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For Youth

Youth Counseling

Mental health services for children and adolescents including in-home counseling.
Mental health services for children and adolescents including in-home counseling.

About the Program

The Up Center is one of the area’s largest private nonprofit providers of mental health services. For information about our Outpatient Counseling Services for children, youth and families, please click here.

Counseling Offered in the Home – Community Based Services

The Up Center also offers specialized services for youth from ages 3 to 21 with emotional and/or behavioral difficulties who are at risk of out-of-home placement. This type of intensive counseling is offered in the home and is called Community-Based Services.

These services are designed to be intensive in nature and prevent clients from hospitalization, out of home placement, and/or contact with the criminal justice system. This type of counseling is especially impactful because the effects of trauma and mental health diagnoses often play out in significant ways in the home setting, affecting a person’s ability to function within families and other interpersonal relationships.

Four young people on the beach

Our Community Based team has clinical expertise in very specialized areas of mental health care needs. This includes:

Intensive In-Home Services

Home-based, family-focused interventions for youth ages 3 to 21 with emotional and/or behavioral difficulties who are at risk of out-of-home placement or who may be returning home from foster care or residential treatment. These services are designed to help the family build support, stability, and effective skills and tools in order to meet the youth’s needs and keep the family together.

Behavioral Aide Services

Behavioral Aides mentor children and adolescents to develop skills such as problem solving, conflict resolution, anger management, peer interaction, and educational organization/study skills.

The SAY Program (serving youth with problematic sexualized behaviors)

Community based treatment for youth who have a history of problematic sexual behavior. Under the supervision of a Certified Sex Offender Treatment Provider (CSOTP), services are provided using a trauma informed approach and individualized treatment planning. Through the use of therapies such as Psychosexual Assessments, Outpatient Therapy, and Intensive In-Home Services, SAY services strive to create a balance of community safety and healing.

Mental Health Skill Building Services

One-to-one assistance to adolescents ages 16 and older and adults with severe mental health diagnoses who have a history of psychiatric interventions and challenges. Our Mental Health Skill-Building clinicians function similarly to life coaches, assisting youth and adults who are living independently, or transitioning to independent living, with maintaining stability in their homes by providing training in life skills such as budgeting, managing and attending appointments, nutrition, advocating for their needs with providers and within systems, anger management, impulse control, and positive social interaction.

Teen Girl Outdoors in Embrace

What Makes Us Different

Our clinical team is equipped with the training and tools necessary to be active, supportive guides in the treatment process while engaging clients in learning new coping strategies, communication methods, social skills, and techniques to regulate mental health symptoms while working to support clients’ ability to live independent and productive lives. We have the unique ability to “meet people where they are,” bringing a variety of services to our clients in their own homes. Our team works hand in hand with most local Departments of Social Services, Community Service Boards, and the Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice.

Our Impact

In 2020:

8,147 hours of services
were delivered to over 218 clients and their families
82% of our clients
showed an improvement in functioning after engaging in Community Based mental health services.

“I didn’t know I was going to need the support of The Up Center but it’s been one of the most helpful steps we’ve made for our family.”

—Tracy, Intensive In-home Client
Four young people on the beach

“At The Up Center, we are involved in in-home counseling as well as individual counseling…I’ve told (the children) it takes a little time out of your day but my one and only job right now is to keep you safe and for you to grow up to be confident and have a healthy relationship.”

—Jennifer T, Intensive In home and Outpatient counseling client

Kellie Evans

Kellie Evans, LCSW, CSOTP

Director of Community Based Programs

Terry Kenworthy, MSW, Supervisee in Social Work, SOTP-Trainee 

Community Based Services Program Manager
Terry is pursuing licensure as an LCSW and is in supervision for Certified Sex Offender Treatment Provider (CSOTP).  He holds a Bachelor of Art Degree in Psychology from Virginia Wesleyan College and a Master of Social Work from Virginia Commonwealth University. Terry was a Firefighter and EMT with Norfolk Fire-Rescue for ten years and has two daughters.  Terry is passionate about community-based services and strives to be a support and advocate for his clients.

All Community Based clinicians hold a minimum of a QMHP-A or QMHP-C, with the majority of clinicians being Masters Level Trained and license-eligible in either social work or mental health counseling. Our clinicians additionally hold specific skills, training, and certification in such areas as Trauma Informed Care, TF-CBT, hypnotherapy, Autism Spectrum Disorders, childhood trauma, eating disorders, LGBTQIA+, kinship care placements, SAY/YSB, and navigating the juvenile justice system.

Intensive In-Home Services

Home-based, family-focused interventions for youth ages 3 to 21 with emotional and/or behavioral difficulties who are at risk of out-of-home placement or who may be returning home from foster care or residential treatment. These services are designed to help the family build support, stability, and effective skills and tools in order to meet the youth’s needs and keep the family together.

Behavioral Aide Services

Behavioral Aides mentor children and adolescents to develop skills such as problem solving, conflict resolution, anger management, peer interaction, and educational organization/study skills.

Mental Health Skill Building Services

One-to-one assistance to adolescents ages 16 and older and adults with severe mental health diagnoses who have a history of psychiatric interventions and challenges. Our Mental Health Skill-Building clinicians function similarly to life coaches, assisting youth and adults who are living independently, or transitioning to independent living, with maintaining stability in their homes by providing training in life skills such as budgeting, managing and attending appointments, nutrition, advocating for their needs with providers and within systems, anger management, impulse control, and positive social interaction.

Contact Us

Location: 1805 Airline Blvd, Portsmouth, VA 23702

Phone: (757) 337-3557

Email: communitybased@theupcenter.org

To refer yourself or a family member, please begin a New Client Registration to submit the required information.

To refer a potential client, please click one of the following for the appropriate form:

How You Can Help

Our clients often need additional support. Below is a list of items that are always needed:

  • Gift cards for gas (711, BP, Wawa)
  • Gift cards to grocery stores
  • Gifts cards for food (Papa Johns, Jimmy Johns)
  • Tickets to sporting events,
    Gift card for Escape Room, Adventure Park, Color Me Mine
  • Passes to local museums and parks (Children’s Museum, Aquarium, Norfolk Zoo, Botanical Gardens, Funville)
  • Gift card to Dollar Tree or Michaels for art therapy/crafts
    Diapers, formula, puzzles, books (ages 3-18)

Back to School needs:

  • New backpacks, school supplies (glue, pencils and pens, paper, notebooks, pencil cases, tissue boxes, binders, erasers, markers, crayons, colored pencils and highlighters)
  • Hair Cuttery gift cards
  • New car seats – all sizes

Please email us at development@theupcenter.org if you’d like to help.

Learn more about volunteering or interning with us by clicking here.