Kids Cottage

15 day program for boys and girls at risk of disrupting from community care including foster homes.

Todd’s Story

When a child at the tender age of five exhibits a dozen or more troubling behaviors, it is a certain bet that a lot of hard work lies ahead. After counting among his negative actions such things as vulgar language, tantrums and aggression, a social worker for a boy named Todd realized that the kind of treatment needed for him would best be found at a place like The Children’s Center of Hamden.

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The Children’s Center’s Kids Cottage is a ‘safe home’ staffed with professionals skilled at assessing troubled youth and stabilizing their behaviors. Residents are those who have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect or disruptive environments. Todd, whose biological mother had had her parental rights terminated, would be an ideal fit for what Kids Cottage has to offer.

When admitted, the extent of his earlier experiences wasn’t entirely clear. What was clear was that he struggled with attachment issues and perhaps issues of abuse, and that he was behind in learning the basic hygiene tools most youngsters at his age had already mastered.

Kids Cottage staff members immediately began developing a consistent routine for Todd, a training method for improved verbal skills, a sense of safety, and steps to lead to more self-sufficiency.

The hard work and consistency paid off; the Department of Children and Families identified another pre-adoptive foster family that agreed to attend weekly meetings with the Kids Cottage clinician. That way they could better understand Todd who, while still on his learning curve, had already graduated into a much more comfortable lifestyle. The family attended sessions that taught them, among other things, how to deal with Todd’s bedtime for the overnights that were planned at the new home. Although there were minor setbacks as Todd adjusted to his new home, the relationship that the foster family established with the Cottage clinician allowed them work on strategies that gave progress the decisive upper hand. And that’s how it has been ever since.

What Our S-FIT Program Provides

Kids Cottage is a Short-Term Family Integrated Treatment program (S-FIT) in a homelike setting providing short-term (15 day) intensive family, group and individual treatment for youth, boys and girls, 12-17 years of age who may be at risk of disrupting from community care including foster homes. Youth are referred to the S-FIT program by DCF and other health care providers to address behavioral health problems or those requiring brief out of home treatment. Kids Cottage provides interventions aimed towards assessing, stabilizing and strengthening youth and their family in order to ensure successful reintegrate of the youth back into their home. Individual, family therapy, group therapy, crisis intervention, milieu treatment, case management, aftercare, day long and overnight respite care are provided by trained clinical and Child Care staff to youth and their family served by the Program.

For more information contact Julie Nesteruk, x276 or email

What Our Clients Say

I’ve grown closer to my father. I’m going to be going to live with him now.