TRAUMA TO TRIUMPH Idaho Youth Ranch Annual Report 2018

A Message from the ceo

It is a privilege to write to you as the new CEO of Idaho Youth Ranch.

I have joined an organization with an exceptional heritage, a mission that is as important today as it was at our founding in the 1950s, and a future of providing essential support to Idaho’s most vulnerable youth and their families. We have entered a period of extraordinary transformation and growth, and I am humbled by the opportunity to be a part of it.

In 2018 we saw incredible dedication and focus from our employees, donors, volunteers, and board as Idaho Youth Ranch faced challenges that caused us to examine our operations, impact, and future viability. As you will see in the following pages, everyone rallied together and contributed the passion and talent necessary to address the issues.

While increasing the number of kids helped by Idaho Youth Ranch programs, we simultaneously improved operations by over 35%, equating to more than a $1 million improvement to the bottom line. Two keys to this success were the restructuring of our programs and finding cost-saving measures in our thrift stores.

Profound changes were made in our programs. We restructured our programs by increasing our focus on outpatient care, which will allow us to help more children and families throughout Idaho. We continued to serve youth at our short-term residential facility and formed new partnerships to expand our impact. We also worked to create a culture that attracts and retains the most talented clinical staff in Idaho.

At the Hands of Promise campus near Middleton, our indoor equine facility was constructed and opens this spring, while significant progress was made on the plans to open a sustainable, state-of-the-art residential facility.

Our thrift stores provide valuable job training, exposure to our mission, and needed financial support for all our programs. To maximize their impact, we closed 6 thrift stores. Throughout the transition, our dedicated staff remained committed to our mission, shifting personnel and merchandise to the remaining 24 stores. Despite having fewer locations, our sales increased 10 percent over the previous year, costs continue to shrink, and shoppers’ round-up donations contributed over $330,000 last year.

As we look to the future, our board and staff have set ambitious goals in four key areas:

  1. Develop and grow a best-in-class system to treat trauma and build resilience in kids,
  2. Be extraordinary. Attract, develop and retain exceptional staff and supporters,
  3. Expand our sustainable business model,
  4. Advance a trauma care movement in Idaho.

It will take a concerted effort by all involved, and it starts with everyone understanding the need for our services and the impact we are having. I am thrilled to share our 2018 Annual Report with you and tell you more about how your support helped transform trauma into triumph for Idaho’s kids.

Thank you for your continued support,

Scott Curtis,


four keys to accomplish our vision

Develop and grow a best-in-class system to treat trauma & build resilience in kids. We are committed to dramatically growing our ability to serve more kids and provide the best possible treatment by developing a best-in-class program model to treat trauma and build resilience.

Be extraordinary. Attract, develop and retain exceptional staff and supporters. To achieve our vision, we must have an amazing organizational culture that attracts the best employees, volunteers, donors and Board of Directors working together with consistent, focused efforts.

Expand our sustainable business model. We continue to develop our three pillars of financial support that ensure the resources to provide the best treatment to Idaho kids are available every year.

  • Continuing to be good stewards of financial gifts from our donors who provide the foundation of our ability to fulfill our mission.
  • Strengthening the financial support provided by our thrift stores by increasing efficiency and reducing costs.
  • Working to offset more than half of our therapy costs through reimbursements from private insurance and Medicaid billings.

Advance a trauma care movement in Idaho. Building resiliency in kids who will thrive in school and life is a much bigger goal than any one organization can accomplish. However, if we bring together schools, other nonprofits, state and local governments, police and healthcare professionals and unite together in a common cause we can transform the futures of tens of thousands of community kids and strengthen the Idaho we love.

1098 Kids and Families Helped in 2018

up from 626 last year

We provided 1595 total services as many of the youth received multiple services

We partner with Boise State University to measure our outcomes. In the past we reported, for example, that 96% of clients were working or in school, 86% had not used drugs or alcohol, and 75% have positive relationships with family.

In the future, we will be reporting on an expanded list of behavioral indicators as well as critical short-term signs of therapeutic success including resiliency, emotional regulation, and distress tolerance.

Alyssa's STORY

Something was wrong. Alyssa could feel it. The 21-year-old had been trying to reach her father for their regular phone call. When he didn’t pick up, she knew something was not right.

He had committed suicide.

“I’d fallen to my knees, screaming ‘no!’”

Broken-hearted, Alyssa could not live with the emotional pain of her loss, so she decided to numb it with alcohol.

Her mother, worried, found Idaho Youth Ranch.

“I didn’t know what equine therapy was and couldn’t see how it could help.”

The gentle horses helped ease the storm in her heart and, under the guidance of specially trained therapists, Alyssa found peace and acceptance.

“I know I’ll be able to look back and say, ‘I’ve been through all these struggles, but I’m stronger as a person now.”

Watch Alyssa's story now:

so much More than a bed

Imagine you are 15-years-old and you have been let down by every adult in your entire life.

Maybe you’ve been living in foster care. Maybe home is so violent that you didn’t feel safe. Maybe your parents didn’t want you there anymore and kicked you out in the middle of the night to fend for yourself with just the clothes on your back.

No matter how you found yourself without a stable place to live and sleep, you come to Hays House. You are angry, scared, and lost. That is what it means to be a Hays kid.

