Mental Health Care for Maltreated Children, Adolescents and their Families

Learning that your child has suffered maltreatment or sexual abuse is one of the most difficult things a parent may experience. At Penn State Health Children’s Hospital, our team of trained and experienced mental health professionals work exclusively with children, adolescents and their families who’ve experienced maltreatment. With your first call to our clinic, one of our clinicians will answer your questions, help you understand the process and schedule an initial appointment. Following a comprehensive assessment, the clinician will work with you to develop a treatment plan using one of our state-of-the-art interventions. 

Bringing Research Innovations to Central Pennsylvania

The Stine Foundation Transforming the Lives of Children (TLC) Research and Treatment Center is a part of Penn State’s Child Maltreatment Solutions Network, a collaboration of more than a dozen Penn State faculty who specialize in advancing child maltreatment research. Our clinicians are well-versed in the latest scientific advances and have access to respected pioneers for consultation. They use interventions tested in multiple clinical trials and identified as front-line approaches to treating post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, behavioral problems and other concerns common after child maltreatment. These interventions include:

Who Does the TLC Center Serve?

The TLC Center exclusively serves children, adolescents and families affected by maltreatment and sexual assault. To qualify for its services, your child must meet one of the following criteria. (If you’re unsure whether your child meets the criteria, contact us, and a clinician will speak with you to determine if the TLC Center is a good fit.)

  • An investigated allegation of abuse, neglect or sexual assault, regardless of the result of the investigation. This may be performed by police, a Children and Youth Services (CYS) agency or another authority responsible for investigating such allegations. Please note, a call to the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services’ ChildLine, a hotline for reporting suspected child abuse, does not qualify unless that call resulted in an investigation.
  • A current or prior CYS case is opened on behalf of the child or adolescent.
  • The child was adopted either internationally or from the child welfare system. Planned-at-birth adoptions do not qualify.
  • The child is no more than 12 years old and displays concerning or problematic sexualized behavior.

If your child meets one of the criteria, call the TLC Center at 717-531-4100 for more information or to schedule services.

Important TLC Center Policies

Given the TLC Center’s highly specialized nature, we have implemented policies that protect our ability to provide the best mental health care possible to those we serve:

  • The TLC Center does not conduct investigations of alleged child maltreatment. We provide care to improve the mental health and quality of life of children, adolescents and families who’ve experienced maltreatment. Investigations are typically handled by police and CYS agencies.
  • The TLC Center does not make recommendations to the court or CYS agencies. This includes making child custody recommendations or stating an opinion as to whether maltreatment occurred or whether parent-child reunification should occur. These decisions require consideration of multiple factors beyond what happens in the course of a child’s treatment.
  • The TLC Center does not offer on-call crisis support. If you believe your child is in immediate danger of self-harm or harming another person, call 911.
  • After-school appointments are available but are very popular. We do our best to accommodate your schedule and provide documentation of the visit when necessary for the school. The TLC Center does not offer weekend appointments.

Advancing the Science of Child Maltreatment

The TLC Center coordinates several research projects designed to improve the quality of care provided to maltreated children, adolescents and their families. We may ask your child to participate in research projects; however, participation is never required to receive TLC Center clinical services.

Our research covers a wide variety of topics, including:

  • Child development following maltreatment
  • Child and adolescent treatment following maltreatment
  • Preteen children with problematic sexual behavior

Conveniently Located in Harrisburg

The TLC Center is located at 2626 N. Third St., Second Floor, Harrisburg, Pa., less than five minutes from Interstate 81. Free parking is available on-site.