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KidsTLCThe Basics

KidsTLC was originally created in 1972 to provide emergency shelter for abused and neglected children in the Kansas City area. Over the years, it has added outpatient services for a variety of issues including behavioral health, psychiatric treatment, community outreach, autism and wellness. Using evidence-based modalities and a trauma-informed approach, the substance abuse treatment uses group therapy to help adolescents ages 12 to 17 with alcohol and drug addiction.

Treatment and Staff

Prior to entering the substance abuse outpatient program, clients undergo an assessment that includes a psychiatric evaluation. Parental involvement in the initial assessment is required. Based on the results, the staff design an individualized treatment plan and decide whether or not medication is needed. A nursing team is available on a daily basis to address any medical issues that may arise with meds. Detox is not available, but referrals to outside agencies can be arranged.

There are three levels of care in the KidsTLC substance abuse program. The Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) includes six hours of treatment per week for 30 to 60 days, the outpatient intermediate program is four hours a week for 30 to 60 days, and the outpatient individualized is one to two hours of individual therapy a week for 30 to 60 days. The first two options include both individual and group therapy sessions. Groups tend to run on the smaller side, between 10 and 20 people at a time. Clients have the option of attending group therapy in the days or evenings, three times a week. Group topics include relapse prevention, life skills, communication, trauma, introduction to the 12 steps, addiction as a disease, processing and spirituality. Individual therapy runs one to two hours in length and occur once a week.

The KidsTLC program uses a psycho-educational and CBT approach. Kids are coached by trained clinicians to learn coping skills, increasing emotional stability and improving decision making.  Therapy follows the Seeking Safety model developed by Lisa M. Najavitis, a renowned professor psychiatry. Program sessions are divided into four steps. The first is a five-to-ten-minute check in, step two is reading and relating to a chosen quotation, step three is presenting a topic and relating the material to clients’ lives, and step four is a wrap up/check out.

As the end of treatment nears, the client’s treatment team and care coordinator create a discharge plan. Goals and objectives are explained in detail to family members and issues such as housing, school placement, follow-up therapy and vocational counseling are all mapped out.

The staff includes a psychiatrist, nurses and LCDCs who specialize in adolescents.


The family program offers education groups for family members at the facility each week. In a group setting, the families and clients learn how to communicate in healthy ways. Topics such as boundaries, codependency and the addiction-as-a-disease model are discussed.

In Summary

KidsTLC’s substance abuse program offers traditional talk therapy to deal with substance abuse. Using evidence-based modalities, the counselors work closely with clients to create healthy new ways of thinking. While the treatment is less intensive then other programs, a good foundation of sobriety, one that includes families, can be achieved here.

480 S Rogers Rd
Olathe, KS 66062

KidsTLC Cost: Initial evaluation is $130; individual sessions are $88; and group therapy is $34 per hour. Reach KidsTLC by phone at (913) 324-3823 or email at Find KidsTLC on Facebook

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