Therapeutic Day Treatment

School-Based Program

Therapeutic Day Treatment (TDT) is a school-based program that provides individualized and structured therapeutic interventions to children and adolescents, who are often at risk of out-of-home or out-of-school placement. Interventions delivered within the school setting support social, emotional and behavioral functioning. Care coordination with families, school staff, and community service providers fosters connections to resources and prosocial activities that enhance social skill development through a trauma informed lens. Children and adolescents who are receiving Therapeutic Day Treatment services may also have the opportunity to participate in the summer program.

Behavioral Specialists

Behavioral Specialists are qualified mental health professionals that work every day in the schools with a group of 4 to 8 children or adolescents. Behavioral Specialists follow the school schedule and collaborate regularly to assure continuity of care and assist the client in succeeding with the following stakeholders:

  • Administrators
  • Family
  • Other natural supports
  • Other service providers
  • Teachers


Interventions are therapeutic in nature and done in the school. Interventions can be done on an individual, group and family basis focusing on the individual needs of each child/adolescent. Family contact occurs weekly to assist the family in supporting their child/adolescent by providing structure, consistency and trauma informed thinking. Crisis Intervention is provided as needed. These interventions are addressed through the Individual Service Plan (ISP) that is designed to build on strengths and improve the child/adolescent’s natural support system.


Common challenges of children and adolescents who receive TDT include:

  • Anxiety
  • Deficits in communication
  • Depression
  • Difficulty maintaining positive peer or authority figure relationships
  • Disruptive classroom behaviors
  • Hyperactivity
  • Lack of positive social skills
  • Multiple discipline referrals and suspensions
  • Physically and verbally aggressive behaviors
  • Poor impulse control
  • Self-harm
  • Suicidal or homicidal ideation
  • Truancy
  • Others


Referrals come from designated school staff (School Counselor, Principal, Assistant Principal, or IEP Case Manager) that collaborates with the Behavioral Specialist to make the initial referral and for ongoing program development.

Funding is obtained through Medicaid. Alternate funding from the Comprehensive Services Act (CSA) may be approved through the county’s Family Assessment and Planning Team (FAPT) and the Community Policy and Management Team (CPMT).

School Districts

Catchment Area for TDT includes the following school districts:

  • Colonial Beach
  • Essex
  • Gloucester
  • King William
  • Lancaster
  • Matthews
  • Middlesex
  • Northumberland
  • Richmond County
  • Westmoreland
  • West Point

Clinical Framework

“Childhood experiences, both positive and negative, have a tremendous impact on future violence victimization and perpetration, and lifelong health and opportunity. As such, early experiences are an important public health issue. Much of the foundational research in this area has been referred to as Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs).”

“Adverse Childhood Experiences have been linked to risky health behaviors, chronic health conditions, low life potential, and early death. As the number of ACEs increases, so does the risk for these outcomes.”

Therapeutic Day Treatment uses a systemic model to address ACEs with the children/adolescents and families we serve. Our goal is to assist them in creating natural supports in order to assure “safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments for all children. Essentials for Childhood can have a positive impact on a broad range of health problems and on the development of skills that will help children reach their full potential.”

"About Adverse Childhood Experiences." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 01 April 2016. Web. 10 February 2017.