Healthy People in a Healthy Environment

Mental Health Programs (Teen Diversion)

Teen Diversion (TD) is a psychiatric rehabilitation day program operating under the auspices of Harford County Health Department and housed within the Harford County Public School system.  Treatment is focused on diverting adolescents, ages 13 through 17, from a more restrictive therapeutic or educational placement and reintegrating them back into the community.  Adolescents typically participate in outpatient treatment for a minimum of 12 weeks, although the length of treatment may be longer, or shorter, based on treatment progress.

Students participating in the program during school months receive their education on-site through the Harford County Public Schools Home and Hospital Instruction.

Services Provided

  • Psychiatric Rehabilitation
  • Individualized Therapy
  • Family Therapy
  • Group Therapy
  • Socialization and Recreational Activities
  • Psychiatric Evaluation
  • Psychological Assessment
  • Medication Evaluation and Management
  • Case Mangement & Transition Planning
  • Didactic Drug & Alcohol Group
  • Conflict Resolution & Communication Groups
  • Vocational Readiness Training
  • Nutrition & Other Health Education
  • Crisis Intervention with 24-hour support

Referral Process

All candidates for Teen Diversion must be referred in one of two ways:

1) Local Care Team (LCT)

Prospective Teen Diversion candidates may be referred to the LCT by one or more of the following agencies:  Harford County Public Schools, Harford County Health Department, Department of Juvenile Services, Department of Social Services, Office on Mental Health-Core Services Agency and others.

2) Central-IEP Team (C-IEP)

Referrals by the C-IEP Team originate with the local IEP Team or Pupil Services Team.

An Application and intake packet must be completed by the parent or guardian of any student referred to Teen Diversion.  All applications will be reviewed for final determination of candidate appropriateness and acceptance into the Teen Diversion Program.

General Admission Criteria

1.  Student must be a Harford County resident

2.  Student must be 13 to 17 years old

3.  Must have documentation from LCT or C-IEP supporting the need for a Teen Diversion placement to:

a.  Divert a residential treatment center placement

b.  Divert a non-public educational placement

c.  Eliminate repeated psychiatric hospitalizations

d.  Complete an outpatient diagnostic assessment

e.  Provide a step-down from RTC

4.  Must be safely maintained in the program

5.  Student and parent/guardian must be willing to have psychiatric rehabilitation and treatment services coordinated  by TD staff for the duration of placement at the Teen Diversion Program


Clients and families may be required to pay for the services received at Teen Diversion.  Medical Assistance is accepted and for those families with private insurance, the Program will provide documentation to the family, so that the family may invoice their insurance carrier for reimbursement.  Harford County Health Department and the Teen Diversion program, as a matter of policy, does not deny services to any person due to their inability to pay for services.  The fee will be determined based on gross family income and size as applied to a sliding fee scale.


The program director is a licensed clinical social worker.  Staffing consists of one recreation therapist, two mental health aides, three master’s level therapists, and an office manager.  The program also has a child and adolescent psychiatrist on staff.  During the school year, two Harford County Public Schools home and instruction teachers are assigned permanently to Teen Diversion to provide instruction in the major academic areas.


Teen Diversion office hours are Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  Program hours are from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30  p.m. during the school year for students and 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. during the summer months.  Evening hours are available for family therapy.

For more information on the Teen Diversion Program,  call 410-838-1500.

To view our FY 2016 End of Year Summary and Strategic Plan for FY 17, click here.