The Family Foundation School

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Basic Information

Address: 431 Chapel Hill Road Hancock, NY 13783
County: Delaware
School District: Hancock
Phone Number: 845-887-5213, ext 499
Fax Number: (845) 887-6150

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Additional Information

Founded: 1979
Ages/Grades: 13-18, grades 9-12 & Post-graduate
Gender: Co-ed
Enrollment: 90
Duration: 12-24 months, individualized
School Setting:

scenic and peaceful 150-acre campus in the western Catskills of upstate New York

Classroom Size: 8-12 students

$6,800/month - contact the school for current rates and fees

Financial Aid:

Yes, some scholarship assistance is available

Support Services:

Individual, group and family counseling, 12-step mentoring, positive peer support, academic/tutorial support, college plannning.

Accreditation Licenses: The Joint Commission & Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, Registered by the New York State Board of Regents/Department of Education
Professional Affiliations:

National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs (NATSAP), Association of Recovery Schools, New York Boarding Schools Association

Area of Focus:

The Family Foundation School is a private, college preparatory, therapeutic boarding school serving bright, talented teens struggling with behavioral or emotional difficulties. We offer an integrated program of rigorous academics, daily therapeutic counseling and character education based on the principles of the 12-Steps. In fostering academic excellence, emotional health and spiritual awareness, the school provides tutoring and other learning support, honors college courses, award-winning programs in journalism, art, photography, music, dance, and drama; and a strong culture of positive peer support.

Mission Statement:

To heal families, build character and change lives by providing an integrated program of academics, therapeutic counseling, experiential therapy, and 12-Step living to at-risk teens, helping them safely through the crises of adolescence toward responsible adulthood.

Philosophy/Belief Statement:

The founders of The Family Foundation School were heavily influenced by the 12-step program. Today the 12 Steps and the Four Absolutes of the Oxford Group are taught in our living skills classes and serve as a touch-stone for decision-making at all levels of the organization.

Beyond this, we provide an integrated therapeutic milieu in which every experience, relationship and interaction contributes to recovery and personal growth. Our psychological approach combines therapeutic counseling, family systems theory, and experiential therapy through a full range of work and recreational activities: hiking, fishing, camping, cooking, cleaning, snow shoveling, lawn mowing, dog training, organized sports, singing. These components, along with a rigorous academic curriculum, create a milieu in which personal discovery, interpersonal development, emotional and spiritual growth flourish, contributing to each student's story of recovery.

School History:

Welcome to The Family Foundation School. It's hard in a short space to tell you all about the history of our school and how it came to be. We think it's important, however, that you know a little about how we started and how we came to combine "family" with "school."

More than thirty years ago our family began a new journey, one based on spiritual principles. It was a journey we had to take, because we had come to realize that we were powerless. Once started, the journey has taken us many places we never dreamed of. One of them was here to the foothills of the Catskills overlooking the Delaware River. In 1976 we moved here from New York City, mostly to give our children a place in the "country" to grow up and to practice our Twelve Step principles of recovery found in Alcoholics Anonymous and the Four Absolutes of Honesty, Purity, Unselfishness, and Love. One day, a friend of one of our daughters told us she was in trouble and needed a place to stay. We said, yes, provided she try to practice the same principles in which we believed. A couple of weeks later, a young man, who was having trouble staying sober, asked us if he could live with us, too. Again, we said, yes, as long as he followed the principles. Word got around, and in a very short time our house was filled with young people looking for a change in their lives.

But young people need to be educated - that is, "led from darkness into light." So, several years ago, pressed for the need to provide an education, we decided to start a school. In the beginning, it was literally in the basement of our little brown ranch house. Now, it has grown into a spreading campus of dorms, classrooms, athletic fields, dining areas, and chapel.

When we began our journey, we never dreamed such a thing. Your future, like ours, can be incredibly wonderful, once you begin this journey. It is not without fear, but you don't have to go it alone, and along the way you may discover parts of yourself you never knew existed, and you may find the joy and happiness in the world that you hoped existed.

May God bless you,
Tony & Betty Argiros


An insightful comment from a prospective parent (Anne W) who enrolled her son. “…I have taken some time to research other schools and I keep coming back to Family Foundation. Your school offers a very special something that the others are missing. I can’t forget the honest and awareness of your students, and their participation in a spiritual journey. Other schools have felt, well almost, cold. They may be externally gorgeous, but it is what is on the inside at Family Foundation that impressed me”.

Notes/School Information:

Extracurricular activities include division-ranked interscholastic sports (girls and boys basketball, soccer, cross-country, golf and softball) as well as fly fishing, Boy Scouts, weight training, hiking, running, chess, film making, skateboarding, and even a unique dog training program called the Dog Corps.  The structured, therapeutic environment and nurturing, supportive family living are designed to build character and heal student-family relationships.

Each student at The Family Foundation School receives an individualized service plan, flexible length of stay and individualized academic and therapeutic services which include individual, group and family therapy, in addition to 12-step sponsorship and opportunity to attend a variety of 12-step meetings. The Extended Academic Support Service program is directed by a certified special education teacher and provides a full range of academic services and tutorial support for students who need additional help with their academic work.
The Bridge program is a therapeutic and educational alternative for young adults age 18-20 that can serve as a post-graduate (PG), fifth-year senior, OR gap year program, providing valuable transitional opportunities for students who are transitioning from a therapeutic boarding school or residential treatment center who need continued support as they begin their college experience, experiencing difficulty completing high school or getting into college or those who have been discharged or dropped out of college.