For almost thrirty years Mathom House has served adolescent males with histories ranging from rape to problem sexual behaviors. Mathom House is a Residential Treatment Facility(RTF) with a specialized education program. The program is situated on 10 acres in the heart of Bucks County and is conveniently located close to major travel routes and public transportation. Mathom House aims to rehabilitate each youth; challenging him to fully admit his sexual misconduct; fully appreciate the harm he has caused his victims, their families, and his community; and find ways to avoid re-offending. Mathom House has been fulfilling this mission for almost 30 years, and has treated almost 500 boys, while many others have received outpatient services from us. A recently conducted research study concluded that the rate of sexual re-offending was well below nationally published standards.
Each youth benefits from our time-tested, evidence-based curriculum that integrates therapeutic and academic learning with recreation activities, leadership, and service learning opportunities. Parents benefit from our family therapy program that involves weekly family therapy, a parents support group, and enrichment experiences.
We are committed to involving and informing the parents/guardian, in each child's treatment where appropriate. We recognize and emphasize the importance of family in a young man’s life, and we know that the support of his family will increase the chances of a successful treatment outcome. There are however, issues of privacy and appropriate boundaries in therapy. There may be times therefore, when parents receive less information than they would like.
Mathom House is licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare (DPW) to provide residential and secure care to juveniles, and our academic program is administered through the Bucks County Intermediate Unit. The program is accredited by the Council on Accreditation. There are two wings of the building which are governed by separate DPW standards. The East side is a secure unit, and residents are usually placed there when they first enter the program. As the name suggests, there is a higher level of security. We are required to restrict access to the outside hence doors are locked. Residents are locked in their room overnight and at other appropriate times. They are afforded fewer privileges and more restrictions with a greater emphasis on supervision and safety. Residents have the opportunity to earn more privileges and ultimately to graduate to the more desirable West Side. The West Side is a residential unit, and we are required to leave doors to the outside unlocked, and residents may not be locked inside their rooms at night or any other time. West Side residents are typically our more veteran kids, and have a higher level of privileges and trust.
The treatment team consists of a doctoral level licensed psychologist, and seven master’s level clinicians including 3 licensed counselors. This full-time team is also complemented by 1 to 3 master’s and doctoral level students. We have a self-imposed standard of employing clinicians with at least a master’s degree and we have at least 2 group facilitators to ensure the quality of our group sessions. The program staff consists mainly of Bachelor’s level men and women with mostly social service backgrounds. Our roster includes Hispanic, and African-American staff.
At Mathom House we are proud of the culture and environment we have created and we work hard to sustain it. However, our values, and the rules which reflect them, may not always be in full agreement with those of the families of our residents. For example, there are rules about who may visit residents and when, including restrictions about contact with minor siblings. There are also restrictions about phone calls, mail, dress, contraband, music, etc. Furthermore, the sex offender treatment our youth undergo will of course, deal with very explicit sexual issues, family history, family relationships, and any traumatic experiences. Parents, may need to prepare themselves for the fact that private family issues will be discussed by their son in therapy, and that they might discover things about their son or family that are unpleasant and troubling. Regarding sexual issues, we do not promote any political or moral standpoint.
The 15,000 square foot facility contains 32 bedrooms, numerous group and class rooms, cafeteria, a gymnasium, offices, and ” great rooms” where youth and Child Care Workers recreate in comfortable surroundings adjacent to a multi-purpose courtyard.
Each resident resides in a single, comfortable and homey dorm room. Each has a comfortable bed, a desk, night stand, and dresser to house his belongings as well as a private sink and lavatory. The shower rooms have numerous private shower stalls and mirrors.
The grounds include a baseball diamond and outdoor basketball court as well as room for varied outdoor recreation activities.