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Pleasantville START


Budy J. Garcia-Whitfield, LCSW, Director

P.O. Box 237, 1075 Broadway, Pleasantville, NY 10570

Phone: 914-769-0164, Admissions: 914-741-4524, Fax: 914-741-4565


JCCA’s Pleasantville START has been a premier provider of evaluation and treatment services for children since 1978. Located on JCCA’s Westchester campus, the START program serves 36 boys and girls, aged 5 to 17 years at admission.


START Residents Raise Funds for Needy Students

For the past two years, Pleasantville START 3 Resident Supervisor Liticia McKnight and Jennifer Gluck have helped the girls in START Cottage 3 collect donations for the Community Center of Northern Westchester which provides food, clothing and other rescores for Westchester residents in need. Residents Tiffany, Antigony and Ianna made and decorated a collection box which was placed in the START office with a specific list of supplies needed. Agency staff and visitors contributed. Read more >



The program’s philosophy is family centered, trauma informed, and permanency directed. Our highly trained, experienced staff works closely with the child and family, foster parents, and community resources to develop an individualized, comprehensive treatment plan with the goal of returning the child to the community. Low caseloads and active family engagement support short-term treatment.



  • Assessment and stabilization: Comprehensive social, psychological, psychiatric, educational, medical, and psychopharmacological evaluations (includes Complex Trauma Exposure Assessment)
  • Substance abuse assessment and treatment, including groups available through the Lexington Center for Recovery
  • Highly trained professional staff addresses social and emotional development, with a focus on returning to the community
  • Treatment team assigned to each family—includes an LMSW or LCSW social worker, psychiatrist, clinical psychologist, nurse, and primary milieu worker
  • Intensive, individual treatment and weekly family counseling
  • Highly structured home visits with contracts and behavior plans
  • Structured, safety-conscious, supervised cottage life, incorporating SANCTUARY model of trauma-informed treatment
  • Weekly group meetings addressing topics such as trauma, anger management, social skills, sexual abuse, and independent living skills
  • Peer mentoring
  • Weekly recreation trips
  • On-campus jobs program
  • Triple staff coverage in each cottage during the day, and awake-night supervision
  • Union free special school program on campus with full range of educational and counseling resources
  • JCCA’s Center for Healing provides individual and group therapy for child sexual abuse through game-based cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Short-term treatment and discharge to a family-based setting or least-restrictive setting within 90-120 days