Frequently Asked Questions

What is The High Frontier?

The High Frontier is a private, non-profit residential treatment center for young people demonstrating problem behavior. Founded in 1976, The High Frontier's emphasis is on a treatment philosophy that builds self-esteem through a carefully monitored and systematic approach known as Positive Peer Culture. The High Frontier will target the development of strong self-esteem through an approach that employs cognitive strategies and altruistic (placing others before oneself) challenges as the tools to change.

From where do the youth at The High Frontier come?

Students come from all over the United States. At any given time, twenty different states may be represented. California and Texas residents account for approximately 40% of our population, however, The High Frontier will work with students from any location.

Who sends the young people to The High Frontier for treatment?

The High Frontier works with young people from various sources and backgrounds. These sources are primarily private family placements, but state and county governmental agencies, school districts and Native American groups may also be considered.

How many residents will The High Frontier work with at one time?

The High Frontier maintains a capacity of 84 students.

Does the High Frontier work with male and female students?

Yes. The High Frontier maintains a 60/40 ration in favor of male residents over female. Residents are placed in same gender groups of 8-10, and each group shares a separate cottage while operating cohesively throughout the day.

With what age groups does The High Frontier work?

Twelve to eighteen year old students are served. As long as The High Frontier has admitted the student prior to his/her eighteenth birthday, and we have documented treatment reason describing the necessity, we may continue working with the student into his/her eighteenth year.

How long does a resident typically stay at The High Frontier?

The length of time a student stays varies with the severity of the problems the young person brings into the program. The actual length of stay is typically determined through regular correspondence between the High Frontier staff and referring sources. The average length of stay is approximately 15 months.

What is the Child/Staff ratio?

Considering all personnel, including the treatment staff, administrative and support staff, the ration exceeds 1:1. Direct care (Milieu Instructors) ratios typically exceed 1:5. Different cottages will have three or four bedrooms, and each bedroom sleeps two or three residents. Two trained direct care staff members (instructors) are typically assigned to each cottage and work a three-day (24 hours/day) shift designed to promote interpersonal relationships necessary to affect change in a therapeutic milieu.

What qualifications do your professional staff or clinicians possess?

The High Frontier employs a Clinical Psychologist, Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC), Licensed Masters-Level Social Workers (LMSW), and a consulting Psychiatrist. The clinicians average over 15 years experience working with The High Frontier and our particular treatment modality. Two of our employees maintain a Child Care Administrator's License from the Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Service. The Administrators all have over 20 years experience operating The High Frontier, while two of the administrators maintain Masters degrees in related fields of study. The High Frontier also operates with two nurses, a Registered Nurse (RN) and Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN). We have also benefited from regular attention and guidance from Harry Vorrath, the developer of Positive Peer Culture.

Do the residents at The High Frontier work?

The High Frontier has an Incentive Wage Program integrated into the at-large treatment milieu (environmental setting). Jobs offered range from landscaping, secretarial work, and kitchen work to construction and livestock care. Students are regularly offered jobs that will build their self-esteem, teach vocational skills and responsibility, and promote their personal ownership of the High Frontier's efforts. Each group also maintains responsibility for daily ranch cleanup.

Does The High Frontier have any religious affiliations?

No, we do not have any religious affiliation. We do offer non-denominational services one night a week for which a group of local community members volunteer time and services. Resident's attendance at these services is strictly voluntary.

Are Psychotropic drugs used as part of the therapy?

The High Frontier utilizes a consulting psychiatrist to monitor any psychotropic medications that a resident may be on when arriving at our program. Our consulting psychiatrist works closely with the treatment team to determine the ongoing medication needs. More often than not, we find that students have less of a need for medication once integrated into the program. However, we will address a need for psychotropic medication should on arise.

What is the success rate at The High Frontier?

The High Frontier documented approximately 500 contacts with ex-residents. Most of these contacts were made via telephone. Secondly, most of these contacts were initiated on the part of the ex-residents. Of the 500 contacts, more than 80% reported to be content in their life and doing well. Moreover, these residents stated that The High Frontier was a major factor to their success. The High Frontier believes that these statistics are meaningful, yet lack a random sampling and survey process needed for a true statistical analysis.

What distinguishes The High Frontier from other programs?

Although The High Frontier may be considered a multi-system, The High Frontier is not eclectic in our approach. Our social learning environment may utilize group, individual and family therapy, yet a student will never leave the philosophy of the milieu. The passion that is developed among both residents and staff members is rooted in the development of the altruistic values encompassed in our Positive Peer Culture modality. When caring is made fashionable and youth are taught to care, the previously held subculture of defiance, delinquency or depression dissipates. Young people must be given the opportunity to show their self-worth through systematic processes that ask them to help his/her peers. Residents play an integral part in the promotion and well being of each other.

What steps does The High Frontier take to promote and maintain students' health and wellness?

High Frontier residential treatment center and school is dedicated to the promotion and maintenance of wellness. High Frontier believes that nutrition and fitness are critical aspects of wellness and development for adolescents. Our complete Wellness Plan

Do residents have recreational opportunities?

Yes, recreation is conducted on a daily basis. A fully equipped gym, weight room, ballpark, and horseback-riding arena supplement our ability to involve the residents in activities. Regular sporting activities such as flag football, basketball, softball, and volleyball are popular among the residents. We also incorporate regular field days with various games. Other popular activities include horticulture in the green house, art classes, bicycling, canoeing, trail rides, hiking, miniature golf, and rappelling.

Contact Us

Anthony Geraci
Director, Business Development


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The day I arrived at the High Frontier was the best day of my life so far. I had struggled significantly in my life back home, and I truly needed the opportunity to fix my grades and my life. The High Frontier provided me with the perfect platform to turn my life around. I entered the High Frontier having done poorly in school my whole life, through lacking of trying, not lack of ability. I began my schooling at the High Frontier with about a 2.7 GPA and over only 16 months, I graduated with a GPA of 3.4! I even gained the opportunity to take 2 college courses, allowing me to boost my high school GPA farther, and get college credit! Upon leaving HF, I decided to delay college for 10 months to participate in a program called FEMA Corps where I travel to natural disasters and assist communities with rebuilding from them. The life skills that I learned at HF have prepared me for life so well, and I believe I have a solid footing in the world.
 - Wills G., Student