Clinical Services

The mission of the Clinical Unit is to create a safe and compassionate environment in which clinicians’ aid in empowering youth and families to grow by assisting them in recognizing and utilizing their strengths to overcome mental and /or behavioral health issues as a means to facilitate personal growth and development. Clinical team members work in a variety of settings to address a myriad of mental/behavioral health issues.


Daniel Fierro - Counselor
Carla Lopez - Counselor
Leslie Pina - Counselor
Sarah Madrid - Counselor


Community Based Services

May be provided to qualified youth and families, by licensed staff. Licensed counselors provide trauma sensitive and trauma specific services designed to enhance cognitions, alleviate emotional distress and aid in the development of skills. Community based services are designed to address the family system as a whole, recognizing the youth may be a symptom of a greater dysfunction within the family unit. Family therapy and marital counseling are available for addressing systemic issues compounded by justice involvement, substance use, blended/separate/divorced families, acculturation/cultural and/or socioeconomic issues that may create added stress on the family system. Community based are offered an adjunct services to enhance therapeutic services in place

Residential Services

Therapeutic services are afforded to eligible youth court ordered into the Challenge Academy and their families. Residential services may be considered when additional structure, supports and/or therapeutic interventions are necessary to meet conditions of probation, and/or to appropriately treat a behavioral health need and/or substance use disorder. Residential Services in the Challenge Academy offers two substance use treatment tracks: Intensive services allow for 20 hours of therapeutic intervention a week. Ten hours of therapy are specific to treating substance use disorders; with an additional 10 hours provided to enhance recovery, social and independent living skills. Supportive residential treatment services are also available to provide substance use specific services for youth that have had prior treatment and continue to demonstrate impediments to daily functioning due to their substance use. Youth who present a moderate or high risk of reoffending are also afforded therapeutic interventions designed to correct thinking errors, strengthen decision making and develop self-regulating and healthy coping skills. Therapeutic services are provided by licensed counselors and include a combination of individual, family and group services.

Mental Health Assessments

Comprehensive behavioral health assessments are provided by licensed and qualified clinical staff to gain information and insight to promote treatment and the rehabilitative process. Behavioral health assessments include a clinical interview and the administration of valid and reliable psychometric tools to aid in the formulation of diagnostic impressions and treatment recommendations.

Mental Status Exams and Crisis Counseling

Therapeutic interventions are available for eligible justice involved youth. Crisis counseling is brief and focused on minimizing stress from a traumatic event through the provision of emotional support. A mental status exam is a semi-structured assessment designed to aid in determining a youth’s behavioral, emotional and cognitive function. It allows for a provisional diagnosis to alleviate symptoms associated with a crisis or distress.

Sexual Behavior Therapy

Sexual Behavioral treatment services is afforded to eligible youth and families that may or may not have a history of abuse and exhibit inappropriate sexualized behaviors (i.e. inappropriate touching, exposure, developmentally inappropriate masturbation, use of sexualize language). Services are provided by qualified licensed counselors, to address arousal issues, sexual behaviors causing dysfunction and/or disruption in daily living

Aftercare Services

Aftercare services are offered to Challenge youth and their families as support service designed to aid the youth in the successful reintegration back into the home/community. Aftercare is designed ensure transitional services and supports are provide to youth released from the Challenge Academy as well as work collaboratively with probation staff and community providers to foster and reinforce positive community norms, reinforcing skills acquired to promote prosocial/positive community engagements.

Case Management

Case Management services are also available to assist youth and families with identifying and accessing natural supports that will facilitate reintegration as well as enhance family reunification and independence. Case management entails a collaborative process which includes assessing, planning, care coordination and advocacy to meet the youth’s and families’ needs for successful reentry and continued success within the community. Case Management services include social skills and independent living skills development as well as vocational and educational assistance to the youth to promote safety, quality of care and positive outcomes.

Psychological Services

Psychological services are also available to youth in the Department’s pre/post adjudication facilities. Services are provided by a licensed psychologist or post doctorate interns through the Texas Tech Psychiatric Department and may include mental status exams, crisis counseling, and mental health counseling services to enhance coping skills and reduce symptoms associated with a diagnoses disorder.

Psychiatric Services

Psychiatric services are provided to eligible justice involved youth in both the pre and post adjudication facilities of the Department. Psychiatric evaluations are available for a determination of the need for medication for an identified mental health disorder as well as medication follow up and crisis assessments. Psychiatric services are provided by board certified psychiatrists through contracted services with the Texas Tech Psychiatric Fellowship Program.

Group Services

Parenting available include adult parenting sessions based on a strength based approach to enhance communications and relationships with in the family. Parents are taught strategies to enhance their abilities to effectively manage behaviors and solidify roles within the family unit.
Substance use service are designed to teach skills to youth with a substance use disorder to maintain an abstinent lifestyles.
Self-Regulating Skills designed to assist youth in identifying, effectively expressing and managing emotional states, while also enhancing executive functioning, critical at this state of adolescent development.
Social Skills designed to enhance communications, social interactions and development of healthy relationships. Groups provide skills development in increasing awareness, empathy and civic engagements and/or community connectedness.
Career Development Groups designed to peak vocational interest as well as job preparation and related skills to seek and maintain employment.
Independent Living Skills designed to teach budget, basic household maintenance, nutrition and meal preparation healthy habits and skills to promote self-reliance and confidence.
Food Handlers Course is available for justice involved youth and families. The course is designed to meet certification requirements by the Texas Department of Health Services, in which participants meet all classroom and testing requirements will be granted a food handler’s certificate. The course teaches proper safety practices in the preparation, storage and services of food.