Adolescent Recovery Services

Children's Outpatient Services

Community Healthlink’s Youth and Family Services-Outpatient Clinic has provided counseling, support, and comfort to children, teens, and their families in Worcester and Central Massachusetts since 1921, when it was founded as the Worcester Youth Guidance Center. Our current name reflects our steadfast commitment to helping young people and their families, and enabling families to be active participants in their child’s treatment. The Youth and Family Services division has an outstanding history of developing programs that are culture and issue specific, and its services are recognized for their quality and responsiveness. Our professional staff respond with sensitivity to each child and family’s unique needs and issues. More than 3,000 children and adolescents receive services through our programs every year.

CHL’s outpatient mental health services for families and children include diagnostic evaluation and assessment; individual, couple, group, and family counseling; psychiatry services and medication monitoring; collateral contact and consultation; crisis management; and psychological testing. The Outpatient Services’ Treatment Teams include psychiatrists, social workers, psychologists, and mental health counselors trained and experienced in the care of children and families with serious mental health issues. These teams work closely with schools and primary care physicians to coordinate care. Our Outpatient Services clinics are also training grounds for social work, psychology, and psychiatric interns nearing the completion of their studies.

The Victim Services team includes clinicians with expertise in evidenced-based trauma focused care. As part of Outpatient Services, the Child-Family Assessment DCF program provides specialized assessments by experienced staff knowledgeable about the child protection and legal systems with a focus on family reunification, parenting, placement needs, permanency planning, and risk assessment.

Juvenile Court Clinic

Community Healthlink (CHL) through one of its predecessor organizations, the Worcester Youth Guidance Center, has provided mental health and forensic evaluation services to the courts since the 1930s--making it one of the oldest providers of court-based mental health services specific to juveniles in the state. Community Heathlink’s Youth and Family Services have continuously provided Juvenile Court Clinic services throughout the development of the juvenile court system in Massachusetts. Historically these services to the courts have included evaluating the mental health needs of juveniles and families who have come in contact with the courts for the purposes of assessing service needs and  consulting on mental health issues for the purposes of disposition planning.

Throughout all five juvenile court sessions in Worcester County, juvenile judges have used the majority of our services for evaluations ordered pursuant to Child Requiring Assistance (formerly CHINS) cases and delinquency matters, in addition to same-day assessments for crisis evaluations. Such assessments are requested to determine if a youth is acutely at risk for harming self or others, and to facilitate for the Court the completion of a civil commitment pursuant to M.G.L. c. 123, s. 12a if needed. The JCC conducts evaluations for competency to stand trial and criminal responsibility pursuant to M.G.L. c. 123, s. 15a.  

All clinicians employed with the Juvenile Court Clinic must be independently licensed in Massachusetts and either complete or be enrolled in the statewide Certified Juvenile Court Clinician training program. All clients referred to CHL’s Juvenile Court Clinic program must be juvenile court involved and ordered by a juvenile court judge. There is no fee or charge to our clients and the program does not bill for third party reimbursement through health insurance. We serve clients of all socioeconomic, racial and ethnic backgrounds.

For more information: The Massachusetts Alliance of Juvenile Court Clinics

Worcester County Juvenile Court Clinic
Julie Ann Lamacchia, LICSW, CJCC I, Program Director
Worcester Trial Court
225 Main Street, Room 1009 
Phone: 508-831-2093 
Fax: 508-755-5497
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Support for Success

In-Home Therapy is a structured, consistent, strength-based therapeutic relationship between a clinician(s) and the youth and family for the purpose of treating the youth’s behavioral health needs, and improving the family’s ability to provide effective support for the youth to promote his/her healthy functioning within the family.

In-Home Therapy is:
• A voluntary service
• A strength-based family therapy in which all members are encouraged to participate
• An intensive home based therapy
• A service driven by family needs

In-Home Therapy enhances:
• Communication
• Building natural supports
• Problem solving
• Limit setting
• Family relationships
• Coping skills

The In-Home Therapy Services provider operates from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm, 7 days per week, 365 days per year.

With permission, anyone can refer a family for In-Home Therapy services, including the family themselves.


Therapeutic mentoring offers structured one-to-one, strength-based support services between a therapeutic mentor and a youth for the purpose of addressing daily living, social, and communication needs. Therapeutic mentoring services are provided to a youth in any setting where the youth resides, such as the home (including foster homes), and in other community settings (ie. School, child care centers, respite settings, and other culturally and linguistically appropriate community settings).

Therapeutic mentoring is:
• A voluntary service
• A skill based intervention
• A service driven by the youth’s needs

Therapeutic mentoring works to build and enhance:
• Social skills
• Problem solving
• Communication
• Anger control
• Coping skills
• Community resources
• Independent living skills

Referrals for Therapeutic Mentoring can only be made by an Intensive Care Coordinator, In-Home Therapist or Outpatient Therapist.

