Tagged: award

Bill Martin receives Eckenrode Award from Cornell University

Posted on December 2, 2020. Category: WCS News

On Tuesday, November 17, 2020, Cornell University presented the third Eckenrode Award for Partner in Translational Research to Bill Martin of Waterford Country School. 

In the invitation to the virtual presentation, they announced: This award is dedicated to honoring individuals and organizations who have played a vital partnership role with Cornell researchers to expand, strengthen, and speed connections between research, policy and practice in service of human development and wellbeing. It is named after John Eckenrode in recognition of John’s tireless personal and professional dedication to assuring that vulnerable youth and families benefit from high quality research partnerships.

This year’s awardee is Bill Martin, Executive Director of Waterford Country School, a nonprofit human service agency providing a range of services including residential treatment, emergency shelters, therapeutic boarding, foster care, special education and outpatient services. Under Bill’s leadership, Waterford Country School has partnered with the Residential Child Care Project to evaluate and further develop the RCCP’s CARE program model. They have been a critical partner in building the evidence base that resulted in CARE being listed on the California Evidence-base Clearinghouse through identifying areas for research and collaborating with the RCCP research team to examine the effects of CARE on the use of high risk interventions and psychometric medication on children in their care. CARE has been implemented in more than 50 organizations in five countries and is making a difference in the lives of children and families as well as the staff and agencies that work with them.

As noted by The Day newspaper, over 80 individuals tuned in virtually for the award presentation. Numerous Waterford Country School staff members, as well as Cornell University partners, shared their admiration for Bill Martin and his stewardship.

“Thirteen years ago, I received a call from Bill … I was so impressed, I loved how he was advocating for his staff, his organization and the young people there, and wanted to make sure they got the very best care from the programs they implemented,” Martha Holden said. “Bill loaded up his van with a group of his leaders and drove to Cornell, and we had a meeting that was the beginning of this incredible partnership.”

Bill Martin added, “This great award is a product of over 10 years of hard work by both Waterford Country School and Cornell University and the great growth we have realized in that time.” 

The researchers at Cornell noted how hard it is to do their work without the inspiration of watching it be applied in a real setting. For the researchers at the Residential Child Care Project, WCS was a mirror to reflect how their theories were applied and kept them grounded in reality. The collaboration between Cornell and WCS, they said, embodies what great research is supposed to be. Sue Sullivan, the newly retired Medical Director of WCS mentioned how “Cornell and the CARE model became the wind under our sail. We wanted to be excellent at what we did…when we found the CARE Model we had the data and the drive to make us even better.” 

Many people shared how Executive Director, Bill Martin embodied the CARE principles as a leader at the agency. “He’s open to people’s feedback, he never says ‘no’, he’s always willing to take a risk, he collaborates with everyone, he’s practical, he truly cares.  

Through working with Cornell, Bill Martin said “People all over the world had a stake in Waterford Country School because of our relationship with the child care project.” Waterford Country School, in turn, has helped change the lives of troubled youths elsewhere by inviting visitors to see the CARE program in person, as well as documenting its progress by carefully recording data and being part of scientific studies.

What a great moment for Waterford Country School and the work it has collectively done in the last decade to become even better at caring for kids. Although he’s never comfortable with the attention, Bill Martin is deserving of such a prestigious award and the Staff and Board of Waterford Country School have been so proud to serve under his leadership.

 

 

Cornell University Names Waterford Country School First Certified CARE Agency

Posted on February 28, 2019. Category: WCS News

Cornell University Letter or Congratulations award for certification

On February 25 Cornell University’s College of Human Ecology announced Waterford Country School as

the first organization to ever achieve certification as a “CARE Agency.” CARE Agency certification is a recognition of fidelity and quality practice to an evidence based treatment model for children with special needs.

Waterford Country School adopted Cornell’s CARE Model in 2009, which requires the ongoing training of every employee, whether they are a teacher, maintenance worker or an administrative. The School has watched the climate and the culture change since CARE’s inception and impact not only students but staff in a very positive way. In the years since the CARE Model’s inception, WCS has seen a measurable change in many areas including a decrease in youth aggression, a decrease in psychotropic medication use and an increase in staff longevity.  The CARE Model asks the employees to focus every interaction with children on these 6 core principles: Relationship-based, Developmentally focused, Trauma informed, Competence centered, Family involved, and Ecologically oriented. There is no punitive or reward system at WCS, a common practice in residential care settings for behaviorally challenged youth. Instead the CARE principles are applied with the understanding that children can heal and find success when strong adult to child relationships are leveraged with the right understanding around trauma, family bonds and the child’s own personal strengths.

In the last few years, Waterford Country School has become more vocal about the impact of the CARE Model on children and families. Executive Director, Bill Martin and

School Principal, Sharon Butcher have given presentations at conferences around the world and WCS has hosted many other agencies at the Quaker Hill campus so they can see CARE in action.

Martha Holden, Director of the Residential Child Care Project at Cornell University and the author of CARE: Children and Residential Experiences, Creating Conditions for Change has worked closely with Waterford Country School throughout this process. She remarked, “Waterford Country School has been an integral partner in the on-going development of the CARE Model. Professionals from all over the world have visited WCS to learn more about how an organization can implement and embed an evidence-based program model that focuses on relationships and builds on the strengths of children, families and staff. WCS has been an inspiration to other organizations that have taken up this challenge.”

Executive Director, Bill Martin remarked, “There is no greater recognition we could hope to receive. This certification acknowledges how passionate we are about the quality of our work with children and families. ”

Cornell University and Waterford Country School Leadership meeting group

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cornell University recognizes Waterford Country School

Posted on August 14, 2018. Category: WCS News

Waterford Country School has just been recognized as the first “TCI Agency”, awarded by the Residential Child Care Project. Our business is very tough and to be recognized on this level by Cornell University is one of the highest honors available. TCI (Therapeutic Crisis Intervention) is practiced by thousands of Agencies on six continents and we stand alone with this honor.

“My sincere congratulations to you, the WCS staff, the children and families, and your Board of Directors for being the first organization to achieve TCI Agency Registration status. The TCI Agency Registration process is designed to formally recognize agencies and schools whose implementation of the Therapeutic Crisis Intervention System (TCI) meets the highest standards. In addition to affirming Waterford Country School’s on-going commitment to best practice and the RCCP’s commitment to ensuring fidelity to the TCI system, the purpose of the registration process is to create a learning relationship and a community of practice to maintain quality care standards and principles. Your agency exemplifies this commitment. Our university-agency relationship with practitioner-based translational research at its heart is a model for the field.”

“Thank you and your organization for all of the contributions you have made to children, families and the field. The Residential Child Care Project has benefited tremendously from our relationship and partnership. We look forward toward many more years of productive and enjoyable collaboration.”

Martha J. Holden

Director, Residential Child Care Project

martha holden bill martin sharon butcher cornell university tci agency award

WCS Awarded Top Workplace Award in 2016!

Posted on September 30, 2016. Category: WCS News

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Waterford Country School is proud to be chosen one of the region’s Top Workplaces in 2016! There are lots of ways to measure a workplace, The Hartford Courant believes that the best way is by asking the employees themselves.  In 2016, 975 organizations in Hartford, Middlesex, Tolland, Windham and New London counties were nominated. Workplace Dynamics, LLP a research firm sent surveys to 25,169 employees at participating organizations, and 16,208 responded. The survey questions asked about workplace ethics, communication, opportunity for growth, leadership and staff support. The specific criteria met rigorous standards and 61 out of the original 975 were awarded Top Workplace in 2016.

To celebrate the award, WCS staff and leadership attended a dinner on September 15th at the Aqua Turf Club in Plantsville, CT.  7 of Waterford Country School’s staff were able to attend the awards dinner. Dennis Fields, WCS Supervisor remarked, “Being recognized as one of the top workplaces in Connecticut was rewarding. It also motivated me to be a part of the push we need that will take us to becoming the #1 work place in our area. To see the people that received that top honor… it was incredible.”

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“This award is truly reflective of the amazing group of staff we have here at WCS,” credits Executive Director, Bill Martin.

The employers that you see in Top Workplace 2016 are all winners. We are proud to be acknowledged for what we already know…the Waterford Country School family is a great place to be.