Our Services

Creative Art & Child Centered Therapy

"Art can permeate the very deepest part of us, where no words exist" - Eileen Miller 

Art therapy involves the use of creative techniques such as drawing, painting, collage, coloring, or sculpting to help people express themselves artistically and examine the psychological and emotional undertones in their art. With the guidance of a credentialed art therapist, clients can "decode" the nonverbal messages, symbols, and metaphors often found in these art forms, which should lead to a better understanding of their feelings and behavior so they can move on to resolve deeper issues.

The Children's Aid Society and Art Therapy

Children’s Aid Society provides professional child-focused therapeutic services to children in York, Adams, and Franklin Counties ages 3-17. Our clinical staff has a wide diversity of specialized training, including play and art therapy, to meet the needs of children and adolescents in a safe, supportive and confidential environment. Most clinicians are trained trauma therapists, with specialization in the Trauma Focused- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) evidenced based treatment modality. 

What to Expect 

As with any form of therapy, your first session will consist of your talking to the therapist about why you want to find help and learning what the therapist has to offer. Together, you will come up with a treatment plan that involves creating some form of artwork. Once you begin creating, the therapist may, at times, simply observe your process as you work, without interference or judgment. When you have finished a piece of artwork—and sometimes while you are still working on it—the therapist will ask you questions along the lines of how you feel about the artistic process, what was easy or difficult about creating your artwork, and what thoughts or memories you may have had while you were working. Generally, the therapist will ask about your experience and feelings before providing any observations.

How It Works

Art therapy is founded on the belief that self-expression through artistic creation has therapeutic value for those who are healing or seeking deeper understanding of themselves and their personalities. According to the American Art Therapy Association, art therapists are trained to understand the roles that color, texture, and various art media can play in the therapeutic process and how these tools can help reveal one’s thoughts, feelings, and psychological disposition. Art therapy integrates psychotherapy and some form of visual arts as a specific, stand-alone form of therapy, but it is also used in combination with other types of therapy.


Children's Aid Society currently accepts Access (Medical Assistance) at all of our centers. We offer reasonable rates on a sliding scale for self-pay clients. For more information on our sliding fee scale or financial assistance, please visit or contact one of our three centers. 

For more information

Please contact one of the centers in your local area: 

The Lehman Center (York County) : 717-845-5771

The Nicarry Center (Adams County): 717-624-4461 

The Frances Leiter Center (Franklin County):  717 264-8552

Crisis Nursery at the Children's Aid Society 

What is the Crisis Nursery? 

We are a support to families that otherwise have no support and a valuable asset to the York community area. We offer short term respite care (day/overnight), 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, for children newborn through six years of age. The Lehman Center has one of only three crisis nurseries in the state of Pennsylvania. We started in 1989, 2 years after 'The Lehman Center' opened it's doors. At that time Child Abuse was the #2 cause of death for Children in York County, PA. 

Why do Parents and Guardians use the Crisis Nursery? 

Families voluntarily bring their children to our center for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Overwhelming parental stress
  • Lack of utilities, food or shelter
  • Emergency medical need
  • Other emergency situations which jeopardize the safety and well being of the child and necessitate temporary parent-child separation.
  • Health/medical issues of parent or other family member (siblings, for example).
What is the Average stay? 

The average stay for a child is three days. During his or her stay at the Crisis Nursery each child receives care by trained, loving staff and volunteers. These professionals provide individual attention to children who are coming from stressful environments. Parents are encouraged to visit with their children by phone or in person each day.

How do I use the Crisis Nursery? 

For Overnight Clients: Please call ahead (717-845-5771) and schedule an appointment to be placed on the waiting list 

For Day Respite Clients: For clients who wish to use the Crisis Nursery for Day Respite services only, it is requested that they make an appointment when they know the date(s) they would like to utilize the Crisis Nursery. Priority in scheduling is given to overnight respite clients. 

Walk ins are accepted (if space is available).

Intake process:

Please plan approximately one-hour (depending on the number of children) on your first visit for the intake process. This is where we will need to fill out paperwork related to your child in our care. 

What parents say about our Crisis Nursery

“I don’t know what I would have done if I didn’t have a safe place to leave my daughter when I had nowhere! I thank God for all you have done for my family."

“I used your services a long time ago when I was in a horribly abusive relationship. You kept my children safe and also helped me find the strength to leave my abuser and find the resources I needed to make a home for my family.”

“I will never forget what you did for my family and one day I will find a way to repay the kindness you showed me."

“You supported me when no one else would.”

Family Advocacy 

What is Family Advocacy?

Family Advocacy is an intensive and comprehensive outreach program, for families referred by staff at the Crisis Nursery. When parents and guardians use the Crisis Nursery on a repeated basis, it indicates that their challenges cannot be resolved in the three days that their children are staying at the Crisis Nursery. 

Family Advocacy is intended to help families achieve and maintain stability through referrals to appropriate community resources, home visitation to monitor progress, and ongoing emotional support and encouragement.

The family advocate visits families in their homes to assess home circumstances and to link the family to other needed community resources. The family advocate serves families who use crisis-nursery services on an ongoing basis or with any family who uses the Lehman Center services Art Therapy and Parent Support Group who requests assistance. Our family advocate also accepts referrals from the community.

What services does the Family Advocate Provide?

Our Family Advocate collaborates with these families to provide increased, individualized support. She works with caregivers to understand the goals they have for their family and the myriad of obstacles they face. She then helps them find the community resources they need to provide a supportive environment for their children.  

For more information on our Family Advocacy program, please call 717-845-5771

God’s Closet

Everyone knows that keeping a rapidly growing child in clothes is expensive 

The Children’s Aid Society and the Adams County Foster Parents Association partnered to create God’s Closet to help families in need 

Staffed by volunteers, this free children’s clothing “store” is located at The Nicarry Center in New OxfordDonations are coordinated, received, and organized into bins by age and gender. Low-income families can come and “shop” for clothes, shoes, and coats for their children ages 12 and under. If we have toys, books, or diapers in stock, they are welcome to those too.  

God's Closet Hours: 

Tuesdays 9 a.m. to noon

Thursdays Noon to 3 p.m. 

*Appointments can be requested at other times. 

Donations are always welcome, and anyone can refer a family to this service by calling 717-624-4461.  

The Incredible Years Series (IYS) is a prevention and intervention program intended to enhance  children’s social and emotional competencies, and ultimately reduce behavior problems. The Incredible Years Series has been found to decrease harsh discipline practices, improve pro-active parenting skills and the parent-child relationship, enhance children’s academic and social competence, and decrease aggression. 

The parenting program is recommended by the American Psychological Association Task Force as meeting the stringent criteria for empirically supported mental health interventions for children with conduct problems. The Incredible Years series is an evidence-based intervention recognized through the Blueprints for Violence Prevention and SAMHSA model programs.

Join a dynamic community of parents and caregivers to...

  1. Learn new parenting skills
  2. Be supported as you practice these skills
  3. Grow your confidence and pride in yourself to be able to handle all the up’s and down’s of parenting.

                        **Free Lunch and Childcare. Transportation Assistance Available** 

Program Details: 

School Age Series:   For parents of children 3-11

Facilitated by:           Children's Aid Society-The Lehman Center

Place:                       Leib Elementary School (2925 Oakland Road, Dover, PA, 17315)

Meeting Date/Time:  4p.m-6pm, Starting January 7th, 2020– April 7th, 2020; meets each week 16 Weeks


Parent Support Groups

Offering parents a comfortable location to talk about the stresses, anxieties and complex issues of parenting

At Parent Support Groups, parents can expect to share with others who are going through some of the same experiences, learn from one another, including experienced parents and trained volunteers, receive information on available community resources and topics related to parenting. and  improve parenting skills and relationships with children and families.

Support Groups are free of charge and welcome parents and legal guardians to attend!

We offer: 

Ongoing weekly meetings (except for holidays)

Weekly children's group while parents meet 

Snacks and beverages for both parents and children 

Support between meetings when/if needed 

A model of mutual support, openness and confidentiality 

Group Schedule: 

Thursdays at "The Lehman Center"

402 W. Market Street, York PA

12:30-2:30 p.m. 

Signups are not required to attend, however if you are attending for the first time and bringing your child/children, please call prior so enough childcare is available. 

For more information or to inquire, contact our Volunteer and Parent Support Group Director at 717-845-5771 ext. 105

Children's Aid Society is an affiliate of: 

24-Hour Hotline

Our 24-Hour Hotline and Referral Service is available to parents and caregivers. Trained and caring staff listen, offer immediate support, and help callers work through their crisis. Staff provide callers with referrals to other community resources that will help resolve issues and provide additional support.



Administrative Office

343 Lincoln Way West New Oxford PA 17350
Phone: 717-624-4461
Email: info@cassd.org



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