5712 Iroquois Avenue, Harborcreek, PA 16421
P: (814) 899-7664   ·   F: (814) 899-3075

About Harborcreek Youth Services in Erie, PA

Residential Treatment at Harborcreek Youth Services

Harborcreek Youth Services (HYS) provides Behavioral Health treatment to approximately 190 young men and their families each year, from counties all over the state of Pennsylvania. HYS is proud to be certified as a Sanctuary Organization. This means HYS recognizes that virtually all of the youth we serve have experienced significant trauma in their lives, and that their unfortunate circumstances have, in part, evolved from these traumas. We foster an atmosphere of mutual respect and concern for the well-being of others, and model this for the youth in the program. We strive to provide a therapeutic environment that provides safety and security for the participants to avoid re-traumatizing the youth who come here for treatment.

Harborcreek Youth Services is licensed by the State of Pennsylvania Department of Human Services and fully accredited by the Council on Accreditation. Using Sanctuary practices and principles, we help youth and families overcome adversity and build positive futures within a safe, Christian environment that respects and promotes individuality and strengthens community.

Behavioral Health Services at HYS encompass aspects of treatment in which we have invested a great deal of training and effort. When a new program participant walks in the door the first time, they are joining a treatment community that embraces the Sanctuary Model. That means HYS is committed to beginning and continuing our relationship with each young person by acknowledging the importance and impact of where they’ve been. Then, we engage with them to create the safe, therapeutic space in which we can help them achieve goals and ultimately get where they want to go. Sanctuary is an every-hour-of-every-day treatment approach and forms the basis of treatment at HYS.

All of our program participants are referred to HYS because of Behavioral Health concerns: conditions which manifest as difficulty in regulating mood, thinking and behavior. The HYS treatment teams help each youth to learn more about how these conditions may be influencing their actions every day. Most of the youth are seen by a psychiatrist who evaluates them and may even prescribe medication to support their efforts to improve the way they act and feel.

Every program participant is also assigned a therapist who is well trained in a variety of models and techniques. HYS is investing deeply in techniques like Trauma Release Exercises (TRE), Progressive Counting and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), which are state-of-the-art treatments to help youth overcome the devastating effects of trauma. Therapists use these and other special techniques according to the situation and needs of each youth. Special groups and family therapy are also used to educate and work through important issues. The treatment at HYS helps our youth address the traumas of their past, and progress safely toward a stronger future. 

The Residential Program emphasizes and provides:

• Trauma-Informed Care, provided by a psychiatrist-led treatment team. Learn More

• A supervised treatment milieu that follows the Sanctuary Model, with trained staff at the ready to work on individual goals and provide daily counseling and guidance. Learn More

• Psychiatric evaluation and medication monitoring for behavioral health conditions. Learn More

• Individual and Group therapy provided by therapists specially trained in addressing trauma and behavioral health issues. This assists youth in learning how past events and mental health concerns impact their choices, feelings and behavior. Learn More

• Family therapy, to help youth and their families be connected and address home issues and future planning. Learn More

• Music Therapy: through a partnership with Mercyhurst University, certified Music Therapists use rhythm, words and music as a unique and additional medium through which participants accomplish treatment goals.

• Art Therapy, which encourages youth to use many different kinds of media to express their ideas and feelings with guidance from our Art Therapist.

• Sexual Counseling Services which focus on accountability, empathy toward victims, community safety, and the ultimate goal of zero recidivism. Learn More

• Community Service and Restitution as a goal and focus during treatment: residents have both on and off campus opportunities to contribute to the well-being of the entire community and to make restitution if required. Learn More

• Harborcreek Youth Services has a campus education program which is approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and staffed by certified teachers. The latest technology is utilized to provide academic instruction for students grades 5-12 based on home district mapping. Our agency offers a full range of pre-vocational training in our Work Experience Program for career planning, hands-on experience, teaching real life skills and preparing students for employability. The goal of teachers in our programs is to work with individual students to discover their interests, strengths, and talents. Learn More

• Medical Staff who ensure that residents receive high quality medical care. Learn More


Community Programs through Harborcreek Youth Services

Multisystemic Therapy (MST) is a family-centered and community-based treatment which teaches evidence-based interventions to parents to increase family functioning by reducing behaviors such as adolescent truancy, disrespect, violence, and substance abuse. The MST program equips participants to independently address problems using support and skill building to increase responsible behavior for the entire family. MST Services defines successful discharge when the families meet the Three Ultimate Outcomes: when the youth is living at home, there are no new charges by the youth during their time in treatment, and the youth is in school.

The MST model continues to provide evidence that there are families with improved functioning by the end of the MST treatment. When families rely on their own network of supports, they are less dependent on mental health professionals and are better prepared to resolve issues and solve problems on their own. As a result, MST benefits not only the identified youth initially referred to the program but the entire family as well, including the other children in the home. For more information about Multisystemic Therapy, please click here.

The Community Residential Rehabilitation (CRR) Host Home Treatment Program is a therapeutic foster care program designed for children and their families who are located in Erie County. The Host Home Treatment Program is a community-based, out-of-home program in which the child lives with a trained Host Home Parent (foster parent) while receiving individualized mental health treatment. Once a child is placed, their treatment team provides complete support to the Host Home Parents and treatment services for the child and their family. The child receives individual and family therapy, ongoing case coordination services, and consultation with a child psychiatrist. The end goal is to reunite them with their family or transition them to a lower level of care. To reach this goal, we put an emphasis on therapeutic visits and family therapy sessions, so everyone is involved. For more information about the Host Home Treatment Program or becoming a Therapeutic Foster Parent, please click here.