What do you do for students who are unable to participate in school because of anxiety and school refusal problems? First Children Services has a solution with our Transitions Program, an educational program for children with anxiety and school refusal.

Students who refuse to attend school because of anxiety, depression, fears, social skill problems, or family related difficulties present a considerable challenge for school personnel and parents. The longer a child remains out of school and on home instruction, the more difficult it becomes for the child to return to school.

The Transitions Program offers an intervention program for school avoiding students in elementary, middle and high school.  The educational program for children with anxiety challenges consists of academic and emotional support for students who need to return to school.  As students progress through the program, our professional staff will assist students, parents, and school district with a re-entry plan into school.

We are an approved Clinic and Agency with the New Jersey Department of Education for home instruction and counseling.

First Children’s Transitions Program Facts


  • The Transitions Program is an educational program for children with anxiety and school refusal.
  • We are a New Jersey Department of Education approved clinic and agency.
  • Program hours are: Full Day-8:45 am-2:45 pm.
  • The Transitions Program hires only New Jersey Department of Education certified teachers.
  • Counseling is provided in an individual and group setting by school social workers.

  • Our counseling has an emphasis on Mindfulness to help the students cope with anxiety.
  • Transportation is the responsibility of the sending district or parent.



The Transitions Program makes the evening news!

“It’s a unique kind of school in New Jersey, that’s designed specifically to help students with anxiety disorders. For students with mental health issues school can be a nightmare, every day is a struggle, and it causes an alarming amount of absenteeism” reports Stephanie Stahl of CBS Philly news.  Stephanie spent the day visiting Transitions Program former student, Simon Michel, and his family and then First Children’s Transitions Program where she got to know our program for students for with anxiety challenges and school refusal.  After meeting with our staff and students, Stephanie was able to create a brief news piece that told the story of a small school in Cherry Hill that has transformed the lives of  many local students who suffer from anxiety that prevented them  from attending their public schools.  Please take a moment to view our story as told by Stephanie Stahl, Channel 3 CBS new reporter.

Transitions Program Makes A Difference For Students Suffering From Anxiety Disorders



Learn more about school refusal and the Transitions Program in this Philadelphia Inquirer article:

Education alchemy: Turning school from feared to favorite place
by Rita Giordano, Staff Writer, Philadelphia Inquirer

First Children Services also offers several home instruction programs for students who are not ready for our Transitions Program.

Transitions Program South Jersey Location

1256 Marlkress Road

Cherry Hill, NJ 08003


Transitions Program Central Jersey Location-Coming soon to Mercer County!


Contact the Transitions Program:
Melissa Langford, Director, Transitional Education Services
Phone: (856) 888-1097 Ext. 303
Email: mlangford@firstchildenservices.com