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We are located in Charlottesville, Virginia and have been serving at-risk youth since 1997. We provide a behavioral health group home for at-risk adolescents who are in need of learning life skills and age-appropriate independent living skills, while in a safe and therapeutic environment. We currently have four homes throughout the community with the capacity to serve up to sixteen girls and sixteen boys. Youth come to S.T.A.R.S. from all parts of Virginia, referred by local Departments of Social Services, Family Assessment Planning Teams, local school systems, legal guardians, and other treatment facilities.

About Us

Program Structure

We are a community-based program. Our residences are not secure settings. Our houses look like normal homes within the community. Our goal is to prepare the youth in our program for transitioning back into their community with the skills to self-regulate their behaviors. We are a great step-down opportunity between residential and foster homes, even when the youth are returning home. S.T.AR.S. residents get a chance to practice being back in the community before their level of supervision and supports are reduced. We are a great alternative for youth who may otherwise be placed in a residential setting when education is a major concern, or for youth who struggle with developing positive attachments when in a foster home setting.  

S.T.A.R.S. has many standard components that include education, employment, therapy, etc.; however, each resident works from a service plan that is tailored to their special needs and situations. We offer 24 hour support and supervision with an awake staff on-unit at all times. Each youth plays a unique and valuable role in this family-like group, having specific responsibilities; and while each resident is encouraged to stay focused on their goals, consideration for others within the home is strongly reinforced. We teach the importance of both self-development and teamwork because, from our experience, we have seen that the most progress is usually made when the group is acting cohesively. Residents are supervised while they are at the facility, but all of our teens have a chance to practice independence throughout their time in the program. 

We teach independent living skills on a daily basis in groups. Residents complete the Casey Life Skills assessment upon admission. We also incorporate the Casey Life Skills Resources to Inspire Guide into our groups. We encourage our youth to get jobs in the community and help them save money from each paycheck while helping them learn budgeting skills with their spending money. The program is centered on reality therapy principles and emphasizes a percentage and privilege system to help motivate the resident’s growth and success. Residents have household chores in the group home which help them develop good hygiene and housekeeping skills. Residents are able to earn privileges such as unsupervised free time in the community where they are given a time to be on their own and must return to the group home by the designated time. Community time varies based on age and current functioning level in the program. We do not incorporate a level system for our youth as we want their living situation to resemble as closely to real life situations as possible. If there are negative behaviors then they receive a consequence based on the behavior, which can include loss of privileges. Residents are taught about accountability and being able to understand how their choices directly impact them in the community.


Basic Needs

Daily Transportation to Appointments

Religious Practices Supported

Voucher Shopping


Assistance in Gaining Employment

Employment Skill-Building through Interviewing, Gaining and Maintaining Employment

Supervision of Savings Account


Academic Assistance and Support

Contact with Educational Providers


Administration of Medications

Coordination and Oversight of All Healthcare

and Communication with Providers


Coordination of Recreational Activities

Daily Morning Meetings

Daily Evening Reflection and Goal Setting Meetings

Weekly Activity Meetings

Weekly Group Therapy

Instructional Groups, Mentoring and Support on a variety of Independent Living Skills

Supervision & Service Planning

24-Hour Supervision While on Facility Property

Case Management

Communication with Placing Agency and Support Agencies

Development of Service Plan and Monthly Reviews

Therapeutic Interventions

ACES/Resilience Assessment

Trauma Screening

Coordination of Family Therapy (As Needed)

Coordination of Individual Therapy

Developing and Maintaining Healthy Relationships

Identifying Triggers and Building Coping Skills

Trauma & Attachment Informed Care staff team

One-on-One Staffing Arranged Based on Child's Needs

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