For more information and to make a referral, contact:

In the Worcester service area:
Justine Isakson, LMHC
Director of Support For Success Program
Youth & Family Services
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In the North Central Massachusetts service area:
Melissa Lajoie, LICSW
Director of Support For Success Program
Lipton Center
Phone: 978-401-3913
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Cities and towns served by Community Healthlink’s Support for Success:

Worcester Region
East Brookfield
New Braintree
North Brookfield
West Boylston
West Brookfield





















Community Healthlink’s Support for Success program is a component of the CBHI.

The Children’s Behavioral Health Initiative (CBHI) is an interagency initiative of the Commonwealth’s Executive Office of Health and Human Services, whose mission is to strengthen, expand, and integrate Massachusetts state services into a comprehensive, community-based system of care to ensure that families and their children with significant behavioral, emotional, and mental health needs obtain the services necessary for success in home, school, and community.

As part of the Rosie D. Court Order, CBHI services are available to children and adolescents under the age of 21 who reside in Massachusetts and meet the following criteria:

  • Are eligible for MassHealth, the Massachusetts Medicaid program, under either MassHealth Standard or CommonHealth
  • Are diagnosed with a serious emotional, behavioral, or psychiatric condition meeting the federal definitions of serious emotional disturbance
  • Are determined through a mental health evaluation to need home-based services

Victim Services Program



All services are supported by two grants: (1) The Massachusetts Office of Victims Assistance (MOVA) grant through the 1984 Victim of Crime Act (VOCA), which is funded by the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs and the US Department of Justice, and (2) The Domestic Violence Intervention Response Team (DVIRT) grant through the Department of Children and Families (DCF).

Learn more about:

*Evidence Based Practices         *Child Care Information          *Languages Offered           *Referrals              *Group Offerings                             *Upcoming Events                                                             

The Victim Services Program provides advocacy, crisis intervention, individual, family, and group therapy, bereavement groups, and support groups. Services are provided to family members and loved ones of homicide and vehicular homicide; children and non-offending family members who have witnessed or are victims of domestic violence and/or community violence; and adolescent victims of dating violence, sexual assault, or gang violence. The Victim Services Program includes specialized services for GLBT youth, and for children and their non-offending family members who have been sexually abused, including adult victims of child sexual abuse.  

Victim Services is a part of the Central Massachusetts Child Trauma Center/Massachusetts Child Trauma Center and the Central Massachusetts Child Trauma Training Center. The Victim Service Team utilizes trauma-informed practices. All Victim Service clinicians have been trained in evidenced-based practice that includes Attachment, Self-Regulation, and Competency (ARC) and Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT). Both forms of therapy modalities are empirically supported forms of treatment for children, adolescents, and young adult clients who have been exposed to and/or who have experienced some form of trauma.


Victim Services is also partnered with LUK Inc.’s Rapid Response Team which offers specialized focused group services and referrals for treatment.

Evidence Based Practices 

What is Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT)?

  • TF-CBT is a conjoint child and parent psychotherapy approach for children and adolescents who are experiencing significant emotional and behavioral difficulties related to traumatic life events.
  • It is a components-based treatment model that incorporates trauma-sensitive interventions with cognitive behavioral, family, and humanistic principles and techniques.
  • Children and parents learn new skills to help process thoughts and feelings related to traumatic life events; manage and resolve distressing thoughts, feelings, and behaviors related traumatic life events; and enhance safety, growth, parenting skills, and family communication.


Who is TF-CBT for?

  • TF-CBT has proved successful with children and adolescents (ages 4 to 18) who have significant emotional problems (e.g., symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder, fear, anxiety, or depression) related to traumatic life events.
  • This treatment can be used with children and adolescents who have experienced a single trauma or multiple traumas in their life.
  • Children or adolescents experiencing traumatic grief can also benefit from this treatment.
  • TF-CBT can be used with children and adolescents residing in many types of settings, including parental homes, foster care, kinship care, group homes, or residential programs.

How long does TF-CBT typically last?

  • TF-CBT is designed to be a relatively short-term treatment, typically lasting 12 to 16 sessions.  Over 80 percent of traumatized children who receive TF-CBT experience significant improvement after 12 to 16 weeks of treatment.
  • Treatment may be provided for longer periods depending upon individual child and family needs.
  • TF-CBT can be used as part of a larger treatment plan for children with complex difficulties.

ARC:  Attachment Self Regulation and Competency Framework

What is ARC?

“ARC is a framework for intervention with youth and families who have experienced multiple and/or prolonged traumatic stress. ARC identifies three core domains that are frequently impacted among traumatized youth, and which are relevant to future resiliency. ARC provides a theoretical framework, core principles of intervention, and a guiding structure for providers working with these children and their caregivers, while recognizing that a one-size-model does not fit all. ARC is designed for youth from early childhood to adolescence and their caregivers or care giving systems.”  ~ Trauma Center/ JRI


 *Electronic Version of Victim Services Info Sheet                                                                              
 *Victim Compensation Form                                                                                       

Contact Us:

To make a referral for any location please call:

Christine Sauck, Ph. D                                                                                                                      

Director of Victim Services                                                                                                                  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.                                                                                                          


Heather Kozlowski, MS

Victim Advocate

(508) 421-4501                        


Service Locations:


