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Public Notice:

At Familylinks, our priority remains the health and safety of our clients and our team, and we continue to take measures to protect against the spread of the COVID-19. Last week we made the decision to cancel all events and suspend volunteer activities until further notice. This week we have made the necessary modifications to our programs and services, in accordance with guidelines set by local and state government, so we can continue to serve individuals and families in western Pennsylvania.

As public health officials assess the risk, we are closely monitoring the spread of the virus and evaluating potential implications. We will continue to share all updates on our website and social media pages.

The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services has created a support and referral helpline for COVID-19. To review the details click here.

For the most up to date information regarding COVID-19, please visit the CDC website.



Clients are referred by Allegheny County Human Services Rapid Response Team; families cannot register a child for this service directly.

RESPOND is a collaboration between Familylinks and UPMC-Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic (WPIC), providing a safe and therapeutic environment for children with developmental disabilities and mental-health issues to live. RESPOND (which stands for Residential Enhancement Services, Planning Opportunities for New Directions) is specially tailored to children and youth who simply can’t stay at home with family because of issues stemming from their disability and mental health diagnosis.

Who is eligible?

Children and youth ages 4-21 with both a developmental disability and serious and persistent mental illness. 

What can you expect?

  • The young client comes to live full-time at our residential facility, with 24-hour supervision by our staff.
  • Parents or guardians are involved in every step of their child’s plan.
  • WPIC behavior specialists work with the child to reach treatment goals and achieve new milestones, while Familylinks staff help the child to progress, and ensure client safety.
  • Clients receive intensive mental health treatment, family therapy, and case management services.
  • The goal at RESPOND is to work with the client until she or he is able to live at home with family again.

How do you enroll?

Clients are referred through Allegheny County’s Department of Human Services Rapid Response Team. Parents cannot directly request placement for their child.

Meta Description: 

Residential mental-health program for children with developmental disability and mental illness, in conjunction with Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic.