Residential Treatment Program in Flint, MI


At our Center we strive to create a home-like environment for all the children that reside with us. Every staff member at the agency is trained in Therapeutic Crisis De-escalation and is required to be an active part of the lives of the children. There is 24 hour supervision and a 3:1 ratio for all children in our care. Each child also has a primary staff member who spends one on one time with the child and is responsible for communication of all progress of the child's personal goals.

We strive to provide an array of recreational activities on a daily basis that meets the interests of every child. Our on-campus recreational areas include a gym where we play a wide range of sports, a video game room, art room, library and computer lab. The children also participate in community activities such as shopping, going to the movie theater, camp experiences, our annual trip to Michigan's Adventures and so much more.


Our Center includes one main living facility on our grounds, Mott Residence, and two group homes within miles from our Center.


The Mott Residence has three separate cottages, McDonald, Vemco and Johnson. Each cottage has eight individual bedrooms, kitchenette, living room, dining room, private bathrooms, and laundry areas. The Mott building also has a commercial kitchen, Family Game Room for group activities, and a cafeteria for celebrations including birthdays and goodbye parties.


Many of our children also reside in two different groups homes that are located throughout the Flint community. Each home houses six children with individual bedrooms, living rooms, dining room and a full kitchen. These children come to our campus regularly and participate in all of the same activities that the children who live on grounds do.

The Optimist Home was established in 1994 as a group home at Whaley Children’s Center. This home was founded by several different Optimist Clubs including Flint Breakfast Club and Davison Optimists.

The Zonta Home was founded in 1991 with support from Zonta I and Zonta II Clubs of Flint.

Learn more about Optimist International,Zonta International.


Throughout our campus our staff model the Circle of Courage. The Circle of Courage® (CoC) is a philosophy supported by Reclaiming Youth International and used as a foundation for the residential and clinical programs and services at Whaley Children’s Center.

According to Reclaiming Youth International, “The Circle of Courage® is a model of positive youth development based on the universal principle that to be emotionally healthy all youth need a sense of belonging, mastery, independence and generosity. This unique model integrates the cultural wisdom of tribal peoples, the practice wisdom of professional pioneers with troubled youth and findings of modern youth development research.”

When children possess the universal human needs of belonging, mastery, independence and generosity, they are prepared to grow into strong, resilient and proactive citizens.


Whaley Children's Center utilizes a level system containing five separate levels. To move up a level a child must complete a level project and present it to their treatment team. Projects are related to individualized treatment plans and personal goals that the child will develop with their therapist. Each level comes with added privileges such as extra allowance, electronic use, or a later bedtime. The level system also promotes our Circle of Courage philosophy which focuses on Belonging, Generosity, Independence and Mastery.