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Stepping Stones at Tennyson Center

What is Stepping Stones?

Stepping Stones is a 24-hour residential shelter program for adolescent boys and girls, ages 13-18 who cannot live at home due to family conflict, legal problems, homelessness, or other crises.  The program is a licensed Therapeutic Residential Child Care Facility (TRCCF) providing short-term mental health assessment and treatment, education, health care, spiritual growth, life skills, and recreation in a safe living environment.  Each youth and family receives assessment, case management and therapeutic services with the goal of establishing a plan for the future. The program also offers overnight respite care to support families and prevent further placement.

About the Stepping Stones Program

The Stepping Stones Program relies on the following philosophies and principles of practice:

  • The Tennyson Demandments – Our core values and expectations of all employees
  • Positive & Strength-Based Behavioral Interventions with Children
  • Systems Approach to Services – Focus on the Individual, Family, and Community
  • Respect for Each Family’s Unique Culture
  • Use of the Least Restrictive Intervention to Meet Child and Family Needs
  • Trauma-Informed Assessment and Treatment

    Included Services

  • 24-hour admissions access
  • Strengths and needs assessment of youth and family
  • Case management, dispositional planning, and community resource coordination
  • Individual and Family Therapy provided as needed through Medicaid Fee-for-Service
  • 24-hour on-call crisis support for parents and families
  • Daily group therapy and life skills exercises
  • Recreational activities and community events
  • Psychiatric care provided as needed, including medication evaluation and management
  • Medical and dental care
  • Optional spirituality / faith development programming
  • School transition planning and support
  • Educational programming (on-grounds or in coordination with district or other facility)
  • Expedited access to aftercare and outpatient services

    Admissions Criteria

  • Males/females age 13-18 in need of a short-term respite or residential care
  • Youth has not been adjudicated of a juvenile sexual offense
  • Youth is able to benefit from a cognitive/behavioral approach (generally a full-scale IQ of 70 or higher)
  • Youth does not pose an imminent risk to seriously harm self or others
  • The program does not utilize physical management as a behavioral intervention

    Outcome Measures & Targets

  • % of youth participation in treatment planning process (Goal = 90%)
  • % of family therapy sessions attended by caregivers (Goal = 85%)
  • % of youth who avoid police contact while in the program (Goal = 80%)
  • % of treatment goals attained at time of discharge (Goal = 75%)
  • % of clients & customers who report being “Satisfied or Highly Satisfied” on feedback surveys (Goal = 85%)


    Click here to download Emergency After-hours Admission forms:

  • Referral Data Sheet

  • Authorization for Treatment

  • Medical Authorization and Release

  • Transportation Authorization

    Contact Info:

    Stepping Stones at Tennyson Center
    2950 Tennyson St.
    Denver, CO 80212-3029

    303.433.1232 (Referral cell phone)
    303.433.0787 (fax)
    303.433.2541 (Tennyson Center main line)