San Diego Center for Children - Residential Treatment Program

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RESIDENTIAL TREATMENT PROGRAM A trusted resource in caring for children and strengthening families since 1887


Funding for a portion of our programs provided by the County of San Diego.

As San Diego’s oldest children’s nonprofit, our legacy is built on expertise and evidence-based practices and outcomes. We empower over 1,000 children and families every day who are struggling with mental, emotional and behavioral disorders. Children and families come to us from all walks of life, circumstances and backgrounds. Not only are we a trusted resource for children, teens and families – we are also a trusted partner of the County of San Diego, nonprofit and service agencies, hospitals, health professionals and school districts.

I don’t know how my family could have done it without the Center. We’re thankful for all they did for my child.

Private residential bedroom

EXCELLENCE IN INTENSIVE THERAPEUTIC CARE Our continuum of therapeutic programs is nationally accredited by The Joint Commission for its excellence in safety and quality of care. We are leading experts in providing effective therapeutic, educational, foster care and transition services. Our services are accessible to all families, strength-based, child and family focused, trauma-informed and culturally relevant. When other models and therapies have not been proven effective, or a youth presents such significant behaviors where they may no longer be safe to live at home, our therapeutic residential treatment program may be the necessary option to consider.

DISTINGUISHED THERAPEUTIC RESIDENTIAL CARE Our intensive residential services are highly individualized and uniquely designed with evidence-based treatment plans to successfully meet a youth’s therapeutic goals. Additionally, our focus is to ensure children and teens are prepared to continue their treatment success when they transition back into their home, community and school environment.

RESIDENTIAL TREATMENT PROGRAM • 24 hours / 7 days a week supervision and support on a safe and nurturing 9-acre campus in beautiful San Diego • After school program with engaging activities and curriculum to address specific mental health needs • Short-term and extended care for youth, ages 6 to 18 • Family-centered approach • Cottages designated for various ages, treatment plans and gender identity • On-site Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) accredited K-12 nonpublic school • On-site nursing and psychiatry department • Connection to after care and community engagement services • Cost effective option to hospitalization and more restrictive interventions • Successful transition to adulthood planning for youth, 15-years and older

It’s nice to know I’m not dealing with my daughter’s struggles alone anymore. I feel her treatment has validated what my family and I have been going through for the past 10 years. That in itself is huge.

WHO WE SERVE We provide intensive therapeutic residential care to children and teens, ages 6 to 18, who are struggling with a variety of mental, emotional and behavioral disorders. Children and teens are referred to us to address areas of social development, emotional regulation, grief, loss and attachment. We provide services and guidance to youth in a safe and inclusive environment who may be experiencing the following challenges: • Anxiety and depression • Bipolar disorder • Psychosis • Impulsivity

• Trauma and severe stress • Self-harm behavior • Substance use • Behavior problems

• School performance or attendance problems • History of physical or sexual abuse • Neglect • Poor self-esteem


• Behavioral health assessments • Psychiatric evaluation with medication management • Comprehensive psychological and educational evaluations • Family needs assesment • Transition needs assessment for teens


• Individual and Family therapy • Group psychotherapy • Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT), and Motivational Interviewing (MI) • Psychological, behavioral, sensory and occupational therapies • Pet therapy with certified dogs on-site • Music program: drumming sessions, youth choir and individual music lessons • Recreation programs: team sports, two on-site basketball courts and challenge course • Art room, sensory rooms and on-site gardens


• Personalized instruction by a multidisciplinary team • Common Core State Standards (CCSS) curriculum and college prep classes (A-G Classes) • Individual, group, speech/language and occupational therapy • Sensory-equipped environment and sensory rooms • Restorative practices, National Honor Society, Anti-Bulling and Peacebuilders programs • Intensive Reading and Math Improvement programs • State-of-the-art digital music lab and music center


TRANSITION TO ADULTHOOD SERVICES & LIFE SKILLS • Education and coaching to support individualized transition plans into adulthood • On-site culinary kitchen with Chef Mentoring program • Dog Therapy Training Certification • CPR & First Aid Certification • Food Handlers Certification • Community service

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT • Structured recreational activities in the community • Individualized programming to support development of youth’s interests (i.e. horseback riding, dance and gymnastics, and competitive friendly sports) • Connection to community resources and mentors • Successful Transition Action Plan to remain connected to community resources

ENRICHMENT ACTIVITIES • Family events • Summer camps • Holiday celebrations • Field trips to local attractions such as the San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park museums and more • Hobby exploration such as sewing, photography, scrapbooking, fishing and more

• Friendly chef competitions • Appreciation social events • Annual graduation celebrations • Movie nights • Game room • Youth Voice Council



The fact that these services even exist helped my child and my family. He was suffering and the Center was able to end that and give him the help he needed.


I like that I have friends at the Center who I can talk to.


Professional and caring staff Culinary Program

Culinary Program

Family room

TEAM OF EXPERTS Our caring, multidisciplinary team includes bilingual and trauma-informed members: • Program managers • Clinical supervisors • Licensed and specialized therapists • Milieu counselors

• Training specialists • Psychologists • Social workers • Occupational therapists

• Board Certified Child & Adolescent Psychiatrists • Recreational professionals and musicians • Psychiatric nurse practitioner • Nurses

We have a comprehensive, professional training program for staff in evidence-based practices within mental and behavioral health for children, teens and families. Additionally, we are a year-round training facility for undergraduate, Master’s and Doctoral graduate students in the areas of psychology, counseling, special education and social work.

This is an amazing place that makes a difference.

ADMISSIONS San Diego Center for Children Residential Treatment Program 3002 Armstrong Street San Diego, CA 92111 (858) 633-4106 For admission with private pay or insurance, please call us directly. We accept most major insurance plans. We also accept public funding referrals from county social workers, school districts, adoption assistance and others.

MISSION Protect the joy of childhood. Prevent emotional suffering. Incite change.

VISION Inspire a world where all children and families live joyful and healthy lives.

The San Diego Center for Children provides a range of services across 8 program sites and in hundreds of homes, schools and communities throughout the region.

San Diego Center for Children Main Campus 3002 Armstrong Street San Diego, CA 92111

For a phone directory of all programs or general assistance:

(858) 277-9550

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