It started with one participant, one staff member and one couch…

Residential and Transitional Living for Young Adults - Our Story

Benchmark Young Adult School® was founded in Southern California on September 9, 1993 by Jaynie Longnecker-Harper, M.Ed., who has long been considered to be a leader in the industry of special education for adolescents and transitional living programs for young adults. As a single parent of four children, Jaynie understood all too well that many young people, and their frustrated families, faced a lack of resources in their struggle for self-reliance. With her education, experience and first-hand understanding of addiction, Jaynie set out to provide a real-world setting where troubled teens and struggling young adults could learn to emerge into independence.

When Jaynie opened Benchmark on September 9, 1993, she had one participant, one staff member and one couch. In 2008, the business was re-branded as Benchmark Transitions®, which has grown to include over 40 employees. In 2013, Jaynie’s adult children joined her to form a first and second generation executive team, sharing her original vision and values. And recently the third generation has become involved – a true American family business!

info about benchmark transitions history
about jaynie longnecker benchmark transitions

A personal note from Jaynie...

Often we are asked how Benchmark came to be and how we as a family got into the work of serving young adults who suffer from substance abuse and other disabling kinds of mental health disorders. As with most people who find this work to be a life devotion, there is usually some driving force that accompanies a deep desire to make a difference. For us, that is true.

On April 21, 1986, I found the father of my four children dead with a self-inflicted bullet wound to his head. This was the most profound shock of my life. While I knew he was very much in trouble with alcoholism, I never dreamed that his life could be robbed from him in this way – and by his own choice. Needless-to-say, the kids and I were devastated. He left a note to us that said, “I can’t live with it and I can’t live without it… we will all be better off if I am not here.”

As the reality of that note set in, I began to ponder what lay before me. First I just wanted to run away from the sadness and horror of the scene in my mind. What I was left with, coming out of that room, was a profound fury towards the disease that had robbed our family of this man who was in such trouble with a disease he never understood… and a desire to do something to make a difference.

As life does, one step lead to another, and finding the right people who led me into working with young adults was the bright spot. The following year I came to California and was blessed by working with the original emotional growth program in the nation which centered on adolescents and young adults, helping me realize that out of tragedy can come healing and purpose. That experience inspired me to create Benchmark.

All four of my children, Shelley Skaggs, Dana Drury, Joelle Walters, and Darren Longnecker, have embraced the family business and together we work to honor the memory of their father and to fight the disease of addiction and the accompanying mental health issues that go hand in hand.

We strive to do this well.

Our Core Focus

The Benchmark Transitions family is dedicated to transforming the lives of young adults and their families through the development of courage, conscience and character.

Our Ethics

Benchmark Transitions follows the principles outlined in the California Uniform Code of Conduct for Certified and Registered Alcohol and Drug Professionals [principles], as well as the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP) [ethics] and the National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Providers (NATSAP) [ethics]

Our Core Values

  • Humbly lead by example
  • Show integrity
  • Be accountable for quality care and service
  • Serve in a highly competent, professional manner
  • Embrace growth & change
  • Exhibit a positive & optimistic spirit
  • Demonstrate initiative in problem solving

Licensing, Accreditation, Professional Affiliations & Confidentiality Statement

Benchmark Transitions is a licensed dual diagnosis and residential substance abuse treatment program with certification through the State of California Department of Health Care Services providing a continuum of therapeutic care for young adults including Detoxification, Residential Treatment, Day Treatment (PHP), Intensive Outpatient (IOP) and Outpatient (OP) levels of care services, in addition to our structured transitional living housingBenchmark Sober Living™.

The educational component of Benchmark Transitions, Benchmark Young Adult School®,  is fully accredited as an Outstanding Academic Institution by the National Private Schools Association Group (NPSAG).

Benchmark holds a Private School Affidavit through the State of California, has been a member in good standing of the National Association of Therapeutic Schools & Programs (NATSAP) since its inception and is a member of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP) and California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals (CCAPP), as well as a founding member of Young Adult Transition Association (YATA).

Notice of Confidentiality

Information regarding your healthcare, including payment for healthcare, is protected by two federal laws:  the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”), 42 U.S.C. § 1320d et seq., 45 C.F.R. Parts 160 & 164, and the Confidentiality Law, 42 U.S.C. § 290dd-2, 42 C.F.R. Part 2.  Under these laws, we may not communicate to a person outside of the Program that you attend the Program, nor may we disclose any information identifying you as an alcohol or drug abuser, or disclose any other protected information except as permitted by law.  The law allows us to share information with your caregivers, your insurance companies, and financially responsible people.

A statement explaining client’s personal rights and information about making complaints is attached in the Admissions Agreement.  Clients acknowledge that they have been personally advised of, and given at admission, a copy of this statement explaining personal rights and information about making complaints.

As a participant in the Program, clients may become aware of protected health information relating to other participants in the Program, including, but not limited to, the fact that an individual is a participant of the Program.  Clients understand and acknowledge that protected health information about other participants is personal, and agree to maintain the confidentiality of any such information, whether written or oral, that you become aware of as a result of your participation in the Program.  Clients understand that violating this provision may result in your discharge and termination from the Program.

Participant Profile

Young adult men & women, 18-28 years of age, exhibiting behavioral and clinical issues such as, but not limited to:

• Academic challenges
• Addiction
• ADD/ADHD
• Adoption/Abandonment
• Anger management
• Anxiety
• Asperger/Austism Spectrum

• Bi-Polar
• Compulsive behavior
• Depression
• Distressed relationships
• Dual diagnosis
• Emotional & Behavioral issues
• Grief/loss

• Gaming/Gambling
• Lacking confidence
• Learning differences
• Life changes
• ODD/PTSD
• PDD
• Poor judgment

• Non-verbal learning disorder
• Shy/withdrawn
• Sneaky/underground
• Socially isolated
• Substance use/abuse
• Trauma
• Unmotivated

Use your Insurance. Apply!