Have a question regarding DCF and the coronavirus? Email us at: DCF.COVID-19@ct.gov

Girls Services


Articles of Interest

A New Path Appears (PBS Film)
History of the Latina A.R.M.Y., Inc.


CYL Alerts

Operation Cross Country
Nice weather means one thing
Take Back Beauty Day
Freeze Norwalk
Garment Workers


DCF Policy for Girls Services: The Girls' Program Guidelines provided by the Department of Children and Families are the basis of the therapeutic model for all providers of girls services in the state of Connecticut and must be used to guide programming decisions.

The definition adopted by the Department for female-responsive programming is: Female-responsive programs intentionally incorporate research on female socialization, psychological, cognitive and physical development, strengths and risks to affect and guide ALL aspects of a program's design, processes and services. 


Educational Resources For Providers of Girls Services:  Visit these websites for educational videos, reports and fact sheets on important issues facing girls today including: Body Image, Relationship Violence, Sexual Health, Human Trafficking, Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking and more.

CARE Program at CJR Description

Children of the Night(www.childrenofthenight.org) -- is a privately funded non-profit organization established in 1979 and dedicated to helping victims of Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking. Operates a national 24-hour shelter home for victims of Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking.

Love146 (www.love146.org) -- is an international organization that works toward the abolition of child sex slavery and exploitation through prevention and aftercare.

National Crittenden Foundation (www.nationalcrittenton.org ) --The National Crittenden Foundation   and its family of agencies support girls, young women, and their families overcome major obstacles rooted in circumstances not of their own making. Through no fault of their own, the majority of these girls and young women have experienced child sexual, physical and emotional abuse or persistent neglect.

Polaris Project (www.polarisproject.org) -- operates the  National Human Trafficking Hotline and The National Human Trafficking Resource Center. The Polaris Project also provides referrals, resources, general information and training and technical assistance related to human trafficking.

Teens on Trafficking  (www.teensontrafficking.org) -- is a website created by teens. Features links to many videos about and against human trafficking, also descriptions about projects teens have done to spread the word about the problem and risks of human trafficking, also an interactive question answer blog.

Shared Hope International  (www.sharedhope.org) -- is a faith based organization dedicated to preventing and eradicating sex trafficking and slavery through education and public awareness.

Rebecca Project for Human Rights  (www.rebeccaproject.org) -- The  Rebecca Project for Human Rights  provides up-to-date research and policy resources for the public, policy makers, administrators, journalists and others who want to learn more about the issues vulnerable families face.  Their website provides fact sheets, white papers, reports and directories of services.

National Day of the Girl (www.dayofthegirl.org) -- This successful campaign to establish the National Day of the Girl was led in the US by School Girls Unite, an organization of students and young women leaders determined to advance the UN Millennium Development Goals related to gender equality and universal basic education, and other human rights issues. The Day of the Girl's mission mirrors the United Nations General Assembly Resolution on the International Day of the Girl Child, approved on December 19, 2011: “To help galvanize worldwide enthusiasm for goals to better girls’ lives, providing an opportunity for them to show leadership and reach their full potential.”

Network of Care is a database for community services. This version of the Network of Care, recognized as a model program by the President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health, provides vital information to help link consumers to support groups and personal advocacy resources in the community. The site also provides a repository of evidence-based practices – successful, creative ways for communities to respond to their behavioral-health needs.  To locate resources in Connecticut, click on Behavioral Health, then select "Connecticut". You may then search for specific programs in Connecticut via various search routes including key word (e.g. girls, teen pregnancy, mentoring, substance abuse, Hispanic Services…). The site provides specific instructions for how to search and locate services in your specific community of interest.


