Residential Treatment Program

Out-of-home treatment for adolescents with significant psychiatric and/or behavioral difficulties.

JW’s Story

After having been removed from his mother’s care at the age of six, JW was sent to several foster homes, lived in several group homes and spent some time in a psychiatric hospital. He was treated for mood swings, aggression, anxiety and impulsiveness—all challenges that made it difficult for him to maintain relationships and friendships or even be trusted to keep himself and his surroundings safe. Nothing was working.

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Just before his 17th birthday JW found a ray of hope—in the Residential Treatment program at The Children’s Center of Hamden, where he established an encouraging connection with his therapist and other members of his Treatment Team.

Progress didn’t happen overnight; indeed, for at least the first three months he still exhibited behaviors that required serious outside intervention. But soon thereafter JW came to understand how his conduct affected not just himself, but all others around him. With his team by his side, he discovered new interests that ultimately helped him cope better, improve his overall mood, and determine to go the distance in an effort to get along with people. What’s more, in collaboration with the Department of Children & Families (DCF), The Children’s Center team began to include his mother in his treatment. With a schedule of family therapy sessions and regular home visits, The Children’s Center felt confident in putting the pieces in place for reuniting JW with his mother on a permanent basis.

He was recently discharged from Residential Treatment to live at home with his mother for the first time in over 10 years. The two of them are entirely dedicated to making it work. Combined with an effective DCF-supervised aftercare plan, the picture is now more complete for JW than it has been for most of his childhood.

What Our Residential Treatment Program Provides

The Residential Treatment program services 38 adolescent boys and girls experiencing significant emotional, behavioral and/or psychiatric difficulties requiring an intensive highly supervised out of home treatment setting, typically for 6 to 9 months. There are two 13-bed boys’ units and one 12-bed girls’ unit. Youth receive individualized treatment directed by a multidisciplinary treatment team which includes the youth, the family, the Department of Children & Families and other stakeholders. Significant attention is focused on engaging family members via communication, family therapy, visits and program-wide family events. Clinical services include individual, family and group therapies as well as recreational services.

For more information contact Elizabeth Hernandez, LCSW, x362 or email

What Our Clients Say

I was a resident and graduate of Lynch cottage and Whitney Hall School. I am writing just to express my gratitude and pride of having been a part of this program. The Children’s Center has been more than a treatment center and safe haven for me. It is a permanent fixture in my childhood memories.