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Group homes seeking director

Mar 6, 2014 - By Alejandra Silva, Staff Writer

Facilities in the group home program are operated in both Riverton and Lander.

The Fremont County Group Homes hopes to hire its new executive director soon. On March 8, the board of directors from Fremont County Group Homes conduct interviews of 10 individuals who submitted their applications by Feb. 14, said office manager at the Riverton group home for boys, Gloria Leadbetter.

The new director also would oversee the group home for girls in Lander.

"We need someone who gets along with the kids," Leadbetter said, adding the board wants someone who has been employed in a position dealing with children and can exercise the mission of the homes.

That person would manage staff and make sure all regulations and rules are followed.

Staff changes

The Riverton home consists of four resident managers -- two of whom are new hires -- five caretakers and one office manager. The Lander office employs a staff of seven in similar positions.

Stacey Doerr held the executive director position for 29 years until her retirement. Her replacement, Shelly Wolfe, had the position for more than a year until she also left the group homes.

The organization in December announced the retirement of associate director Shannon Horton, who helped nearly to 1,600 young women in her 27 years with the homes. Her replacement, Melinda Cox, joined staff in October with experience in working with at-risk youth and the county's juvenile system. She also continues her role as the director of the juvenile detention alternatives initiative that helps lower the number of detention placements in the state.

Services

The board of directors is made up of Elissa Burleson, who is the president and has been on the board for 24 years, Jim Logan, Pat Horton, Cindy Browall, Cheryl Rodgers and Gretchen Vincent.

The group homes also employ a licensed addiction therapist, certified social worker, and two certified mental health workers.

The Runaway and Homeless Youth programs offer 24-hour crisis intervention, shelter services, treatment, family mediation and after-care for youth who have run away from their homes, are contemplating it, or may have no place to go.

Combined, the group homes serve 20 youth ages 10-17 who have been abused, neglected or are delinquent. They're given chores, responsibilities and the opportunity to learn new skills with recreational activities. The homes accommodate 12 youths for long-term placement, including from court ordered cases. Six are from crisis placement, and two are accepted as runaway youth.

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