National Public Awareness Events & Resources: To truly effect positive change in the lives of girls requires the creation and maintenance of a global culture that recognizes and corrects for the ways in which girls have historically been neglected, marginalized, and discriminated in families and society. Support of and participation in public awareness events at the national level is one way providers of girls services can be a part of a global culture that supports the development of healthy, strong and smart girls. Click on the links below to learn how your organization can take part in some important national events for girls. 
National Day of the Girl -- The United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution in 2011 to establish October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child. The term “girlchild” is commonly used abroad to distinguish the unique challenges faced by girls under age 18 from those faced by women ages 18 and older. October 11, 2012 marked the first effort by School Girls Unite, an organization in the Washington, D.C. area, to mobilize support in the United States for Day of the Girl, which resulted in proclamations and celebrations in cities across the U.S. recognizing October 11 as the official Day of the Girl. Visit www.dayofthegirl.org to download a toolkit for help on how to organize and publicize your own day of the girl event and to learn about the creative ways in which other organizations have participated in this global event.
Domestic Violence Awareness Month -- In October 1987, the first Domestic Violence Awareness Month was observed. That same year the first national toll-free hotline was begun. In 1989 the first Domestic Violence Awareness Month Commemorative Legislation was passed by the U.S. Congress. Such legislation has passed every year since with NCADV providing key leadership in this effort. Visit the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence website at www.ncadv.org for information regarding responses to and prevention of domestic violence and for resources to help your organization create and organize activities to commemorate domestic violence awareness month.



CCSU Women's Athletic Events
Western Connecticut Calendar


Programs & Services Tailored to meet the Needs of Girls From Ethnic and Linguistic Minority Groups:

Center For Sexual Assault Crisis Counseling And Education -- Crisis intervention and short-term counseling for victims of sexual abuse or sexual assault. Bilingual counseling services are available to the Hispanic/Latino community and for families, friends, and partners:700 Canal Street, Suite 22B Stamford, CT 06902.  Toll free Hotline:  1-888-568-8332; Hotline 203-329-2929 

State of Connecticut Network of Care for Sexual Assault Counseling



Girls Provider Network Members

Community Life Skills
Journey House Program
NAFI Touchstone
Options Educational Services
Woodbridge House


Community Life Skills

for Girls is a program that is open to young women aged 12-19 years old who wish to learn how to enrich their lives and gain new life skills.  The core part of this program focuses heavily on supporting young women’s self expression within a safe, caring environment to encourage self confidence and enhanced judgment.  The program provides exciting groups and classes such as Youth People Empowering People, Girl’s Circle, Voices, ZUMBA, and much more.  


Journey House Program

at Natchaug Hospital, Inc. is a secured residential treatment program that serves juvenile justice involved adolescent girls for the State of Connecticut.  The residents remain involved in treatment at the program for approximately six to nine months, depending on treatment needs and discharge plans. Our population of residents in addition to being legally involved, typically also have a variety of mental health diagnoses which have included:

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
Mood Disorders
Conduct Disorder
Learning Disorders 

At the very least, most if not all of our residents struggle with substance abuse issues, have experienced some major traumatic event or events in their lives, and have experienced significant attachment disruptions in their childhood relationships. Journey House offers a variety of treatment modalities to address client’s needs such as individual, group, family and milieu therapy. Residents are offered different types of therapy such as Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) all woven into a strong behavioral management system with an emphasis on offering gender specific and relational care.
Journey House is also equipped to work with survivors of Domestic Sex Trafficking. The clinical team as well as both program nurses are trained in the My Life, My Choice curriculum, which aims to educate and prevent commercial sexual exploitation of minors. The nurses at Journey House have continued their education in Domestic Sex Trafficking by attending a two day DCF training geared toward trafficking in Connecticut as well as a one day intensive trafficking training for nurses.


NAFI Touchstone

NAFI is located on 55 acres of land in Litchfield, Connecticut. This expansive campus offers two residential dormitory settings, an on-campus school, low-ropes course as well a dirt bike program curriculum.  Touchstone is a staff-secure residential treatment program serving girls between the ages of 12 and 18 who are committed to the Department of Children and Families. With enhanced psychiatric, nursing, educational and clinical expertise, Touchstone provides young women the opportunity to engage in treatment in the community with the goal of future placement either in the home or at a lower level of care.

