Occupational Therapy

Integrated Creative Therapies

Our Nursing professionals are an integral part of the clinical team, providing exceptional medical services to kids in our care. From treating common illnesses like colds and flu, to assisting with medication management or ensuring that important medical and dental appointments are scheduled, our nurses provide vital comfort and care to children who are often at their most vulnerable point.


When we admit a youth to one an out-of-home programs, we work with them to complete a Collaborative Safety Assessment (CSA), which gives us information about their coping skills, potential triggers, and prior history. The CSA includes Occupational Therapy strategies, so that youth can identify treatment approaches they prefer and staff can be aware of what techniques will work best for that youth.

Creative Therapies Across the Agency

Many of our programs have also adopted relaxation practices that are completed either during the school day or as part of a bedtime or study routine. As the benefits of OT and other Creative Therapies continue to grow, such approaches have been integrated with traditional approaches across the agency. These include eco-therapy gardening, therapy dogs, yoga, meditation and other mindfulness activities.

Sensory Blankets & Stress Balls

Every out-of-home program participates in ongoing OT trainings in which staff learn more about the various sensory systems, and how utilizing tools that provide sensory input—such as weighted blankets and stress balls—can help a child feel calm and regulated. These trainings are hands-on, allowing staff to practice using the materials so that they’ll feel comfortable in providing them to clients. Each program has access to an occupational therapy space and OT equipment, and many programs have a weekly occupational therapy group run by their own program staff. We also provide OT bins that youth can use in their rooms, and we’ve adopted hands-on activities to help youth process their emotions.

Thanks to these innovative OT services, our youth leave care with greatly-improved self-regulation skills, and creative coping mechanisms that will help them long after they’ve returned to their homes and communities.
For more information, please contact Director of OT, Jessica O’Connor, oconnorj@youinc.org.
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