Residential Program

Our Residential Program for Boys provides a safe, supportive, structured setting that fosters learning and growth.


At Waterfall Canyon Academy’s Boys Residential Program we apply a behavioral shaping program that incorporates 8 steps divided into 2 stages. Our comprehensive social, emotional, and behavioral support facilitates student development and implementation of pro-social skills in areas such as communication, relationships, emotion management, and self-confidence.

  • Stages

    Residential One (steps 1-4): Students benefit from our highly structured and supportive home environment. A daily schedule outlines each activity; expectations and responsibilities are clearly communicated; and Youth Counselors directly supervise and advise throughout the day. Social and Daily Living Skills are a focus along with emotion management. Students are encouraged to learn about themselves; their strengths, weaknesses, interests, triggers, what works, and what doesn’t.

    Residential Two (steps 5-8): Students have added community access and opportunities to demonstrate application of basic skills learned during stage one. Here students are encouraged to learn about others; their community, family, friends and the affect their behavior has on the people around them. Residential Two students require less behavioral support but continue to benefit from a very structured and supportive environment with direct supervision and guidance from our highly trained Youth Counselors.

  • Advancement

    Students advance through the steps by earning required daily points consistently, completing treatment/step assignments, and presenting his/her step requirements and accomplishments to both peers and staff. Asking for and accepting feedback is an important skill to learn. Presenting in an organized group setting provides a safe setting where students and staff process the step purpose, requirements, and progress of the student presenting. Regardless of the outcome, students receive very valuable feedback, encouragement, and guidance.

  • Social Skills Training

    Skill streaming is designed to enhance pro-social skills in a structured group setting. Each time they meet, one of 50 skills is broken down in to steps that are modeled by the staff and role-played by the students, followed by the exchange of feedback by the entire group. The group ends with a discussion on how to take this skill into the community.

  • Anger Control Training

    Anger Control Training is designed to deal with the emotion that most often interferes with our student’s use of pro-social behaviors. Specifically, anger control training assists with understanding the triggers that result in aggression and provides the means to learn self-control when anger is identified. Scenarios of potential conflict are modeled by the staff and role-played by the students, followed by the exchange of feedback on performance and discussion on conflict resolution by the entire group.

  • Moral Reasoning Training

    Moral Reasoning Training teaches behaviors needed to deal constructively with anger-provoking or peer pressure situations. The students engage in discussions of problem situations to challenge them to achieve a more socially and morally mature view of the world. Students learn how to see the world in a more fair and equitable way and how to take into account perspectives other than their own. Achieving a more mature moral understanding will result in more responsible choices. Thought provoking scenarios, that may appear unfair to the students, are presented by the staff who then encourage discussion, sharing of opinions, and suggestions for resolutions. The group ends with discussion about the possible outcome and effects decisions can have on others.

Staff Facilitated Classes

Students participate in daily groups to assist in developing personal social and daily living skills that will help them be productive members of their community and navigate relationships throughout their lives. WCA staff are trained to facilitate structured, productive, classes; encouraging a safe environment for learning and sharing. 

Recreational & Social Activities

Our residential program provides daily opportunities to socialize in the community. The program is designed to help guide our students with successful experiences participating in physical, cultural, and social events and activities. While at Waterfall Canyon Academy, students learn to use their community as a resource.

  • Problem Solving & Teamwork

    During recreational activities staff model/teach students how to problem-solve, work as a team, and use communication skills to assist appropriate interactions on these daily outings. In addition to basic activities such as basketball, soccer, working out at the gym, running/walking, and Frisbee golf, we challenge students with new activities such as snowboarding, skiing, hiking, camping, fishing, and playing on community recreational teams all of which build self-esteem and provide an opportunity to apply/practice social skills.

  • Service-Based Activities

    Our community based program also includes service-based activities each month. Students can be seen assisting the elderly in care centers, stocking the shelves at the food bank, walking the animals at our county animal shelter, or picking up trash in the local parks. Such experiences help students develop empathy for and understanding of others. Additionally, while participating in our social activities, students have the opportunity to demonstrate appropriate social skills, coping skills, and interpersonal skills as well as develop new talents.

  • Cultural Experiences

    Students are also exposed/introduced to cultural experiences of varied sites of historic, recreational and ecological significance, as well as many performing arts venues/theaters that include the popular Sundance Film Festival.

  • Supervision & Support

    The students’ safety is closely monitored at Waterfall Canyon Academy. The student to staff ratio (1 staff per 3 students) provides high supervision and support for our students 24 hours a day. Safety is enhanced by our small numbers of students in each program, with only 14 students in our largest program, staff monitors students closely. Our program feels strongly about family relationships, our programs are dedicated to assist the students in acquiring a greater appreciation for their own families. Appropriate ways of acting and responding in a family environment are addressed therapeutically and educationally in our home setting. Our goal is to return our students to their families with developed skills and attitudes that make them a welcome addition to home again.

  • Therapeutic Environment

    In this supportive therapeutic environment, your son or daughter will benefit from the guidance of caring professionals who know each student as unique individuals with specific strengths, weaknesses, hopes and fears. Each member of the Waterfall Canyon staff brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our program. But even more impressive than their many accomplishments and credentials is their dedication to providing the highest quality of care to our students and families.


  • Healthy Combination

    The healthy combination of both a home and school environment at Waterfall Canyon Academy encourages consistently good daily habits as well as provides structure and support for each one of our students. Students tend to thrive and achieve personal growth as they learn to manage their time and abide by a predictable schedule.

Structure & Support

Driving up to Waterfall Canyon, you will see programs designed to look and feel like large homes. Students live in a home-like setting, which includes living rooms, bedrooms, and a large family kitchen. In this residential setting, students learn the value of daily living skills that will include chores, laundry care, time management, personal hygiene, and organization. The trained staff support our students as they navigate through the day to encourage a healthy routine. These staff members are role models for appropriate daily living skills and also provide daily groups to provide skills training.

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