A Home Within

The vision of the national organization is that all children who experience foster care are provided this essential support, ensuring that as they transition from foster care, regardless of which stage of life they are in, they have the inner tools they need to thrive. By matching youth with experienced therapists, we address the trauma and disruption inherent to foster care, help youth manage stress and anxiety, and develop the inner tools they need to become healthy adults.

With a mission to create and support lasting, caring relationships for children and youth in foster care, A Home Within identifies, recruits, trains, and supports a network of licensed therapists who each provide free, weekly, one-to-one therapy to a single foster youth “for as long as it takes.” For foster youth who often watch people move in and out of their lives, our model creates an anchor of support.

A Home Within is a national organization dedicated to meeting the mental health and emotional needs of those currently or formerly in the foster care system. Information on the national organization is available through its website: https://www.ahomewithin.org.

The Western Massachusetts chapter of A Home Within was established in 2013 and has grown to include three separate programs:

  1. AVAILABLE THROUGH THE RESOURCE AND SUPPORT HUB: Short-term consultation to foster parents (up to 3 sessions) billable to the child or parents’ insurance. Issues that can be addressed include psychoeducation on trauma, attachment, or other diagnoses, gaining a fuller understanding a child’s needs, behavior management ideas and support, information about different types of available psychotherapies, addressing educational concerns, helping youth with visits, handling placement changes, including reunification, and more. You can self-refer to this program by filling out this referral form.
  2. Long-term, pro bono psychotherapy by a private practice clinician for current foster youth or alumni of any age. The program has limited availability and waiting times can be long, especially for children. For more information, contact Karen Zilberstein (413-626-2802 or ekaren@me.com) or Grace Manger (503-217-4290 or grace@ahomewithin.org). Referrals can be made online through the national organization at: https://www.ahomewithin.org/request-therapy/.
  3. Short-term, targeted, goal-oriented psychotherapy (up to 20 sessions) through Amherst Cognitive Therapy. Appropriate concerns include obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), body focused repetitive behaviors, panic disorders and other severe anxiety reactions, phobias, school refusal, sleep issues, and more. There are usually wait times, but they are shorter than for the long-term program. Please call Craig Cohen (413-835- 1558 ext. 1), practice manager at Amherst Cognitive Therapy, to learn more information about the types of services provided. To make a referral, please fill out the Amherst Cognitive Therapy referral form found below and email it to Karen Zilberstein at ekaren@me.com.

Resource Documents

A Home Within logo

Contact Information

Karen Zilberstein, LICSW

Clinical Director, Western MA Chapter