The Spiritual Life Program is offered in Residential Services, although all youth in all of our programs have access to spiritual and / or religious activities in the community. The Spiritual Life Program in our Residential Program is designed to help youth on their journey of self discovery; connect them to self, others and the world; assist youth in finding meaning and purpose in life; and support development of personal well being. The Spiritual Life Program is voluntary and open to all residential youth. Spiritual Life on-campus religious services and education are not contingent upon the youth’s clinical status. Community religious services and education may occur unless precluded by the youth’s behavior and / or safety concerns. When a youth, whose clinical status indicates that he or she can maintain appropriate behavior off campus, wishes to attend community religious services and education the Spiritual Life Director will contact the assigned clinical therapist to verify the religious services / program that the youth wishes to receive.
The Spiritual Life Department of AK Child & Family has 3 employees who serve as members of the Residential Treatment Team and are responsible for the delivery of spiritual life programming and services for youth who are in residential treatment at AK Child & Family. These services are voluntary, non-denominational, culturally sensitive, and age appropriate. Those working in Spiritual Life possess a strong ecumenical understanding and orientation, which allows for working with all ethnic groups and enables support for diverse spiritual and religious viewpoints.
The Director of Spiritual Life is a full-time position that supervises the department and works with the Spiritual Life Committee of the Board of Directors, as well as church and individual donors to insure continuity of services. The Spiritual Life Minister is a part-time position that offers ministerial support during chapel services and at other times throughout the week. The Music & Special Ministries Coordinator provides musical components to chapel, meditation and devotion times as well as other special events.
Many youth choose to take part in at least one or more Spiritual Life activities during their stay. Some of the Spiritual Life activities that take place on a regular basis are: Chapel, Devotions, Story Time, Music Meditation, Sweat Lodge, Drum Circles, Talent Shows, Christmas Pageant, Seasonal Labyrinth Walks, Prayer Boxes, Prayer Garden, and Spiritual Life Retreats. Spiritual Life is also here to support youth during times of grief and loss. Youth in treatment often experience emotional turmoil and spiritual exploration helps them develop healthy perspectives, strength in difficult times and provides a foundation for self-esteem.