ADOLESCENT RESIDENTIAL CARE, Inc.
our programs ideas and issues alumni page join us contact us as others see us--links
An Introduction -- Who We Are and What's In This Site
Welcome to the home page of the August Aichhorn Center. The Aichhorn Center was organized as a not-for-profit corporation in New York State in 1977 to serve, to study and to teach about the special problems of providing long-term care and treatment to teenagers who were "unplaceable" in any existing facilities except State hospitals or correctional institutions.
The Aichhorn Center currently operates three
programs: two Residential Treatment Facilities (RTFs)
Young Adult Support Living program, (YASL), as well as the Aichhorn
located in the RTFs. The RTF-Manhattan and the YASL program are
located in the
Manhattan Valley neighborhood near Central Park and Columbia
University, in New York City. The RTF-Brooklyn is located
in the Weeksville section of Brooklyn.
For more information about various
aspects of these programs, please go to our
We want to use our operating programs as models for development and testing of various organizational and instructional ideas. We are eager to share what we have learned, what we believe will work or not work in the future, and our thoughts and questions about unresolved issues in residential care--including whether it has any place at all in the range of psychiatric services for teenagers. We post discussions of various current issues in the section on ideas and issues. Currently, this section contains summaries, and links to more complete discussions on maintaining safety in the RTF (a topic made timely by the several serious attacks on at various facilities), follow-up of residents discharged from the RTF, and Federal regulations on the use of "seclusion" and "restraint" in residential treatment facilities. In operating our programs, we place great emphasis on encouraging free discussion among staff and residents. This is important partly because we want to encourage verbal rather than physical disagreement, and partly because we genuinely believe that we do not yet have definitive answers to many problems in our field, and we can actually learn from each other. In that spirit, we are also very interested in responses to our ideas from interested people we have not yet met. If you have a comment or question about our comments, we would be very glad to hear from you. We are currently still developing this web site, and particularly welcome any ideas on areas that should be included. If you are looking for something here that you don't find, please let us know.
If you are interested in working directly with us, please check the join us section. We post there
specific positions we may be seeking to fill at any time, as well as
some notes on general categories of applicants we are always interested
in meeting. To inquire further or comment on any aspect of our
presentation here, or if you want to reach any particular person or
department at Aichhorn for any reason, please check the contact us section.
LINKS -- Aichhorn as others see us New York Magazine ran a brief article on the Aichhorn Center and our RTF in June, 1999.
Dr. Michael Pawel, Aichhorn's Executive Director, questioned a
review entitled "Killer Children," in a letter published by The New
York Review in December, 1999.
Fox Butterfield, discussing mentally ill teenagers in the juvenile
justice system, referred to the Aichhorn Center in his New York
Times article of December 5, 2000.
The unexamined psychological issues fueling widespread political
disapproval of all group child care are discussed in an essay from by
Dr. Pawel published in The Humanist. [Note: downloading this
item costs $2.95.]
Dr. Pawel reviews a description of the Broward County Mental Health
Court, suggesting that it seems to represent the criminal justice
system's recognition that many chronic psychiatric patients will not be
treated by the mental health system. The
Forensic Echo .
Child Welfare Watch, Summer, 2009, in a longer article about the difficulties of securing long-term psychiatric care for very disturbed children in the foster care system, includes photos of an alumni reunion, and a discussion of the Aichhorn RTF's outcome study. See "A Revolving Door of Care," page 20 of the pdf file.
The background of an RTF resident forms the basis for an extended discussion of the scarcity of resources for mentally ill teenagers in the juvenile justice system in the Fall, 2009 issue of Child Welfare Watch. See "Where the Sick Get Sicker," page 5 of the pdf file.
Another former resident was interviewed in the NY
Kendra Hurley's news brief at Child Welfare Watch describes our new
RTF in Brooklyn. http://www.newschool.edu/milano/nycaffairs/newsbriefs.aspx
Another former resident's memoirs--not entirely complimentary, but
interesting .. Mentally
Ill, Gay, and Homeless