Gender-responsive programming assists the girls with complex needs including:

Substance abuse
Sexual Education
Life Skills
Anger expression
Healthy relationship development

The young women have the opportunity to build a trusting one-on-one relationship with an advocate counselor, and aftercare services are provided. The educational program at Touchstone prides itself on bringing out the talents of each young woman in order to make their educational experience a success, including a culinary program. The program is specifically designed to meet the needs of adolescent girls through:

Individual and group counseling
Family therapy
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT)
Education and credit retrieval
A gender responsive approach
Trauma informed treatment approach
Permanency planning and transitional supports  

Touchstone provides skills training in an emotionally safe environment for young women. Touchstone offers a trauma informed care to support young women in developing emotion regulation skills and independent living skills in order to have a successful transition to their home communities.


Options Educational Services

This program is located at: 606 Farmington Avenue Hartford, CT 06105, for ages: 14 through 21 years.  Options Educational Services (Options) provides educational and vocational services for students ages 14-21 who have not been successful in the public school setting and/or in other therapeutic private placements.

The mission of the Options special education program is to improve each student’s academic skills and competitive abilities for independent living, post-secondary education and employment. This is accomplished through providing highly individualized programs within a therapeutic setting.

The goal of the Options special education program is to support each student’s completion of high school graduation requirements and to prepare them for post-secondary activities. Education, transition and vocational programs are developed in conjunction with IEPs and are commensurate with the SDE Connecticut Curriculum Frameworks.

Options accepts referrals for day students from LEAs.

Education Director: Rosemary Jakobsen
Telephone Number: 860-523-5318
E-mail Address: rjakobsen@optionsct.com

Chief Administrator: Scott Wells, MA
Telephone Number: 860-523-5318
E-mail Address: swells@optionsct.com
Fax Number: 860-232-3597


Woodbridge House

We partner with youth and their families to build on their strengths, and create interventions and service plans that are strength-based, individualized, family-centered, and culturally appropriate, utilizing the youth and family’s natural resources.

Woodbridge House is a 6 bed therapeutic group home for girls aged 13-18 who are involved with DCF and/or the juvenile justice system and need a residential program to assist them with trauma and complex behavioral issues including co-occurring disorders. This is a community based program located in a suburban setting. The program will address the multi-faceted needs of these complex adolescents with a goal of discharge into their family of origin, relative, or foster family with community based treatment and support.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is the primary treatment model. DBT is a comprehensive psychosocial treatment that is effective for clients with multiple and serious issues including complex trauma. It combines standard cognitive behavioral techniques for emotion regulation and reality testing with concepts of distress tolerance, acceptance, and

mindfulness. DBT is an effective treatment for extreme emotions which lead to impulsive self-destructive behaviors.

It focuses on teaching and practicing Mindfulness Skills, Interpersonal Effectiveness Skills, Emotion Regulations Skills, and Distress Tolerance Skills.  Clinical Treatment Model Approach to service planning including aftercare.  We integrate wraparound competencies including:

Understanding and valuing meaningful involvement of family and youth as equal partners.
Engaging the family, emphasizing their strengths and instilling hope and confidence.
Engaging culturally relevant, individualized, community based Child and Family Team.

This program uses the CARE (Children and Residential Experiences) Creating Conditions for Change practice model, created by Cornell University’s Residential Child Care Project. CARE helps us improve the youth’s level of functioning and build skills necessary for them to transition into a family successfully and permanently. The principles of CARE are:

Developmentally Focused
Family Involved
Relationship Based
Competence Centered
Trauma Informed
Ecologically Oriented

Call toll free 1.877.884.3571 or visit www.chrhealth.orgWoodbridge Fact Sheet