At Hays House safety and shelter are the first priority, but our kids need so much more than that. For Hays kids, Hays House means safety, hope, and support.

Idaho Youth Ranch helps kids work through and heal from their challenging experiences and equips them with the skills necessary to become resilient, capable adults. Idaho Youth Ranch Hays House does this by immersing the young people in our care with around-the-clock support and educational recovery so that they can transition safely to a long-term solution.

While at Idaho Youth Ranch Hays House, youth can expect to be engaged in the following:

  • Daily therapy through groups and one-on-one sessions that build skills for tolerating life’s challenges, managing emotions and strengthening relationships;
  • Equine Therapy and Horsemanship to help kids heal from trauma and develop confidence and self-esteem;
  • Service learning opportunities that allow kids to give back to the community and learn skills that will help them transition to adulthood;
  • Comfort with Bear the Therapy Dog;
  • Educational recovery so that kids who have faced homelessness and trauma can catch up with their peers in school;
  • Job readiness workshops and job training opportunities for youth ages 15-17;
  • Independent living skills;
  • Outpatient therapies to their families or foster families so that kids are successful when they return home;
  • Long-term transitional support, so that kids continue to make therapeutic gains, even after they leave our care.

Adverse Childhood Experiences

The landscape of childhood has changed dramatically. What hasn’t changed is what children need from the adults who care for them and how, if unmet, those needs affect their behavior, health and lifelong success.

New research validates what we’ve known for decades – that what happens to children early in life affects them for a lifetime.

Traumatic events, also known as Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), can have many profound effects on childhood development. Not only can prolonged exposure to trauma interrupt a child’s physical and mental growth, but high doses of adversity have been shown to change the brain’s architecture and responses to stress. If left untreated, these changes can result in unshakable feelings of terror, depression, and helplessness. As adults, children who experienced ACEs are statistically more likely to have lower life expectancy, struggle with long-term relationships, and have education and workplace challenges.

When a child is exposed to Adverse Childhood Experiences, there is no doubt that the trauma will bear some effect on them. The question is how deeply they will be affected by adversity without intervention.


When Ethan was 5-years-old, his parents divorced and he was left in the care of an abusive, alcoholic mother. When Ethan was 8, his teachers recommended special education and suggested Ethan was hyperactive.

When Ethan was 15, he had his first encounter with the law.

By 17, he had dropped out of high school.

By 23, he used recreational drugs regularly.

By 25, he was the father of a child he rarely saw and the cycle began again.

The adults in his life let Ethan down. Teachers, parents, and law-enforcement asked, “What’s wrong with you?”

Perhaps, Ethan’s life would have been different had just one person asked him, “What happened to you?”
Instead of seeing a bad kid, they may have seen a heartbroken little boy who was not given a safe, stable and supportive environment.

Risky behavior is very easy to see. Behaviors like running away from home, self-harm, suicide attempts, violent outbursts, and dangerous sexual activity catch attention and demand intervention.

What is hard to see is the, “Why.”

When we change the paradigm to understanding adversity and it's impact on young people, we begin to understand the root cause of destructive behavior.


Adverse Childhood Experiences do not have to be a life sentence. Many people experience ACEs but, with the help of caring adults, go on to lead successful, happy lives. They accomplished this by pulling the pain and trauma of childhood adversity out by the roots and building a foundation of resiliency from which they build their lives.

The damage can be reversed. While prevention and early invention are always preferred, a child who has experienced trauma is never a lost cause.

Trauma-informed care and resilience building exercises are crucial to overcoming ACEs and the long-term effects of toxic stress.

When treating a child or teen who is acting out, trauma-informed care actively changes the question from, "What's wrong with you?" to, "What happened to you?" This shift in perspective acknowledges a person in pain and gives them an opportunity to cope.

Idaho Youth Ranch employs a variety of therapies - including familial, behavioral, and equine - to help young people confront their painful pasts and build a better future.


Hope and resiliency are the two best indicators for a child’s success.

The research about trauma illustrates the impact one person can have on the life of a child and how that impact can ripple across generations. For every child saved, a cycle of trauma is stopped.

Your support, passion, and commitment to these children are at the core of our mission and create a legacy of hope and resilience that reaches thousands of Idahoans with a dramatic, measurable impact.

Your financial gifts today and planned gifts through your future estate allow us to change lives now and for decades to come.

Thank you for joining us in our mission to transform trauma into triumph for Idaho’s most vulnerable youth.


Idaho Youth Ranch continued to expand outpatient services to help more kids and families get they help the need.


*In 2018, Idaho Youth Ranch made investments into thrift stores to make them more efficient and drive more revenue for Idaho Youth Ranch Programs for years to come. While the net revenue for fiscal year 2018 is only 1%, our stores are now a more sustainable business for decades to come and are on a pace to provide 31% of funding in fiscal year 2019.

Idaho YOuth Ranch 2018 Board of Directors

Garry Beaty, Chairman

Josh Tyree, Vice Chairman

Ron Ashley, Director Emeritus

Chris Taylor

Jim Bratnober

Brian J. Scott

Shane B. Mace

Dave Lakhani

Todd Weltner

David Murray

Rick Rietmann

Tim Reid

Allan Bosch

Donna Findlay

Harry Amend

Brinnon Mandel

Jennifer G. Gotto, MD

Julie VanOrden

Leroy Custer

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