Residential Care

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

Phone: 914-769-0164
Admissions: 914-741-4524
Fax: 914-741-4565
Contact us

Home | Our Programs | Residential Care | Pleasantville START

Pleasantville START

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.


Liticia McKnight
Former START Resident Supervisor

The reward for me is that by the end the young person really gets it. It takes patience and time. These kids have been through a lot, and because of that they can be guarded, more focused on masking their pain than growing. It’s our job to meet them where they are, and it’s their job just to try. And if it doesn’t work out today, try again tomorrow. I hear from former residents all the time. They call to let me know they’re doing something they’re proud of. They’re getting a job, they’re going to college, they’ve found their way. It makes me feel so good. 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

Budy J. Garcia-Whitfield, LCSW
Director, START and Intake

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

Phone: 914-769-0164
Admissions: 914-741-4524
Fax: 914-741-4565
Contact us