Transitional Living Program

Learn more about our Transitional Living Program.

The Transitional Living Program at Waterfall Canyon Academy is designed to give young adults who are still in need of structure an opportunity to learn and apply skills and abilities with increased interactions within the “real life” community. With support and guidance, students are encouraged to establish and develop a weekly calendar, make daily life choices, and face the results in a supportive and focused atmosphere. We have found this experience is very helpful for students prior to returning to their home, or moving on to a less structured environment.


There are six steps within the Transitional Living Program. Each of the steps is designed for the student to work toward acquiring the tools and skills needed to live as a young adult. For example, the first step requires the student to obtain a Utah State Identification card, bank account, and a food-handlers permit. Issues such as budgeting, time management, and leadership skills are addressed in later steps.

More advanced daily living skills (such as budgeting, time management, cooking etc.) are also incorporated into the Transitional Living Program steps. Students learn these skills in a class setting and then apply them in real life scenarios such as opening a bank account, paying for personal items, daily planning and preparation, etc.

  • Upon Arrival

    Upon Arrival into the transition Program, a treatment team meeting is held to determine the specific goals for each student. One of the first things we like to establish is the plan for their living situation/placement following Transition. We then tailor each students program to closely resemble whatever their next step will look like; be it home with parents, college dorm, or an independent living situation.

  • Advancement

    Students advance through the steps by completing step objectives/tasks, and presenting 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. Once a student advances to a higher step, they cannot be returned to a lower step. If negative behaviors and attitudes occur, students process the issues with trained staff and their therapist to correct them, but continue moving forward to complete step requirements.

  • Skills Training

    Skills training classes are held five nights a week at the Transition Program. Skills Streaming and Moral Reasoning are still utilized (see description under Residential), but are designed for more mature students and situations more applicable to navigation challenges and relationships in the community. “In the moment coaching” is heavily relied upon to help the students master applying these skills in real life situations. Trips to the mall, going out to eat, and participation in community-sponsored recreation (just to name a few) are excellent opportunities for our staff to model/teach appropriate skills to our students.

Setting & Support

The Transitional Living Program consists of two homes situated next door to each other. The larger home is the entry level home and is staffed at a 1:4 staff to student ratio during waking hours, and has two awake staff during sleeping hours. The smaller home is for students who have demonstrated the ability and willingness to complete their responsibilities with little or no prompting by staff. A staff person is assigned to this home at all times, but may not necessarily be inside the home, giving students the opportunity to practice living without direct supervision.

Each student is assigned a Community Advisor upon entry who serves as the student’s primary advocate to ensure personal needs and programming/recommendations are being followed. The CA also assists the student with such things as academics, finding employment, building an acceptable schedule, and finding activity and volunteering opportunities.

Productive Planning

Students in the Transition Program evaluate their strengths, abilities and personal interests as they develop a productive long term, weekly, and daily plan. Extra-curricular activities and a volunteering position within the community are required. Once a student has reached step 3, they have the opportunity to obtain employment.

A student’s daily schedule includes appropriate use of “free time.” Students are made aware of the amount of time they spend on the computer, cell phone, sleeping etc. and learn to manage this time more responsibly. Productive planning and self-accountability will help each student become more independent and self-reliant.

  • Volunteering

    Students are required to obtain a volunteering position within the community. This fosters relationships in the community, healthy interests, and builds their resume. Students are encouraged to base this position on their personal interests such a working with animals at the local shelter, working with children by teaching them bicycle safety, or developing trails with the Forest Service etc.

  • Extra-Curricular

    Individual extra-curricular activities are also required. It is important students engage in healthy, social activities. Transition students often obtain gym memberships, take up hobbies such as fishing or bowling, or focus on talents such as art or music classes. This fosters relationships in the greater community, increases self-confidence, and encourages productive use of their time. Students also learn to organize their time and resources by arranging for payment, transportation, etc.


Students participate in service based activities such as Bike Rodeo’s, the Ogden City Rodeo, and Habitat for Humanity. They also enjoy recreational and experiential activities such as eating out, attending movies, boating, skiing, and hiking. These activities provide an opportunity for students to learn and experience new things, practice and apply learned skills, and enjoy the community in which they live.

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Find out which program best suits the needs for you or a loved one.

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