Adolescent Consultation Services, Inc.

helping court-involved kids and families envision and work toward a better future

aka ACS   |   Cambridge, MA   |  www.acskids.org

Mission

Adolescent Consultation Services supports and empowers court-involved children and families by providing mental health prevention and intervention services to help them envision and work toward a better future.

Ruling year info

1995

Executive Director

Leah Kelly Psy.D

Main address

189 Cambridge Street

Cambridge, MA 02141 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

04-3263996

NTEE code info

Children's and Youth Services (P30)

Mental Health Treatment (F30)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Nationally, 70% of children in the juvenile justice system have at least one mental health condition and at least 20% are diagnosed with a severe mental illness. ACS provides the professional mental health services these vulnerable children need to improve their long-term health and well-being. ACS’s programs were developed in response to the needs of the families we serve. Clinicians have found that many families are confused, intimidated, and overwhelmed by the court process. Others lack adequate health insurance, struggle to access resources, or are not able to access services due to long waitlists. ACS offers these critical resources at no cost to the child or their family, removing one of the most significant barriers to care. These are formative years for a child and will set the course for their future. Therefore, understanding the underlying causes of behavior, clarifying mental health needs, and receiving the right intervention at the right time makes all the difference.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Education and Advocacy

Education & Advocacy for Children and Families:
Education & Advocacy builds on the comprehensive psychosocial evaluations of children and their families and provides the following services:
-Education of children and families about issues identified in the evaluation process, such as special learning needs or mental illness.
-Advocacy for clients and assistance linking them with appropriate community services, such as medical care, mental health treatment, and in-home support for the family.
-Follow-up with clients and providers to help ensure that clients are actually receiving the recommended services.

Education & Advocacy for the Court and Community:
ACS has close ties with court personnel, schools, and community providers, who often turn to us with questions to help them better understand a variety of topics ranging from basic court procedures to how to access mental health services. We educate providers about the needs of high-risk, court-involved children and advocate for enhanced services and support for families.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Families

ACS staff provide individual and group treatment to children and families at no cost, thus removing one of the most significant barriers to care. Many of these children are not able to access these services elsewhere due to long waiting lists and limitations with insurance companies. Group and Individual Treatment clients are referred from a variety of sources, including probation officers, the district attorney’s diversion program, assistant clerk magistrates, judges, attorneys, clinicians, schools, and the Department of Children and Families. The depth of their need and the level of their involvement with the juvenile justice and child welfare systems vary greatly. Many of these children have been diverted from facing delinquency charges on a “one-time” basis. Keeping them out of the juvenile justice system is critical to ensuring a better trajectory for their future.

Individual Treatment: ACS offers short-term individual treatment for court-involved children. Treatment focuses on self-identified issues and attempts to help the child find better ways to manage life stressors.

ACS Group Treatment: Psycho-educational treatment groups help kids learn the skills needed to cope with the challenges they face. Group sessions are tailored to the needs of the group and areas of focus often include:

-Improving self-awareness and communication skills;
-Managing family conflict;
-Identifying positive peer and romantic relationships;
-Learning healthy ways to cope with stress;
-Psychoeducation around substance use and addiction;
-Building self-esteem and self-advocacy skills;
-Navigating the challenges of cultural assimilation.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Families

ACS clinicians interview the child and family, gather school and health records, and prepare a report for the Juvenile Court with their findings. The report to the court explains the child's behavior—taking into account how the child’s family history, school performance, and medical and mental health history have affected the child—and concludes with recommendations that would benefit the child and family.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents
Children and youth

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of clients served

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Hours of no-cost treatment provided

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of same-day emergency evaluations completed

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of comprehensive diagnostic evaluations completed

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Percentage of children who increased compliance with treatment and recommendations

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth

Related Program

Treatment Services

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Percentage of families who became more engaged in treatment

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Families

Related Program

Education and Advocacy

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Percentage of children who improved their attendance at school or an alternative educational setting

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The overall goal of ACS is to disrupt the school-to-prison pipeline. Our main objective is to provide children and families with access to direct, no-cost mental health care and assistance navigating the juvenile justice and child welfare systems. The children we serve are, without question, among the most vulnerable and difficult to serve in our community. They are desperately in need of an effective advocate who can help them and their families access services.

ACS clinicians work to understand each child, identify their needs and strengths, and advocate for the child and their family. Our services include:
Diagnostic Evaluations—same-day emergency mental health and substance use assessments and diagnostic evaluations of court-involved kids. The evaluation explains the child's behavior—taking into account family history, school performance, and medical and mental health history —and concludes with recommendations for the family.
Treatment—individual and family treatment focused on self-identified issues and helping the child develop positive ways to manage life stressors. Psychoeducational treatment groups to help adolescents learn the skills needed to understand and cope with the challenges they face.
Education & Advocacy—education of children and families; advocacy for clients and assistance linking them with appropriate community services; and follow-up, with clients and providers, to help ensure that the recommended services are in place.

The ACS model of court-based services includes a diverse team of licensed social workers, mental health counselors, and psychologists. The culturally competent and highly trained clinicians have expertise in child and adolescent development, sexual exploitation, anger management, domestic violence, trauma, substance use, autism spectrum disorders, and personality disorders. Each clinician is trained to understand the juvenile court system and must meet strict state requirements to become credentialed as a Certified Juvenile Court Clinician.

Our robust individual and institutional fundraising program provides consistent and stable funding for all of our programs. We maintain long standing collaborative relationships with a range of public and private service providers and agencies in the community. ACS is an active member in the Massachusetts Alliance of Juvenile Court Clinics (MAJCC), which educates policymakers on the importance of court clinics and the need for adequate funding.

In FY17, ACS provided crucial diagnostic and therapeutic services to 438 court-involved youth and their families. ACS clinicians conducted 531 comprehensive diagnostic evaluations. 21% of all evaluations completed were same-day, emergency evaluations for children and teens in crisis.

We provided Education & Advocacy services to 213 kids and their families. Of the youth receiving E&A services, over 80% demonstrated improvements across three key areas: compliance with recommendations and treatment, consistent school attendance, and increased parental engagement in treatment.

Our clinicians provided almost 240 hours of treatment at no cost to individuals and families. 52 psychoeducational group treatment sessions were led by licensed ACS clinicians and graduate level interns.

We continue to focus on meeting the ever-broadening needs of the hundreds of children and their families in Middlesex County. ACS plans to continue enhancing the delivery of our Treatment and E&A programs.

Financials

Adolescent Consultation Services, Inc.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Adolescent Consultation Services, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 3/19/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Ms. Frances Miller

Boston University

Term: 2012 -


Board co-chair

William Paine

Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr

Lia Poorvu

Wellesley College

Jacquie Kay

SunWalking Holdings

Daniel Jacobs

Psychiatrist

Terrie Graham

Raytheon Global Headquarters

Mary Shahian

Daintree Advisors

Leah Kelly

Adolescent Consultation Services

Laura Prager

Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School

Jane Siegel

Retired Clinician

David Wilcox

Psychologist

Michael Lafleur

Suffolk County District Attorney's Office

Charles "Chip" Storey

Northeastern University

Elizabeth Keating

Campus Child Care, Inc

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? No
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No