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Outpatient & In-Home Services

 Philosophy of Service
Home and Community Based Services
Equine Assisted Psychotherapy
Clinical Groups
Coming Soon

The Shepherd Program

St. Mary’s Home for Children’s Outpatient Department, The Shepherd Program, has been providing sexual abuse specific treatment to children, teens, adults, and their families, since 1985. The Shepherd Program employs clinicians with expertise in sexual abuse assessment and treatment, and our case managers are highly skilled and trained in supporting the population we serve. Most of our clinicians are recognized as Qualified Practitioners - Sexual Abuse Treatment Specialists through the State of RI’s Department of Children, Youth and Families. While the Shepherd Program offers this expertise in the area of sexual abuse and trauma treatment, clinicians also offer therapy to children, adolescents and adults for concerns including but not limited to depression, anxiety, grief/loss and adjustment.

St. Mary’s Home for Children is well known across the state for our work with children and families affected by sexual abuse, but did you know that we also provide outpatient services for adults as well? Especially adult, trauma survivors? Many parents and caregivers are often survivors of trauma themselves and they can often be triggered when their own child discloses any type of trauma experience. Aside from individual office based therapy for adults, we also offer group therapy for adult trauma survivors. This includes treatment for those affected by domestic violence, physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse or other types of trauma.

We are currently accepting referrals for our Hope for Healing Group which is a clinical support group for adult female trauma survivors. Anyone can make a referral to The Shepherd Program by contacting the Shepherd Program Intake Coordinator at or (401) 353-3900 ext. 416.

Please see our 2019 Shepherd Training Series Brochure here.

Philosophy of Service

We are a collaborative mental health and trauma team that believes all people regardless of socioeconomic status, race, or sexual orientation deserve specialized treatment of the highest quality. We provide state-of-the-art, client-centered, strengths-based and trama informed interventions that help our clients heal from the circumstances that brought them to us.

The Shepherd Program provides the following services: sexual abuse evaluations, individual, group and family therapy, training and consultation.

Treatment Modalities

The Shepherd Program utilizes a variety of treatment modalities that include: Expressive Therapy, Play Therapy, Trama Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Modified Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Equine Assisted Psychotherary (EAP), sensory interventions and use of sand tray.

Home and Community Based Services

Child & Family Trauma Treatment (CFTT) Program: Through funds from the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA), the Shepherd Program's Child & Family Trauma Treatment Program provides a clinician and a parent educator team approach to families that have been impacted by sexual abuse. The CFTT Team provides intensive in-home services for families, for 6 months. The team's guidance, instruction, and support assist in maintaining the child survivor safely in the home. Services include: Individual, sexual abuse specific treatment and family therapy; Case management; Court support/advocacy; Assistance with filing Victims' Compensation claims; Behavior management; and Sexual abuse education.

Enhanced Outpatient Services (EOS): EOS is a home/community-based program that provides comprehensive services to help transition a child from placement to a secure home environment, or as a preventative measure, to reduce the risk of hospitalization for children/teens/adults. Our team consist of a licensed clinician and a case manager who provide home, school and/or community based services for children/teens/adults who require intensive support for successful functioning in the community. Services are offered 7 days a week to meet the clinical needs of the family. Our staff directly arrange for authorization through the families' health coverage (NHP/UBH RItecare). Services include: Individual and family therapy; Case management; Behavior management; and Parenting support and education.

Supporting Teens and Adults at Risk (STAAR) Project: Funded by the Victims of Crime Act, the STAAR Project serves male and female survivors of sexual exploitation and human trafficking, up to age 25, and their families. This is a state-wide community/home based program. The overriding goal of the STAAR Project is to keep children safe in their homes and communities and reduce the risk of re-victimization. The STAAR treatment team provide therapeutic, educational and social support to the survivor, psycho-education and clinical support to the parent and work within a team model based on a multidisciplinary approach. Treatment is provided on a schedule that meets the family's needs and will continue for up to 6 months. Services include: Individual, family and group therapy; Crisis Intervention; Case Management; Parenting Support; and Sexual exploitation/abuse education.

Outpatient Support Program (OSP): OSP is a home/community based case management program available to Neighborhood Health Plan/RIte Care members. The goal of OSP is for the client to remain in the community and avoiding a higher level of care. Services provided may include assistance with obtaining transportation to outpatient mental health appointments, collaboration with service providers, ensuring clear and consistent communication with primary care physician, assistance with meeting basic needs through case management, providing education to client regarding their mental health diagnoses and prescribed medications, collaborate with providers to support regular use of the skills learned in therapy, and to address barriers to treatment.

