Group Home Program

The Northeastern Family Institute Group Home is an intensive residential treatment program located in Burlington, Vermont and established in 1985. Our program focuses on the treatment of adolescents with trauma histories and on family therapy as an essential component of treatment. We serve adolescents ranging in age from 13 to 18 years in a small, mixed gender group setting. Our capacity allows us to serve six clients at a time, with a staffing ratio of one adult to two clients. Successful stays for residents typically average from one year to eighteen months. Referrals to our program come through either the Department of Mental Health, the Department of Education, or the Department for Children and Families, and all referrals must first be approved by the Vermont Case Review Committee. All of our funding comes through Medicaid, through a Private Non-Medical Institution (PNMI) contract. We are best thought of as a community based residential treatment program, in that our residents attend public or alternative schools in the local community, participate regularly in group and individual activities in the community, and spend some of their free time out with friends and family.

With regard to our programmatic routine and structure, we base our programming decisions on our mission (safe, caring and respectful), on the concept of a normative community, establishing a positive peer culture, and attention to the parallel process. We appreciate having a smaller milieu (maximum of 6 residents) as it allows us to hold our programmatic expectations, while also leaving room for us to individualize our program to best meet our residents’ therapeutic needs on emotional, behavioral and developmental levels. We emphasize accountability, relational repair, increasing stress tolerance, co-regulation/self-regulation, creating healthy relationships with peers and adults, implementing appropriate boundaries, and clear limits/rules/expectations while providing a consistent, structured predictable environment.

We remain committed to the individuals and their families/caregivers that we serve and are thoughtful from initial interview to the day of discharge. We continue to take careful consideration at the time we receive a referral in order to do our best to ensure that we can adequately implement the appropriate long-term treatment plan. We maintain structure, consistency and predictability in our day-to-day interventions and have clear processes/protocols to maintain safety for staff and residents alike when a challenge and/or crisis arises. Our interventions are based in a peer milieu that has a heavy relational component and our treatment is informed by an understanding of complex developmental trauma. We continue to offer comprehensive clinical assessment, milieu treatment, individual and family therapy, psychiatry, case management and discharge planning.

Program Contact:

Jennifer Heintz, LICSW, Program Director

Phone: 802.658.2441
Fax: 802.864.3857

Program Information:

  • Program Type: Residential
  • Service Types: Behavioral Health Services
  • Gender: Male and Female
  • Capacity: 6
  • Ages: 13-18 years old
  • Length of Stay: 12 months (average)

Referring Agencies:

  • Department of Mental Health (DMH)
  • Department of Children and Families (DCF)