson-Feild specializes in the treatment of the multiple effects of trauma.  More than 90% of the residents admitted to Jackson-Feild suffer from moderate to severe levels of trauma. These traumas and inherent predisposing factors often result in behavioral problems such as:

  • Suicidal and self injurious threats and attempts
  • Running away
  • Aggressive behavior directed at people and personal property
  • Poor self- control
  • Substandard school attendance and performance
  • Impaired perception and reasoning
  • Ineffective interpersonal skills
  • Severely disturbed relationships

Jackson-Field Homes is a residential Adolescent Psychiatric Program.  The specific diagnoses typically associated with the behavioral disturbances noted above include:

  • Major depressive episodes
  • PTSD
  • Borderline Personality Disorder
  • ADHD
  • Substance use disorders
  • Conduct disorder
  • Attachment disorders

The Process of Evaluation

A systematic process of evaluation is essential to determine the most likely psychiatric diagnoses and to develop an individualized and effective treatment plan to achieve optimal therapeutic results for each resident of Jackson-Feild.   The different components of this evaluation are systematically collected and documented by the members of the entire clinical team.  These include the attending psychiatrists, nurse, social workers, therapists, cottage staff and school teachers.  When indicated, psychological and neuropsychological testing is also conducted.  In addition, thorough physical examinations are conducted by a consulting primary care physician on every resident admitted to Jackson-Feild.

Treatment plans are individualized and are based on the information collected during the initial and ongoing evaluation of the residents.  The process of treatment can be thought of as consisting of three overlapping phases.  In each phase a different emphasis is placed on the different components of treatment.

In Phase 1, medications, if needed, receive special emphasis treatment for a number of the core symptoms demonstrated by the resident and are carefully selected to reduce these symptoms.  Significant benefit from treatment with medications can often be recognized in a few weeks, and optimal improvement is frequently achieved in two to three months.  The rapid reduction of symptoms help the resident feel better and to benefit more from psychotherapy, guidance by the staff in their cottage and academic work, which are all initiated in Phase 1.

In Phase 2, individual and group psychotherapy, the development of effective coping skills and academic work assume the primary focus of treatment.  The main work in this phase of treatment is to enhance the resident’s understanding of those behaviors that are harmful to their leading a productive life and replacing them with behaviors that are much more effective.

In Phase 3, the resident has made considerable progress in understanding and controlling their behavior, and enhancing their interpersonal skills.  Now the focus of treatment expands to strengthen the processes of mature reasoning that can be applied to solve the broad number of problems that they will encounter throughout their lives.  The resident is ready for discharge from Jackson-Feild when they have entered Phase 3 of treatment and Community-based services for their continued care are clearly established.

Jackson-Feild develops and individualized service plan specifically designed to meet the unique needs of residents and families served.  The children at Jackson-Feild have the opportunity to access services appropriate for their individual needs to include:

  • Individual, group and family therapy
  • Trauma focused cognitive behavioral skills training utilizing evidenced based practices
  • Neurotherapy
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
  • Systems Training for Emotional Predictability and Problem Solving
  • Medication Monitoring
  • Psychiatric services through a board certified psychiatrist
  • Substance use counseling, education and prevention
  • Anger management
  • Supportive counseling
  • Community support groups
  • Social skills
  • Communication skills
  • Moral development skills
  • Employment skills
  • Leisure skills development

Spiritual Program

JFH ChapelJFH ChapelSummer Bible SchoolJackson-Feild’s Spiritual Program is a non-denominational program appealing to all faiths.  Services are held weekly should residents care to attend.  Character education is a large part of the teaching by our Chaplain. We provide a variety of activities and opportunities for children to explore their spiritual and religious beliefs. They are challenged to look beyond themselves, to develop a better understanding of life and to find excellence, worth and love within themselves. 

The program offers on and off campus opportunities for each resident to participate in instruction, worship and pastoral care. The curriculum is intentionally diverse in an attempt to assist in seeking personal growth and understanding.

An initial assessment of a resident’s interest is made by a voluntary interview where the resident is given the opportunity to learn about the activities of the spiritual program and ask any questions that they might have. A resident may also express any spiritual interests or needs that he or she may have.  Residents are encouraged, but not required, to participate in this program and the activities.

The Rev Robin Jones – Chaplain

Robin is responsible for our spiritual program which includes character education and development. Upon earning her Bachelor’s degree from Old Dominion University, she began her career in human resources and residential counseling in 2002. She served as a residential counselor at Jackson-Feild. Robin returned to Virginia Union University School of Theology to earn her Master of Divinity degree. Prior to joining Jackson-Feild, she served as a local pastor before returning to assume the role of our chaplain.

Jackson-Feild has been working with children & families since 1855. Our evolution from the original orphanage, to assisting youth needing services today, has changed dramatically.