Outpatient Mental Health Programs

–  A Better Choice Adolescent Outpatient Substance Abuse Program (ABC)


A Better Choice Adolescent Outpatient Substance Abuse Program (ABC) is an adolescent outpatient substance abuse program that individually tailors treatment plans to address all aspects of a teen’s life—healthy body, mind and spirit. ABC gives youth and teens the skills and knowledge to make A Better Choice for themselves and improves their ability to function and lead healthy productive lives in our community. Professional services are rendered by a multi-disciplinary, multi-lingual, master’s level clinical team, licensed therapists and licensed alcohol and drug abuse clinicians.

Program Brochure

+  Child Guidance Centers

Family & Children’s Aid Child Guidance Centers provide outpatient behavioral health and substance abuse services to children and families in Connecticut. Our staff of child psychiatrists, masters-level licensed therapists and psychiatric nurse practitioners provide individual and group therapeutic counseling to address the psychological, behavioral, developmental and social well being of the children we treat. Recognizing the unique cultural needs of the communities we serve, our staff is proficient in three languages English, Spanish, and Portuguese. 

Child Guidance Center Locations

80 West Street, Danbury


30 Holmes Avenue, Waterbury


325 Danbury Road, New Milford



+  Extended Day Treatment Program (Extend)

Extend is a therapeutic after school program for at-risk children with emotional and behavioral difficulties. Extend focuses on teaching children skills to strengthen self-esteem, manage ADHD, and improve relationships through group, individual and family therapy. Extend encourages active participation of parents. Extend provides support for children transitioning home from residential placements and those who struggle behaviorally and emotionally at school.

+  Fit Kids

Fit Kids is an 8-week multidisciplinary program in conjunction with Danbury Hospital and the YMCA designed to support parents and their children as they work towards a healthier lifestyle. Through physical education, nutrition and behavioral support, families receive the expertise they need to begin their journey towards healthy behaviors and lifestyles.  
Program Basics
Fit FamilyFamily & Children’s Aid Life is Good Play Makers™ Program uses the power of play to transform children into enthusiastic players in the game of life so that they can reach their full potential and successfully meet life’s biggest challenges. Playmakers helps kids increase their self-esteem and to develop self-control and persistence. Play is how children form healthy attachments, discover the world around them, and develop a foundation of competence, self-worth, and joy that can impact them for a lifetime.
The Regional YMCA provides nutritional education. Parents and children attend Nutrition sessions which will cover label reading, portion control, how to build a healthy plate and hidden sugars. The children and parents practice newly learned nutrition skills at home. The Nutrition portion of the program also includes a consultation with a Registered Dietitian.  
The Regional YMCA also provides Physical Activity through bi-weekly fitness sessions and a FREE 12-week fitness membership to the YMCA. Children receive 45 minutes of physical activity with a trained Fitness Specialist from the YMCA. Through games and exercises, children learn that being active can be fun and become more confident in their abilities outside of the program. Some weeks activities include both parents and children.  

At this time the program is accepting referrals of children ages 9 to 12 years of age.  

In order to participate in the program, parents must accompany their children to the weekly sessions and be willing to be active participants. 

Children who are obese have a greater chance of becoming obese adults. In addition, children who are obese have a greater risk of the following: 

  • Heart Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Sleep Problems
  • Respiratory Problems
  • Depression
  • Low self-esteem

If you are concerned about your child’s weight and whether he or she may be at risk for obesity, speak to your child’s physician to learn more about this program and to get a referral. 

+  Grandparents as Parents Support Group (GAPS)

Grandparents as Parents Support Group offer psycho education and support for grandparents raising their grandchildren.

Monthly speakers provide current information on issues relevant to these families.

+  Life is Good Playmakers

Life is Good Tree of Optimism
Growing Super Powers

Life is Good Playmakers champions the healing power of play to help kids overcome psychiatric trauma. Family & Children’s Aid staff have been trained, as Life is Good Playmakers. The Playmaker philosophy is embraced across all methods of treatment at FCA. Playmakers use specially developed activities in structured playgroups to rebuild a sense of safety, community, connection, imagination and wonder in children. Through joyful play, children experience greater connection with their caregivers, parents, and peers, develop a sense of competence and self-worth, and learn to express their feelings in healthy, productive ways. To participate in Playmakers the child must be an active client in a Family & Children's Aid program.

+  Multi-Disciplinary Investigation Team (MIT)

Multi-Disciplinary Investigation Team (MIT) is made up of a group of professionals from varying disciplines working together on cases involving criminal level child sexual abuse, serious physical abuse and neglect. Team members are trained specialist who meet regularly to discuss individual cases, identify system needs, work cooperatively to improve the investigation and possible prosecution of cases, and to protect the children from further trauma.

+  Parent Net

Parent Net offers a parent skills curriculum providing parenting education, support, and skill development. Evening and weekend classes with childcare are conducted in English, Spanish and Portuguese for all parents of children from birth to 18 years.