What We Do

"If you don't tell a child the truth, they wake up each morning looking for a world that doesn't exist. If you don't give them hope, they have no reason to look for any world at all."

 - Hildegard Messenbaugh, MD

 The Nature of Our Challenge

Each year it’s reported that more than 3 million children are abused annually. That means a child experiences the terror of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse every 10 seconds. With statistics like these, it's safe to say that child abuse has truly reached epidemic proportions. 

The tragedy of childhood trauma is not only the initial impact, but also how it leaves these 3 million young people with the scars of abuse for years to come. The truth is, children as well as teens are left with a variety of mental health issues and behavioral problems that impact their ability to function in classrooms, at jobs, and within society as a whole. The battle against child abuse is daunting, as is the work to help children and teens pick up the pieces of a life disrupted by trauma. Although this reality seems insurmountable, Third Way Center continues its mission to transform and improve the lives of teens impacted by horrific events.

Third Way Center’s experienced mental health professionals offer teens a pathway towards healing through our unique Six Boxes© Treatment Methodology. While other organizations focus on changing the behavior of teens, Third Way Center focuses on identifying the trauma they have endured in order to create new behavior patterns and ways of being. Once enrolled in our Residential Child Care Facilities (RCCF), teens are finally given an opportunity to reconcile the past so they can build better futures for themselves and their future families.



In 2013, 93% of teens came to Third Way Center with a history of abuse or severe neglect 


Overview of Our Program

Third Way Center provides traumatized teens with truth in the form of accurate assessment and diagnosis, as well as hope through individual, family and group therapy, education, vocational training, parenting skills training, after care and emancipation programs, and more.

At Third Way Center, teens receive round the clock mental health treatment in a residential setting where they are given the stability and attention they need from our experienced staff. We have 120 full time staff and 40 part-time staff including state-licensed Master Level Therapists, Mental Health Counselors, and more than 25 educational staff. Combined, our five licensed Residential Child Care Facilities (RCCFs) are capable of serving up to 119 teens and 12 babies at one time. The average length of stay for teens at Third Way Center is approximately 7.5 months.

Our programs have a 71% success rate in treating teenagers who have been unsuccessful in up to 30 other foster homes, treatment programs, failed adoptions and youth correction settings. We successfully breaks the cycle of intergenerational abuse by empowering traumatized teens to become successful adults and productive members of the community.


 Download Third Way Center's Fact Sheet & Continuum Of Services PDF >







Accreditations & Affiliations