Since 1953, Idaho Youth Ranch has been a beacon of hope for struggling kids and families.Many know our name, but few understand the wide variety of ways we serve young people.
We are Idahoans. Founded as a working ranch and residential center for boys more than 60 years ago, today we still believe in the power of hard work, being outdoors and working with animals to heal wounded spirits.
We are shelter. For kids in crisis, we are a safe haven. Working with child protective services and local police, we provide not only a place to stay but comfort and therapy for children taken out of their homes or who don’t have a home.
We finish the job. We stay with our kids as long as it takes. We prepare them for future success through peer support, ongoing access to Idaho Youth Ranch services, college readiness, scholarships for higher education, and workforce readiness to help end the cycle of abuse, poverty, and underemployment.
Healing with Horses
Equine Therapy is an important cornerstone of the Idaho Youth Ranch therapeutic model because of its powerful impact on kids.
Animal-based or activity-based therapy is experiential. It helps develop emotional strength, resilience, and fortitude even as kids and teens use their own experiences to heal, learn and grow.
Because horses respond to body language and tone of voice, kids are learning through physical experience. They become aware of their emotions and responses in real time with specially trained therapists.
Clients change and grow more effectively and quickly than traditional approaches.
Life lessons take deeper root when kids both understand them in their heads and experience them in their bodies.
- Develops social and emotional skills
- Teaches goal setting and conflict resolution
- Teaches the ability to self-correct and regulate emotions
- Improves school attendance and grades
Transforming Destructive Behaviors into Positive Outcomes
Kids who experience trauma are more likely to exhibit behaviors that create additional stresses in their lives. They are more likely to yell, fight, or run away when they encounter conflict or challenges. Such behaviors often prevent them from forming healthy relationships or making good decisions putting them at risk of dropping out of high school, committing crimes, or being unable to keep a job.
Skills-based therapy retrains kids’ ways of thinking. It teaches skills to control one's emotions, read body language, and de-escalate a situation. The goal of skills-based therapy is to create a full and meaningful life through:
- Mindfulness - a practice focused on improving a child's ability to accept and be present in the moment.
- Distress tolerance - a specific technique geared toward increasing a person’s tolerance of negative emotions instead of trying to escape from them.
- Emotional regulation - a skillset that enables a person to take control of powerful emotions that cause problems in their life.
- Interpersonal effectiveness - a series of techniques that allow a person to communicate with others in a way that is assertive, maintains self-respect, and strengthens relationships.
Building Futures by Focusing on Families
It is easy to understand that a child’s relationship with their family plays a huge role in their ability to succeed in life. That is why Functional Family Therapy (FFT) is core to accomplishing our mission of promising futures.
Functional Family Therapy is a short-term treatment strategy built on a foundation of respect for individuals, families, and cultures. The treatment teaches communication strategies that help individuals and families become more adaptive and reduce frustration, misunderstandings, and angry outbursts. When these barriers are removed, families can grow stronger together.
FFT helps save families while preventing crime and victimization in communities. Kids who had been arrested and experienced FFT are 48% less likely to be arrested again. By focusing on families of at-risk youth, we can stop the cycle of crime and change the trajectory of individual lives.
We invested over $3.5 million into Idaho’s most vulnerable kids.
Our first responsibility is to the kids and families we serve. We are entrusted with the delicate lives of vulnerable kids and the hopes and fears of their families and know that every investment we make enables us to serve our mission.
Our second responsibility is to those who trust us to be good stewards of their donations. Our thrift stores help us to carry our own weight and make your support go further.
The Need is Growing
A kid in trouble can’t wait.
- Each day 559 victims of domestic violence and their children seek help in Idaho.
- 1 in 5 girls is a victim of sexual abuse.
- Idaho is the number 1 state in the nation for cyberbullying.
- 21% of high school senior girls were forced to have non- consensual sex.
- In Idaho, nearly 1/3 of high school students were clinically depressed.
- 21% of Idaho teens engaged in purposeful self-harm such as cutting in the last 12 months.
- 17% of high school students created a plan to commit suicide in the last 12 months.
We have the knowledge, the experience and the commitment to help kids suffering from trauma. But we don’t have the resources to help every child who needs it. With additional support, we can help more young people and their families.
A Window To The Future
There is no more lasting legacy than that of creating a generational impact on the lives of kids in your community.
Kids who, without your help, were on a path that ended in jail, drug abuse, or a repeated cycle of violence are overcoming obstacles, pursuing higher education, and growing into leaders.
Anyone can make a planned gift and making a gift through your estate is easy. Leaving a legacy can be as simple as making a bequest in your will, or, naming the Idaho Youth Ranch as beneficiary to your Trust, IRA, 401k or life insurance policy.
A planned gift is the best way for your legacy to live on through the kids we help. Imagine a lost life, turned into a life with a promising future. THAT could be your legacy!
For more information on making a Planned Gift, please contact us at 208 377-2613
2017 Board of Directors
Garry Beaty, Chairman
Josh Tyree, Vice Chairman
Richard A. Cummings
Leroy D. Custer
Jennifer G. Gotto, MD
Brinnon Garrett Mandel
Chris S. Reiten
Ron Ashley, Director Emeritus
Created with images by Alexandra E Rust - "Alexis" • mith17 - "There Are Hopes" • Felipe Skroski - "mountains"