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Community-Based Services

Community-Based Services (CBS) at Tennyson Center for Children provides a strength-based, client-centered and family systems approach to treatment within the client’s home, school and community. Services are individualized to address a variety of challenges including mental health concerns, behavioral and emotional challenges, family dynamics, and structure and safety within the home. Services can also be provided in Spanish.

CBS are typically used to prevent hospitalization or out-of-home placements in residential or foster care settings and to stabilize the client and family. Services are also used for reunification support as a step-down from hospitalizations, residential treatment, and foster care or as a wrap-around service for clients in day treatment programs. The focus of services is on the individual client’s needs, as well as the family unit, and can include individual therapy, family therapy, psycho-education, behavior coaching, crisis management, school support, case management and resource connection. 

Services can be provided in a range of two hours per week to 30 hours per week and are offered seven days a week. Flexible appointment times are available to meet the needs of families. CBS generally last three to six month. We have clinical staff that is trained in several evidenced based practices including Child-Parent Psychotherapy (CPP), Alternative for Families Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (AF-CBT) and Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT). The CBS team is also trained in Positive Behavioral Support Intervention (PBIS) which is a behavior management system used in many public schools, as well as Tennyson Center for Children’s Residential and Day Treatment programs. Using PBIS in the home can help create consistency between home and school expectations. 

We serve clients from birth to 18 years old and accept Medicaid, departments of human services core funding, Child Mental Health Treatment Act and some private insurance.

Evidenced-Based Practice Models

Positive Behavior Intervention Support (PBIS)

Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is a proactive approach to establishing the behavioral supports and social culture needed for all students in a school to achieve social, emotional and academic success. Attention is focused on creating and sustaining primary (school-wide), secondary (classroom) and tertiary (individual) systems of support that improve lifestyle results (personal, health, social, family, work, recreation) for all youth by making targeted misbehavior less effective, efficient and relevant, and desired behavior more functional. To learn more, please visit

Tennyson Center was one of two treatment centers that started a decade ago to implement PBIS. We use "be safe, be respectful, be responsible" as the foundation of our proactive approach. These tenants are taught and reinforced school-wide, within the classroom and individually within a clients’ treatment plan. Clients and staff are reliant on reinforcing safety, respect and responsibility in our residential and day treatment programs.

Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) 

The goal of TF-CBT is to help address the biopsychosocial needs of children ages three to 17, with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or other problems related to traumatic life experiences, and their parents or primary caregivers. TF-CBT is a model of psychotherapy that combines trauma-sensitive interventions with cognitive behavioral therapy. Children and parents are provided knowledge and skills related to processing the trauma; managing distressing thoughts, feelings and behaviors; and enhancing safety, parenting skills and family communication. TF-CBT is typically 12 to 16 weekly sessions which include individual child, individual caregiver, and parent-child or family sessions.  

Alternative for Families Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (AF-CBT)

AF-CBT is an intervention for families who are struggling with anger, conflict and aggression. It can also help families who are at risk or are worried about aggression and violence. AF-CBT promotes use of positive coping and self-control skills, effective discipline strategies, and constructive family problem solving and communication. AF-CBT goals include: Enhancing child and family safety, strengthening family relationships, developing skills and routines, reducing the risk for high conflict interactions, reducing caregiver level of anger and use of force, and promoting effective, non-physical discipline strategies. Services involve individual child, individual caregiver, and parent-child or family sessions. The average length of treatment may vary and AF-CBT can be used with clients ages five to 17. 

Child Parent Psychotherapy (CPP)

CPP is an intervention for children from birth through five years old who have experienced at least one traumatic event (e.g., maltreatment, the sudden or traumatic death of someone close, a serious accident, sexual abuse, exposure to domestic violence) and, as a result, are experiencing behavior, attachment, and/or mental health problems, including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The primary goal of CPP is to support and strengthen the relationship between a child and his or her caregiver. CPP is designed to be affective with caregivers as a way to restore the child’s sense of safety, attachment, and increase the caregiver’s attachment and parenting skills. As a result, CPP typically improves the child’s cognitive, behavioral and social functioning. Typically sessions occur one time per week for six to 12 months.

Other Influential Practice Models

Collaborative and Proactive Solutions (CPS)

Collaborative and Proactive Solutions (CPS) is used within the residential and day treatment programs at Tennyson Center for Children. CPS is a model developed by Dr. Ross Greene which is both practical and research based. Two key themes of the model are: Kids do well if they can. Doing well is always preferable to not doing well. CPS sets forth two major tenets. First, challenging behavior in children is best understood as the byproduct of lagging cognitive skills (rather than as the byproduct of passive, permissive, inconsistent, noncontingent parenting). And second, these challenges are best addressed by resolving the problems that are setting the stage for challenging behavior in a collaborative manner (rather than through imposition of adult will and intensive use of reward and punishment procedures). Tennyson Center uses this model as the foundation of why our clients are struggling behaviorally and emotionally. Our staff use the instruments of Assessment of Lagging Skills and Unsolved Problems (ALSUP) to identify unsolved problems that are causing difficulties in the clients’ life. Then, our counseling staff and the client  engage in a specific process to collaboratively problem solve. This process allows the clients’ and adults' concerns to be identified and new skills taught. To learn more, please visit