Youth & Family Services

275 Belmont Street                                                                                                                              

Worcester, MA 01604                                                                                                                            


Hours: Monday -Thursday 8am-7pm & Friday 8am-6pm


North County

Children Services at The Lipton Center

100 Erdman Way

Leominster, MA

(978) 466-8384

Hours: Monday and Friday 8am-5pm, Tuesday-Thursday 8am-7pm


Adult Services at The Lipton Center

40 Spruce Street

Leominster, MA

(978) 534-6116

Hours: Monday and Friday 9am-5pm, Tuesday-Thursday 9am-8pm


LUK, Inc: Crisis Center Response Team

545 Westminster Street

Fitchburg, MA


Hours: Monday - Friday 9am-5pm


*Child Care Information    

 Free Child Care while in session


 Monday-Thursday 2pm-7pm


 *Languages Offered 

 Worcester and Leominster Spruce Street Locations: Spanish Speaking Clinicians Available

 All sites English Speaking Clinicians Available

 In- person/ Telephonic Interpreters available for other languages

*Group Offerings    

ACT Group

Open to Ages 15-22

 Group will concentrate on to help trauma survivors with depression and anxiety through values and positive thinking.

8 WEEK FREE GROUP — beginning February 22, 2016

Mondays, 6:00pm — 7:00pm

Community Healthlink —  Youth and Family Center

275 Belmont Street    

 Worcester, MA 01604

 All referrals can be directed to

Heather Kozlowski at 508-421-4501



FREE Women’s Yoga Group

Women Ages 15-plus

Offered at 275 Belmont Street in Worcester


Group Begins on March 7th

3pm - 4pm

To sign up,


Heather Kozlowski at 508-421-4501

 Positive Identites: A group for people who Identify as LGBTQQIAP

Open to Ages 15-22

The group will provide a safe space to process thoughts, feelings, and ideas around sexual identity, self-image, dealing with homophobia/stigma, coming out, and healthy relationships.

8 WEEK FREE GROUP — beginning February 22, 2016

Mondays, 6:00pm — 7:00pm

Community Healthlink —  Youth and Family Center

275 Belmont Street    

 Worcester, MA 01604

 All referrals can be directed to

Heather Kozlowski at 508-421-4501


*Upcoming Events                                                             

Victim Services at  the Youth and Family Center will also be hosting a Healing Through the Arts program. Dates and times to be announced!



Youth Mobile Crisis Intervention (YMCI)

A mobile, community-based resource for youth in crisis and their families
On-site interventionDepressed teen

The YMCI team helps youth and their families during a crisis by providing:
• Assessment
• Intervention
• Stabilization
• Links to community resources

YMCI’s trained professionals will travel to the youth’s home, school, residential program, or other community setting, as well as Emergency Departments at local hospitals, to provide on-site evaluation and crisis intervention services.


Children and families eligible for YMCI are those enrolled in Medicaid/Mass Health, one of their managed care entities (Network Health, Fallon/Beacon, BMC Healthnet, MBHP, Neighborhood, etc.), or are uninsured. The service is available to youth from birth through age 21.

What can you expect from a Mobile Crisis Intervention Team?

During the first meeting with the YMCI team, the staff members may:

• Meet with the youth
• Meet with family members
• Gather information about the current crisis and what the youth and family have already tried to resolve the crisis
• Gather information about the youth’s health and development, medication (past and present), and side effects, school, trauma, family health history, substance use, treatment history, and history of unsafe behavior
• With the guardian’s consent, speak with other providers, family members, and community members who have been helping the family

After gathering all of this information and consulting our team will meet with the youth and family to discuss stabilization activities that might be helpful to them. The team will be available to the family for support, stabilization, and coordination. These activities may include but are not limited to:

• Creating or updating a risk management safety plan
• Brief interventions that address behavior and safety
• Linkage with current community service providers
• Solution-focused crisis counseling sessions
• Connecting with natural supports
• Referral to additional services
• Referral to Community Based Acute Treatment (CBAT), or Intensive Community Based Acute Treatment (ICBAT), Adolescent Detoxification/Stabilization, or inpatient facilities, etc.

To request an emergency evaluation, please contact your local Emergency Service Provider at one of the following toll-free numbers:

Worcester Team: 1-866-549-2142
This team provides service to the following communities:
West Boylston

North Central Worcester County Team: 1-800-977-5555
This team provides service to the following communities:
New Braintree

For additional information about Youth Mobile Crisis Intervention, please call:
Lori Simkowitz-Lavigne, MA, LMHC
Director of Intensive Youth Services
Community Healthlink
26 Queen St, 5th Floor
Worcester, MA 01610
Phone: 1-800-977-5555 


Youth Mobile Crisis Intervention is a component of the Children’s Behavioral Health Initiative.
The Children’s Behavioral Health Initiative is an interagency initiative of the Commonwealth’s
Executive Office of Health and Human Services, whose mission is to strengthen, expand, and integrate Massachusetts state services into a comprehensive, community-based system of care to ensure that families and their children with significant behavioral, emotional, and mental health needs obtain the services necessary for success in home, school, and community.


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