Youth Services

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Program Philosophy

The Child and Adolescent Inpatient Unit at Westborough Behavioral Healthcare Hospital provides a structured, consistent and nurturing environment for our patients. Within such a milieu, systematic applications of positive reinforcement principles and strength-based clinical approaches are utilized. All interventions help the children and adolescents develop trust in others, increase their level of self-control, develop the ability to take initiative, and learn important skills in socialization, self-expression and other practical areas.

The children and adolescents we treat come from diverse backgrounds and experiences. They are typically admitted because they are having thoughts or behaviors that may pose a danger to themselves and/or others. If your child/adolescent is exhibiting any of the following behavioral signs and symptoms, we are here to help:

  • Suicidal/homicidal thoughts, threats or actions

  • Outbursts of anger or violence

  • Persistent disobedience or aggression

  • Expressions of guilt, hopelessness or helplessness, excessive worry and anxiety

  • Abusing alcohol and/or drugs

  • Defiance of authority, truancy or vandalism

  • Prolonged depression or negative outlook

  • Challenges coping with problems or daily activities

  • Extreme emotional response to frustration

  • Hyperactivity or attention challenges

  • Severe or sudden changes in school performance.

While in the hospital, the primary goal of treatment is to decrease the behavioral and emotional difficulties of the children or adolescents and provide support and assistance to their families throughout the treatment process. Parents and guardians are highly encouraged to be involved in the planning process and will have the opportunity to speak with members of the treatment team about the child’s progress. In addition, the case managers will work with parents or guardians to locate resources and guide them towards services in their communities that are patient specific to support their aftercare plan.

Program Description

Westborough Behavioral Healthcare Hospital’s Inpatient Child and Adolescent Unit programming is designed to address the needs of different age groups. The Child track is for children ages 4 to 12, while our Adolescent track is for teenagers between the ages of 13 and 17. In addition, we are offering a specialized program for children and adolescents (ages 8-18) with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and Intellectual Disabilities. The specialized treatment team for the children and adolescents on the spectrum include child psychiatrists,  behavior analysts, patient care managers, physical therapists, nurses, and special educators. All services are delivered by professionals who specialize in the unique needs of children with developmental disorders.

A multidisciplinary treatment team is provided to each child and adolescent who is admitted to the hospital. Each team includes a psychiatrist, nurse, case manager, therapist, and adjunct therapy clinicians. With the involvement and input from the patient and their family, a treatment plan is developed so that the individual needs of each patient are addressed. The treatment plan is reflective of the patient’s needs and goals and determines an appropriate length of stay. The programs include:

  • Strong and immediate family involvement

  • Medication management

  • Expert behavioral assessment and intervention strategies

  • Rotating therapeutic group topics and Group psychotherapy

  • Skilled and involved education, art and activity therapy

  • 24 hours nursing care

  • Self-calming resources.

The Child and Adolescent Unit tracks are crafted specifically for the developmental ages of the patients. The programs’ content is supported by evidence-based methods that have proven effective in research studies. Throughout the program patients learn valuable problem-solving skills, gain insight into how their behavior affects them and other people, and achieve a sense of control over their lives. We carefully track each patient's progress toward their goals to ensure they meet the objectives of their treatment plan. The length of treatment will depend on the patient's individual needs and goals, as determined by our multidisciplinary team of health professionals.