The Jefferson Residential Treatment Center (RTC)

Director of Residential Programs and Related Schools: Thomas Graham, MSW, CRCCP

Director of The Jefferson School and Residential Program: Maureen McGuire, LCSWC

Medical Director: Lesly Baugh, M.D.

The Jefferson Residential Treatment Center is a 53-bed licensed treatment center in rural Frederick County, Maryland, for males and females ages 12 to 21 with severe emotional and behavioral problems, who are unable to live safely in the community, and need a specialized educational environment, a therapeutic milieu, and recreational and community based activities. The average length of stay at The Jefferson RTC is 11 months, with the goal of moving the adolescent back into the community as soon as they are ready.

Residents are referred to The Jefferson RTC by Department of Social Services, Department of Juvenile Services, a referring psychiatrist, the local Core Service Agency, or by their families. While under our supervision, we provide 24-hour care in a supportive and nurturing environment. Our multi-disciplinary team works together to develop an individualized treatment plan that addresses both the therapeutic and educational needs of the adolescent. Services are provided by psychiatrists, psychologists, licensed clinicians, activities specialists, occupational therapists, nurses, and residential counselors. The Jefferson RTC also operates a specialized treatment component for sexually reactive boys called RIVERS, as well as a unit for younger males with special developmental needs.

Treatment focuses heavily on dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), but also includes:

  • Individual and group therapy 
  • Family therapy 
  • Initial and ongoing psychiatric assessments 
  • Occupational therapy 
  • Equine assisted psychotherapy (EAP) 
  • Medication management 
  • Educational programming 
  • Development of independent living skills 
  • Recreational and community based transitional activities

The main campus occupies 30 acres of a 210-acre rural site in Frederick County, Maryland, and includes the RTC and The Jefferson School, a special education day school. It’s a beautiful open and green setting, which also features a full-size gymnasium, library/media center, arts classroom, wood shop, garden, large equestrian program, as well as an adventure course and hiking trails. Residents not only attend The Jefferson School, but also participate in the community through the many student events and recreational opportunities.

Our goal is to lay a solid therapeutic foundation so that residents can return to their homes, schools, and communities. We work very closely with the families of our residents to form an alliance so that we can communicate, teach more effective coping skills, and help determine the best next step for the adolescent. We also assign each resident a transition team member who meets with the resident and their family to help them transition back into the community as they are ready.

Every child and adolescent deserves to be loved and appreciated, and to learn how to engage in a healthy relationship. We seek to meet the universal needs to belong, to achieve independence, and to display generosity toward others. We have succeeded in our work when a resident is able to leave our RTC and continue living their life, with no arrests, no repeat visits to our RTC and no inpatient hospitalizations. They are able to remain in their community and manage their emotions and maintain relationships.