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Sequel Youth and Family Services Adopts Ukeru Systems® Restraint-free Behavior Management Program

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. and WINCHESTER, Va., March 6, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Sequel Youth and Family Services and Ukeru Systems® today announced a collaboration between the two organizations to implement Ukeru's behavior management program across Sequel's residential treatment facilities. Ukeru is the Japanese word for 'receive' and is a crisis management program, developed by and for behavioral health caregivers and educators, which is grounded in the concepts of trauma-informed care and conflict resolution, and is supported by physical techniques that minimize the use of restraints. Sequel will pilot the Ukeru system at Clarinda Academy in Iowa. Clarinda Academy is a residential treatment center that services at-risk youth from multiple systems; it is the first facility of its kind in the country to adopt the Ukeru system.

Ukeru's innovative and award-winning program has helped behavioral health providers and schools reduce the use of restraints and related injuries, while lowering workers' compensation costs and employee turnover. In a longitudinal study published in the peer-review journal Advances in Neurodevelopmental Disordersi, a behavioral health facility using Ukeru's system reduced the use of restraints by 99%, while dramatically increasing client goal mastery. The facility also saved over $16 million in lost time expense, turnover costs, and workers compensation policy costs. Ukeru leadership will be training Sequel program staff on both the conceptual ideas — such as trauma informed care and conflict resolution — as well as the physical techniques that minimize the need for restraints. Ukeru's training helps providers communicate effectively with clients and avoid stressful, escalating behaviors.

"Ukeru is rooted in the belief that the use of physical restraints is unproductive and that all intervention — educational and behavioral — should be built on an approach of comfort versus control," said Ukeru President, Kim Sanders. "More than the physical component of the Ukeru blocking pads, the trauma-informed system is about how you communicate when someone is in crisis, and how to provide the support, comfort and kindness that everyone needs when they're having a tough time. We're looking forward to helping the Sequel team adopt our innovative techniques for managing student crises."

"Sequel is proud to be launching Ukeru, an industry-leading, trauma-informed behavioral management program. We are especially gratified that one of our programs, Clarinda Academy, will be the first residential treatment facility of its kind to adopt Ukeru. As at many of our facilities, Clarinda Academy serves the unique academic, behavioral, social, emotional and physical needs of at-risk youth, who are in a critical period of their lives. These students have typically experienced significant traumas, and these experiences can lead them to act out physically, posing a risk to themselves and others around them. We are eager to implement the Ukeru system to better help our students when they are in distress," said Mandy Moses, Chief Operating Officer, Sequel Youth and Family Services.

Moses continued, "We expect to continue rolling it out to our other residential treatment programs after this pilot program at Clarinda.  Sequel is committed to creating and maintaining a safe, trusting, and caring environment that opens the door for life-changing opportunities."

About Sequel Youth and Family Services
Founded in 1999, Sequel Youth and Family Services is a behavioral health organization that develops and operates a broad continuum of treatment programs for children, adolescents and adults with behavioral health, emotional or physical challenges.  Serving over 9,000 young men and women daily, our programs are designed to equip our clients with the vision, motivation, life skills, education and self-discipline necessary to lead a successful life. Sequel's programs include long-term residential treatment, short-term impact, shelter care, therapeutic group homes, therapeutic foster care, community-based services, in-home services, and alternative education. Our populations include children in the juvenile justice system, children with autism, as well as children, adolescents and adults with physical disabilities, history of sexual or substance abuse, and psychiatric, emotional or conduct disorders.

Our mission is to prepare our clients to lead responsible and fulfilling lives by providing mentoring, education and support within a safe, structured, dynamic environment — whether on one of our campuses, in the community, or in their own homes. We are passionate about what we do and delight in providing excellent programs that make permanent, positive changes in the lives of the people we serve. For more information, visit

About Ukeru Systems
Ukeru Systems is a division of Grafton Integrated Health Network. Ukeru has developed unique and award-winning care management tools and techniques. Ukeru has received national and international recognition and awards, including the Negley President's Award for Excellence in Risk Management Practices, the National Council for Behavioral Health Impact Award, and recognition from SAMHSA for clinical best practices in restraint and seclusion reduction. Ukeru Systems now provides Grafton's behavioral management tools and care trainings to other behavioral health providers. Learn more at

For Sequel:
Steve Gilbert

For Ukeru:
Amber McCracken

i Craig, J., Sanders, K. (2018) Evaluation of a Program Model for Minimizing Restraint and Seclusion. Advances in Neurodevelopmental Disorders, Volume (2) pp. 344-352.

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SOURCE Sequel Youth and Family Services