On February 17, 2021, Oklahoma state officials announced that the Southwest Oklahoma Juvenile Center (SWOJC) would convert into a treatment center for children and youth. The facility would be run by Liberty of Oklahoma Corporation (Liberty) an affiliate of Liberty Healthcare Corporation. Like the Laura Dester Children’s Center in Tulsa, also operated by Liberty, the Manitou residential treatment program will provide short-term treatment services for children and youth living with intellectual disabilities and co-occurring behavioral health challenges. The goal of the newly redesigned program is to stabilize youth in crisis and prepare them for less restrictive residential settings. Following treatment services and parent/provider training, the clients will be placed with their parents, guardians, or a residential community funded by Child Welfare Services. The new development will feature three residential units and 24 beds. Operations are set to begin later this year.
State senator Chris Kidd, R-Waurika, said about the change, “We are excited to welcome Liberty and their operations to the community of Manitou. We are especially proud to know that of all the factors considered, Liberty was most impressed with the quality of the people at SWOJC. The commitment of all SWOJC employees to provide service through multiple years of the property’s uncertain future is remarkable. Their pride in maintaining the facility despite the age of the physical plant is commendable. The unwavering dedication and profound passion of all staff at SWOJC illustrate the best of rural Oklahoma.”
For over 23 years, Liberty of Oklahoma has assisted adults, adolescents, and children living with intellectual and developmental disabilities and co-occurring mental illness by providing short-term residential treatment solutions. As Liberty continues to expand services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities throughout the state, it is a reminder that this is a critical need throughout the country.
Read the press release from Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs