The Three Rivers Program is called a “Clinically Intensive Residential Treatment Program” (CIRT). It is the most intensive residential treatment setting provided by Massachusetts for children under 13 years of age, and it is also the only CIRT in the state.
The modality of treatment at Three Rivers is highly multi-dimensional. In all ways it is a relationship based model, which means that we believe that all learning, from fundamental feelings of safety, belonging and self-respect, to specific social skills, develop through relationship with others. In the few months that a child lives at the program we work to help them and their family to grow in their ability to enjoy positive and helpful relationships, to manage stressful feelings, and to recognize and champion their own values and strengths.
In order to support children and their families to achieve their next steps toward a less intensive environment, the Three Rivers Program coordinates:
- Residential environment
- Individual, family, and group therapies
- Medical and psychiatric services
- In-home supports
While the program is site-based and not described as an outreach service, we nevertheless make every effort to work with families in their homes and communities to prepare conditions for success at home.
The program is further distinguished by its longstanding commitment to trauma-informed care, the use of sensory supports, the quality of its clinical and other staff, its federally recognized performance in restraint reduction, and the exceptionally lovely and homey quality of its residential building.
At The Three Rivers program children move through a home-like routine of self-care, school and play. They attend a full day of school in classes of no more than 4 students, supported by a Special Education Teacher and a program counselor. They are coached throughout their day to help them develop the skills they need to live in the community.
- 1:2 Staff to child ratios (Senior Counselor, Nurse, and 4 Family Support Counselors for 12 children)
- Stringent licensing/accreditation standards for the clinical staff and for the program
- Frequency of therapy sessions: individual, family and group
- High level of involvement of the program psychiatrist
- Beautiful Tudor-style building
- Single bedrooms for all the children
- Sleepover room for families
- School located in the same building as the residence
- Doors are locked to get in, but are not locked to exit (as they would be in a hospital)
- Sensory Room; two indoor swings
- Small gymnasium with traversing wall
Families are welcome on the grounds at any time. We have neither visiting hours nor visiting policies. Families discuss with their family therapist what works best for their goals and spend time with their child at the program or in the community as they see fit.
Children at Three Rivers are referred on one of two tracks, either 6 to 9 month course of treatment, or 3 month. Children and families are referred to Three Rivers by the Department of Mental Health. For more information on the program please email email@example.com
PLEASE NOTE: This handbook was created prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of the things mentioned in the booklet may not be operating as depicted during this time.