Supporting Adoptive and Foster Families Everywhere Program (SAFFE): The SAFFE Program is an intensive, community based program aimed at preserving foster and adoptive placements for children/teens, statewide, up to age 18, that have either disclosed sexual abuse or are exhibiting symptoms of sexual abuse, such as sexualized behaviors. The SAFFE Program provides clinical treatment to the child, the caretaker, and the biological parents if warranted. Through a trauma informed approach, families receive psychoeducation and support to assist with stabilizing the child’s placement to avoid disruption. The SAFFE Clinical Team includes a clinician and case manager to provide intensive, home based services for 6-8 months, 6-8 hours/week for the child, and 4-6 hours/week for the caretakers. Some aspects of the SAFFE Program include: Trauma informed intervention/treatment; Clinical support groups; Non-Offending Parent Education and Support; Case management to include resource development and increasing support systems; Transportation assistance; Access to 24/7 on call support; and coordination of bimonthly Provider Team meetings including case specific, collaborative partners. (This is a DCYF Contract and referrals come through the DCYF Central Referral unit.)

**We are currently looking to expand our Community Based Teams. Please visit the Employment section for more information.

Clinical Groups

Shepherd Clinicians utilize treatment interventions based on clinical practice guidelines and evidence of service effectiveness in the mental health field. Clinical support groups are consistently a beneficial intervention for the clients and families we serve. We consistently offer clinical support groups for survivors of sexual abuse (child, teen and adults) and their parents and caregivers. We also offer groups focusing on healthy self-esteem, socialization and healing from trauma.

Many of our clinicians are trained to provide the Justice Resource Institute’s My Life My Choice (MLMC) group curriculum. This 10 session group is designed to empower youth to protect themselves from the commercial sex industry and its perpetrators; explore what makes a healthy relationship; improve self-esteem; and provide positive interaction with peers, medical professionals, law enforcement officers, and survivors. This group is geared for teenage girls ages 12-18 years old and is beneficial for all teenage girls, as all teenage girls are at risk for exploitation. Clients do not need to have a sexual abuse history to benefit from this group.

We have been providing our Non-Offending Parenting Education and Support Group (NOP) curriculum to parents and caregivers for over 20 years. We have recently revised and updated our curriculum to include the most recent research and best practices, along with new topics (such as the commercial sexual exploitation of children). The name of this service has been changed from “NOP” to Families Impacted by Sexual Abuse (FISA). Please note that the same information presented in NOP will be included, in addition to the new and updated information. If you would like to make a referral for the FISA Group, please either contact the Shepherd Program Intake Coordinator at ext. 416.

Please call the Intake Coordinator at ext. 416 to inquire about current groups scheduled.

Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP)

A few years ago we began offering Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) using the EAGALA model to our EOS clients. This program is offered in collaboration with Equine Empowerment Solutions. "The EAGALA model is an experiential based approach that focus on solution-oriented opportunities. The EAGALA method is based on the fundamental belief that our clients have their own answers to their issues, they just need a safe environment to challenge their beliefs about themselves. Accepting and acknowledging those challenges is the first step in personal growth and learning. It is also where true empowerment is born."

For more information about Equine Empowerment Solutions please visit

For more information about the EAGALA model please visit

We recently implemented a pilot program offering EAP to several of our current office based clients. This program was grant funded and provided an opportunity for many of our clients to receive a specialized service, which may not normally be covered by insurance. We plan to offer this service to office based clients again in the future. Please re-visit our website in January 2017 for more information!



The following comments were written by clients of the Shepherd Program:

  • "St. Mary's has supported my commitment to my children. The staff has made tremendous efforts not only to help my family cope with the effects of abuse, but to help us move forward and discontinue the cycle." - Parent

  • "Before I felt nervous. Now I feel happy. So don't worry, be happy. You'll love this place" - Child

  • "I trusted them in a way that allowed me to discuss private matters." - Parent

  • "Everyone has been very supportive and friendly." - Family

  • "She (therapist) was a great influence and a great help to me. I will never forget what she has done for me and my family." - Parent

  • "I was treated with respect and like an adult." - Adult Client

  • "My son has learned how to deal with changes and emotions and has become more open about what's bothering him." - Parent



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420 Fruit Hill Avenue North Providence, Rhode Island 02911-2647  Tel: (401)353-3900 Fax: (401)354-7986