Youth Services

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Child Inpatient Services & Specialized Needs Child Unit


The Child Inpatient Services at Westborough Behavioral Healthcare Hospital serves children ages 4 through 12. This program 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 children to 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 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 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

  • 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.

The program treatment includes strong and immediate family involvement, medication management, behavioral assessment and strategies, group therapy, skilled and involved education, art, and activity therapy. The specifics of the treatment plan are reflective of the unique needs and goals of each child. A multidisciplinary treatment team is provided to each child who is admitted to the hospital. Each team includes a psychiatrist, nurse, case manager, therapist, and adjunct therapy clinicians. 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.


Specialized Needs Child Unit


 The Specialized Needs Program strives to provide the gold standard of care for individuals age 8 through 17 with Autism Spectrum Disorder and intellectual or developmental disabilities. This is a community of people who are often considered underserved when they experience the need for a higher level of care as a result of a psychiatric disorder or behavioral disturbance.

Through an understanding and respect for the evidenced-based needs of the individual, a treatment plan is developed, focused on increasing safety and independence of the individual to aid transitioning back to the community. Our goal is to ensure patients and their loved ones feel comfortable and are well-informed regarding treatment options.

The Specialized Needs Program is based upon an integrated model of treatment, with a focus on the use of:

  • Behavior analytic interventions
  • Evidenced-based practices treating unique needs
  • Psychiatry
  • Psychology

Other modalities include occupational, speech, and physical therapy all to promote effective function for the patient. The goal is to ensure that all patients leaving our care do so with the coping strategies and a behavior intervention plan that can be carried over and used at home, school, and the community.