Children's Behavioral Health Residential Treatment

Information and resources on residential treatment programs within the Children's System of Care overseen by the Bureau for Children's Behavioral Health.

The Bureau of Children’s Behavioral Health (BCBH) Residential Treatment Unit contracts for residential treatment programs which provide care and treatment 24/7 to youth.

The Department works with residential treatment providers in New Hampshire, New England and Nationally.

BCBH works to keep the youth as close to their home and community as possible, considering each person's specific clinical needs, and where their needs can be best met.

The Bureau of Children’s Behavioral Health (BCBH) supports children’s access to residential treatment. Treatment is for a limited time and are made for the youth to return home.

Treatment is for youth who have:

  • Exhausted all other options and supports
  • Have significant mental health needs
  • Who are not already involved with DCYF and who are determined appropriate for Residential Level of care by Comprehensive for Treatment (CAT). 

Treatment has to be entirely voluntary on the part of the parents/guardians and youth. 

The Department tries to use treatment options that keep the youth in the family home whenever possible. When those options and supports have been exhausted and the youth needs treatment in a residential treatment setting.

Comprehensive Assessment for Treatment (CAT)

The Comprehensive Assessment for Treatment (CAT) is a tool which helps the Department assess if a youth is appropriate for residential level of care.

The CAT uses the evidence-based Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS).  The good thing about the CANS is that many other providers across NH use it as well. This makes it easier for different providers to know how a youth is doing and what their needs are.

A CAT referral can be made by:

  • Department for Children Youth and Families (DCYF)
  • Care Management Entity (CME)
  • Hampstead Hospital and Residential Treatment Program (HHRTF)
  • Mental health providers
  • Parents, guardians, and families

Referrals to the CAT must be pre-screened to make sure youth are in need of residential services and have used all available community supports without success.

For more information about becoming a residential treatment provider, email