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Ventura Crisis Services

Ventura Crisis Services is a partnership between Seneca Family of Agencies and Ventura County Behavioral Health that serves Ventura County youth experiencing a mental health crisis.  Ventura Crisis Services provides two programs to serve this purpose, a Crisis Stabilization Unit (CSU) serving youth ages 6-17 and COMPASS (Comprehensive Assessment and stabilization Services), a crisis residential program for youth ages 12-17. 


Crisis Stabilization Unit (CSU)

The Ventura County Crisis Stabilization Unit provides each youth with multi-disciplinary risk assessment to determine their needs. The CSU provides mental health interventions necessary to divert from hospitalization those youth who may be safely discharged to the community. Youth who require further evaluation and/or stabilization are referred to the COMPASS crisis residential program or to an inpatient psychiatric facility when needed.


Comprehensive Assessment and Stabilization Services (COMPASS)

Ventura County Comprehensive Assessment and Stabilization Services (COMPASS) is a short-term residential program offered as part of the continuum of care for youth transferring from our Crisis Stabilization  This program is offered as part of the continuum of care for youth transferring from our crisis stabilization unit (CSU), and provides comprehensive clinical services to assist youth in gaining the stability and skills needed to safely return to the community.  The goal of this program is to work collaboratively with the youth’s caregivers and community supports to create a sustainable plan for youth to return home safely.  A multi-disciplinary team assists youth in gaining the necessary skills for managing challenging situations.  Individual and family therapy, case management and psychiatric care are part of the youth’s structured treatment. 

Willow Rock Crisis Stabilization Unit

Willow Rock Center is an adolescent crisis stabilization and treatment facility provided through a partnership among Seneca Family of Agencies (SFA), Telecare Corporation, and Alameda County Behavioral Health Care Services. Willow Rock Center has three complementary levels of programs: a 23-hour crisis stabilization unit (SFA), an inpatient psychiatric program (Telecare), and a short-term outpatient mental health program (SFA). Seneca’s Crisis Stabilization Unit (CSU) is the front-end of the continuum of care providing each youth with multi-disciplinary risk assessment to determine level of care. The CSU provides mental health interventions necessary to divert from hospitalization adolescents who may be safely discharged to the community. Youth who require inpatient psychiatric services are transferred to the inpatient facility when needed.


The Crisis Stabilization Unit staff and inpatient staff provide a safe and nurturing environment as they assist youth in regaining the stability necessary to safely return home or to a community-based placement. Youth being discharged from the CSU or Telecare inpatient psychiatric program may receive short-term outpatient mental health services until they are linked to community based mental health services.

Mobile Response Team


Mobile Response Teams (MRT) support families in serious distress with immediate crisis intervention and mental health services. The teams travel to wherever the youth and family may be in the community, in order to provide effective intervention at the height of the crisis. MRT services can occur in family homes, schools, hospitals, or other community and residential settings. Therapeutic interventions by the teams are primarily centered on assessing the immediate safety needs of the family, stabilizing the youth in crisis, and providing assistance and support to the caregivers. Follow-up linkage services are provided in order to ensure youth and family connections with longer-term mental health services, if needed.

Skills, Transitions, Exploration and Progress (STEP) Program


The STEP Programs are a partnership between Kaiser Permanente and Seneca Family of Agencies to provide Partial Hospitalization Program services for youth, ages 12-17. The goal of the STEP programs is to provide intensive, short-term and stabilization services enabling clients to reintegrate into school and the community with lower levels of outpatient mental health treatment. 


Youth attend the STEP Program six hours each day, for an average of ten days. STEP clients participate in daily groups, attend two family therapy sessions, meet with a psychiatrist, and receive case management and medication management services.


Program Services: 

  • Daily therapeutic groups led by a multi-disciplinary treatment team
  • Group topics include skill development in distress tolerance, interpersonal communication, mind-body connection, mindfulness, psychoeducation, and other means of self-care
  • Individual therapy services as needed
  • Structured and individualized treatment interventions
  • Medication management
  • Discharge planning
  • Calm, supervised, and supportive environment
  • Focus on individual education needs
  • Daily lunches and snacks




Seneca provides the STEP Program in three northern California locations: Olivera STEP in Concord, Irvington STEP in Fremont, and Priya STEP in Petaluma. For more information about the STEP Program, please contact STEP@senecacenter.org.  You may also call (510) 381-5188 for more program information or to make a referral.