Sometimes we, as a team, might have different ideas about what treatment should look like. When this happens we ask ourselves, “What is best for the kids? If we put #kidsfirst, what would we do?”

In a recent staff meeting, Barry Levinson described the foundation of the model #kidsfirst. As you can see by the quote, Charis values the experience of each patient and family member by anchoring all decisions in what is best for the child. 

Every Charis team member has been hand selected because they embody this idea by using innovation, collaboration, and creativity to meet the patient’s individual needs before, during, and after treatment. Charis is a labor of love built and run by clinicians that have a deep-rooted passion to help children and families with grace and kindness, the Charis way.

There are many ways the #kidsfirst mantra flows through the treatment model. The programs at Charis are partial hospitalization plus (PHP+) and intensive outpatient plus (IOP+) for ages 10-17. The “plus” signifies evidence-based treatment services that have been identified to enhance the treatment experience, reduce recidivism, and increase positive treatment outcomes. For example, smaller group sizes are used to keep patient and therapist ratios smaller, allowing for a better treatment experience all around, for staff and patients.

Putting kids first and creating a program the team believed would serve children at this level of care best meant some special additions…

Charis@home - In-Home Consultation

At Charis, a child’s treatment involves the whole family. It creates an opportunity for reflection, healing, communicating and working together. In our charis@home family program, each family member who plays a significant role in your child’s life is included. We approach the family in a unique way that allows changes at home to parallel changes at Charis. Our charis@home consultation takes place in the home and provides parents the opportunity to collaborate with a therapist and create a specific-to-their-family plan that provides solutions related to safety, communication, boundaries and attachment. Our specialized approach offers practical and lasting interventions that ignite change and positively impact the family as a whole.

Charis Companion

As families move through the treatment process at Charis, the companion binder organizes assessments, interventions, and treatment information. The companion can be utilized as a resource to inform ongoing support beyond Charis, ensuring that even after a family leaves treatment, their child continues to be seen, heard and known.

Full Psychological Evaluation

Often, children who are struggling with academic work, social interactions, and emotion regulation have atypical neurological development that can be identified through psychological assessment. At Charis each child will receive a Psychological Assessment facilitated and interpreted by a licensed psychologist to aid in understanding the strengths and challenges someone may have in their cognitive, behavioral, and emotional functioning. The psychological assessment process provides diagnostic clarity and individualized recommendations. This allows for parents, teachers, and therapists to provide intervention and accommodations needed to allow each child to reach their potential.

Charis Unplugged - Equine Connected Therapy

Many kids thrive when given the opportunity to connect with nature and find healing in the great outdoors. In the current age of technology, this is becoming a lost experience. The Charis Unplugged Program is held off site at an Equine Connected Therapy Center where kids can “unplug” and ground themselves. Equine Experiential Therapy gives kids and teens a unique opportunity to pause and take a respite from their day-to-day and find serenity within themselves through nature.

Genetic Testing

Genes are the blueprint to the human body. We understand the decision to treat a child’s condition with medications can be an overwhelming and scary process. Our physicians utilize the information obtained from your child’s genetic profile to aid in selecting the most effective medications while reducing the likelihood of adverse side effects. The Charis approach to treatment is designed to increase the efficacy of your child’s treatment plan, improve their compliance with medications, and increase their chances of experiencing positive treatment outcomes.


There are many factors that contribute to how the brain functions. At Charis we believe in taking the whole body into consideration as we approach treatment. A biological wellness profile allows us to address vitamin and hormone deficiencies which can cause or exacerbate mental illness symptoms, including depression, poor concentration, and irritability. Examining and addressing the underlying biological factors can alleviate negative symptoms and increase overall well-being.

Yoga and Meditation

Charis incorporates yoga, mindfulness and meditation into daily programming. Learning to ground oneself in peace despite a world of chaos is paramount in the healing and growing process. Children will become more connected to their bodies as they learn to regulate their emotions, thoughts, breath and behaviors.

Sleep Evaluation

Mental health and sleep are closely linked. At Charis, sleep evaluations are conducted with each child as part of our comprehensive approach to identifying the underlying issues of presenting problems. Identifying sleep issues provides an opportunity to address otherwise unknown concerns and positively impact a child’s overall functioning. Treating the sleep disorder may help alleviate symptoms of the mental health problem.


A child falling behind in education is a common concern. At Charis, we value education. We partner with local school districts and create an education plan that allows for a focus on mental health without disregarding the importance of education. A certified teacher oversees the completion of daily assignments and a dedicated school liaison ensures that there are no surprises when your child returns to school. Our school program not only focuses on curriculum but appreciates the role of education as part of the healing process, therefore, we also address issues such as performance and test anxiety while your child is in our care.

At Charis you will be seen, heard, and valued."