The Challenge Program

The Challenge Program is a partial hospitalization program for children ages 5-17. Children in this program, typically, have had histories of psychiatric hospitalization or residential treatment or are at risk for such treatment.

Depending upon the severity of the presenting difficulties youngsters may attend either a full or half day program.

The full day program (8:30AM to 3PM) includes both a clinical and education component. The clinical component provides four hours of psychiatric and therapeutic services. The educational component meets all state requirements for out of school instruction and is typically two hours per day. At present the full day program is offered exclusively to children in the kindergarten to third grade range of educational placement.

The half day program is in operation five afternoons per week (2PM-5:30 PM) and offers three hours of psychiatric and therapeutic services. In the half day program children are assigned to one of four age groupings (5-7, 8-9, 10-12, adolescent).

The clinical services for both the full and half day components include individual and family therapy with a primary clinician (social worker or psychologist), and group therapy by age group. Daily milieu activities are led by mental health specialists. Within the context of a behavior modification program, children have opportunities to develop social and adaptive skills, while stabilizing acute symptoms. All children are examined psychiatrically prior to admission to the program, and are followed by a psychiatrist regularly throughout their course in the program.

Referrals to the Challenge Program are made by professionals by calling the Access Center (1-800-969-5300). Children may also be referred to the Challenge Program from Child and Adolescent Outpatient Services, by consulting with the child’s primary therapist. Services must be authorized by the NJ Contract System Administrator for partial hospital level of care and children attending the full day program must be authorized by their sending education district to receive out of school instruction.

For further information you may contact the Clinician Supervisor for the Challenge Program, Dr. Wanda Edwards, 973-972-1084.

Location:
Behavioral Health Sciences Building
183 South Orange Avenue
Newark, New Jersey 07103