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Office of Mental Health

Services for Children and Families

Find a Mental Health Program in your area.


Clinic Treatment Programs

Clinics offer traditional outpatient mental health services such as:

  • assessment
  • individual, family, and group therapies
  • medication management.

Treatment is offered at a variety of sites including schools and community offices. For information on clinic treatment programming in schools, see School-Based Mental Health Clinics.

Day Treatment Programs

Day treatment services provide intensive, non-residential services. Children and adolescents receiving day treatment services live at home or in the community. The programs offer a blend of mental health and special education services provided in an integrated program.

Day treatment programs include:

  • special education in small classes
  • individual and group counseling
  • family services such as family counseling and crisis intervention
  • behavior modification

Crisis Residences

Crisis residences serve children and adolescents exhibiting acute distress who may need stabilization in an alternate setting. The expected length of stay is up to 21 days.

The major goal of the program is to stabilize the situation and return the child to the home, rather than to provide long-term care. There is an emphasis on maintaining relationships the child has with their family and in the community.

Home Based Crisis Intervention (HBCI)

HBCI provides intensive in-home crisis services to families (natural, foster, or adoptive) where a child is at imminent risk of psychiatric hospitalization. The target population for the HBCI program is youth 5 to 20 years, 11 months of age.

These interventions last for 4 to 6 weeks and a counselor is available seven days a week, 24 hours a day to work with the child and family.

Children's Community Residences

Children’s Community Residences (CCR) are home-like programs for youth with mental health needs. They offer a temporary place for youth to live with supervision, structure, skill building and behavior support. During a youth’s time at a CCR, they attend school in the community. Youth also receive treatment services, like therapy and medication management, in the community.

CCRs are a 24 hour/7 day a week program. CCR buildings are not locked. There is a ratio of at least one staff to four youth. Youth may have their own bedroom or share with one other youth.

Residential Treatment Facilities

Residential Treatment Facilities (RTF) are a type of inpatient mental health program for youth with complex mental health needs. They provide all physical, medical and mental health services for youth in their care. They provide treatment on-site, in the home, and in the community. RTFs offer a supervised and structured environment. Youth admitted to an RTF go to a school on or close to the RTF campus.

RTF’s are 24 hour/7 days a week programs. There is a ratio of at least one staff to four youth. Youth may have their own bedroom or share with one or two other youth. Each RTF program has its own unique admission criteria.

Inpatient services

These hospital-based programs offer a full range of treatment and support services. Programs exist in general hospitals (Article 28), freestanding psychiatric hospitals (Article 31) and State Children's Psychiatric Centers.


Single Point of Access

Each local government in New York State must designate a Single Point of Access for Children and Families (SPOA). The purpose of the SPOA is to:

  • Identify children with the highest risk for placement.
  • Develop strategies to manage these children in their home communities.
  • Develop better decisions about individualized care planning for children at risk.
  • Support communities to manage access to intensive services.

Search by county for your local Children's SPOA Coordinator

Telehealth Services

Telehealth plays a valuable role when on-site services are delayed or not available.

Benefits Include:

  • Child psychiatry services in your community
  • Collaboration and communication between families, local providers and child psychiatry consultants.
  • Less cost to families in form of reduced travel, childcare expenses and missed school or workdays.
  • Rural areas can have equal access to quality care.


Family support programs provide services to assist and empower families with children and adolescents having serious emotional disturbances. The goal is to reduce family stress and enhance each family's ability to care for their child.