"Life-Changing Outcomes for Exceptional Kids"

“The Transitions Program gave me the chance to become a better, more successful student.” -Eva, Transitions Program graduate

Transitions Program

What do you do for students who are unable to attend or participate in school due to anxiety and school refusal, but can benefit from interaction with peers outside the home? First Children Services has a solution with our Transitions Program! The Transitions Program is a small group, center-based, home instruction program for students in grades 5-12 who are not able to attend their public schools due to anxiety, depression, or other mental health challenge.  First Children is a New Jersey Department of Education  approved clinic and agency for home instruction, counseling, and other related services.

About the Program

Students who are not attending school due to underlying anxiety disorders, depressive disorders, fears, bullying, social skills challenges, and/or family related difficulties present a considerable challenge for school personnel and families.  Traditional home instruction may provide an immediate educational solution, but it will only mask the problem and can socially isolate the child leading to further issues.  Time is of the essence for these students as the longer a child remains out of school, the more difficult it becomes for the child to return to school.  First Children’s Transitions Program for students with anxiety and school refusal offers a solution that allows these students to comfortably return to a group learning environment among their peers.

The goals of the Transitions Program are to help students with anxiety and/or depression, who are not attending or thriving in a typical school setting, to return to a classroom-like setting, learn coping skills, and ultimately transition back to school.  The program includes group and individual counseling for each student in addition to their academic curriculum.  As students progress through the program, our professional staff will assist students, their families, and school district staff with a re-entry plan to transition them back to school.

Designed with School Districts in Minds

The Transitions  Program model was designed to meet the needs of sending school districts

First Children is a New Jersey Department of Education Approved Clinic and Agency  for counseling and home instruction.  Our Transitions Program teachers are New Jersey Department of Education certified.  The  Transitions curriculum follows the New Jersey Student Learning Standards.  Students do not need an IEP or 504  to attend the Transitions Program.  Transportation to and from our  programs is typically the responsibility of the sending school district.

For more information on the Transitions Program, please contact Jay Cohen, program supervisor, at transitions@firstchildrenservices.com or (856) 888-1097 Ext. 321.

First Children Services also offers traditional home instruction programs for students who are not able to attend our center based home instruction programs.

Download the Transitions Program brochure here.

Congratulations Class of 2020!

We congratulate our five graduating seniors on their hard work and dedication to reach this important milestone!  All five students will be moving on to college or a vocational program in the Fall where we wish them the best of luck!

As graduation for our students certainly will not be as we expected, the Transitions Program staff has created a short graduation video. We hope that this keepsake will offer lasting memories of the times our students have spent in the Transitions Program.

Counseling Services

The Transitions Program counseling services are provided by our experienced licensed clinical social workers who work closely with each student’s outside treatment provider and family to ensure a smooth continuity of care.  Counseling services include but are not limited to, Mindfulness, cognitive behavioral therapy, social skills,  and family support.


“This program and all its teachers and therapists changed my daughter’s life. She was unable to attend her regular high school due to mental health challenge but was able to come to your program. She made friends and loves everyone there. Her report cards are amazing. I can never thank you enough for all you have done to help my daughter. Thank you!”-Parent of a Transitions Program Student

“I want to say thank you for making this school year such a sigh of relief for my daughter. I don’t think I could ever show enough appreciation for everyone there letting her see school is not the nightmare she was used to in previous years. Everyone has had such a positive impact on her, and I could never thank you enough!”-Parent of a Transitions Program Student

Transitions Program in the News!

Candy Grande, Special for the (Cherry Hill, N.J.) Courier-Post  Published 1:37 a.m. ET Aug. 10, 2017 The first day of school is approaching and Melissa Langford knows some

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By Rita Giordano, Staff Writer, The Inquirer Posted: April 24, 2016 With her friendly smile, firm handshake, and stylishly oversize glasses, it’s hard to imagine Eva

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By Stephanie Stahl, CBS 3 News Philly News February 10, 2016 at 6:30 pm “For students with mental health issues school can be a nightmare, every day is a struggle, and

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Transitions Program Closing Update

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Transitions Program has moved to remote learning indefinitely. We are in constant communication with families and sending school districts with updates on our remote learning plan.

School social workers Katherine Fearon and Lauren Jacob are providing individual and group counseling to our students on a regular basis via both video conferencing and phone, whichever students prefer.

Please be aware that anyone calling the program will get a recorded message. Our administration and staff will be working during regular program hours each day, and you will be able to reach them by email.  Email addresses for administration, teachers, and social workers are available on our website.  For general program questions, please email Valery Bailey at vbailey@firstchildrenservices.com or call (856) 383-9006.

The health and safety of our students and staff are paramount, and we are closely monitoring the spread of COVID-19. We are adhering to guidance from the New Jersey Department of Health and the New Jersey Department of Education. Here are some resources for families and staff regarding COVID-19.

New Jersey Department of Health COVID-19 Webpage

New Jersey Department of Education COVID-19 News and Resources

New Jersey COVID-19 Information Hub

nj211.org COVID-19 Resource Website

Camden County Mental Health Resources During the COVID-19 Pandemic