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Therapeutic Day School for Girls

The Youth Villages-Germaine Lawrence Campus offers the only Massachusetts DESE-approved special education day school exclusively for girls. Our program is clinically intensive and designed for adolescent girls in grades 7 through 12 who require a highly structured program with special therapeutic and academic supports.

For information about our day school, contact Kristin Vander Els, 781-859-1227.

Target Population
Our program best serves girls ages 12-18 with the following characteristics:

  • Serious behavioral and emotional problems
  • Truancy and school refusal
  • Trauma history and symptoms
  • Depression, suicidal and/or self-injurious behavior
  • Eating disorders
  • Substance abuse
  • Peer conflict or poor social skills
  • Step-down from hospital or residential school
  • History of bullying
  • Victims of bullying

Academic Services
The Germaine Lawrence day school curriculum is based on the content and skill requirements outlined in the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks/Common Core. Core subjects are supplemented by art, physical education and culinary arts.

Executive Functioning: Executive functioning skills are embedded into the curriculum to teach strategies that help students set goals, improve cognitive functioning, monitor behavior and adapt to changing situations.

Social pragmatics and daily living skills: Students receive instruction in social pragmatics and daily living skills including time management and self-advocacy.

45-Day Assessment Program
We provide 45-day assessments for girls in acute crisis that are designed to stabilize behavior, assess educational and clinical needs and design future programming.

Clinical Services
Cognitive/behavioral programming, helps our students build social and emotional coping skills. A master’s-level clinician provides therapy services, case management and collaboration with outside providers. In addition, crisis management staff are available to support students as needed.

Individual therapy: Staff use role-plays, skill coaching and a directed nurturing approach to teach girls concrete grounding techniques, emotion regulation strategies and effective interpersonal skills in individual therapy.

Group therapy: Group therapy is provided according to the student’s IEP. In group therapy, clinical staff base discussion topics and therapy on the specific needs of the girls in their groups. Topics may include treatment issues identified in IEPs such as school truancy, running or other high-risk behaviors. Staff also focus on teaching social skills, substance abuse prevention and helping girls develop a stronger sense of self, self-worth and sense of empowerment.

Family Support: Clinical staff provide ongoing support, communication, feedback and skill development to families of day students.Parents receive regular updates on their daughters’ academic achievement and progress toward meeting IEP goals.

About Us
Youth Villages is a private nonprofit organization dedicated to helping emotionally and behaviorally troubled children and their families live successfully. We help more than 22,000 children and families each year from more than 20 states and Washington, D.C. Our Evidentiary Family Restoration® approach involves intensive work with the child and family, a focus on measuring outcomes, keeping children in the community whenever safely possible, and providing accountability to families and funders. The EFR approach produces lasting success for children with success rates twice that of traditional services at one-third the cost of traditional care.
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