Child and Family Services

Shaping the future

Children face many obstacles while trying to grow and find their identities. The challenge facing parents and children as they cope with these issues can often lead to conflict in everyday life. We are here to help. Riverwood Center offers a wide variety of services for children and adolescents who experience problems at home, at school or in the community.

We will provide your family with support, guidance and treatment. Our staff members have training in the best practices available. Services help give you the strengths you need to succeed, and emphasize parent involvement and partnering with other agencies such as schools or the courts, as necessary.

To see information about services for children with intellectual/developmental disabilities, including autism, see our Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities page.

Riverwood has Access Centers located in both the Benton Harbor and Niles offices. Riverwood Center Access Center Helpline is open 24-hours a day, every day of the year at (800) 336-0341. If you feel that any of the services and supports might be helpful to you or a loved one, visit one of our Access Centers.

Your Life. Your Choice. Our Commitment.

Your Life. Your Choice. Our Commitment.


The term Serious Emotional Disturbance is an "umbrella" term. Beneath this umbrella, there is actually a wide range of specific conditions that have different characteristics and treatments. These conditions include:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Bipolar disorder (sometimes called manic-depression)
  • Conduct disorders
  • Eating disorders
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Psychotic disorders

Children who have an emotional disturbance might show these symptoms, characteristics or behaviors:

  • Hyperactivity
  • Aggression toward others or themselves
  • Withdrawal
  • Mood swings
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Behavioral problems
  • School problems
  • Poor self-esteem
  • Depression
  • Aggression
  • Family conflict
  • Defiant behaviors
  • Poor impulse control

Many children who do not have emotional disturbance may display some of these same behaviors at various times. However, when children have an emotional disturbance, these behaviors continue over long periods of time. Children with the most serious emotional disturbances may show distorted thinking, excessive anxiety, bizarre movements and abnormal mood swings. Their behavior signals that they are not coping with their environment or peers.