Youth and Family Support Groups

To sign up or to learn more about any of our groups,
call (802) 442-5491.

Key: (B)= Bennington-based (N)= Northshire-based
Unless otherwise noted, all groups currently meet remotely. In-person groups will follow COVID-19 health and safety protocols.
All groups are open to any Bennington County resident.

Behavior and Relationships

Adolescent Girls (N)
Mondays at 12 pm
Facilitated by Deanna Baasch
This group is tailored for girls ages 14–18. It provides a supportive environment where members will learn how to boost their self-confidence, strengthen interpersonal relationships and cope more effectively with the stressors of day-to-day life.

Practicing Mindfulness (B)
Fridays at 10am  
Facilitated by Meg Biela, PSSYF Clinician and Taylor Zimmermann, Therapeutic Case Manager 
In this 6-week virtual group participants will learn and practice mindfulness techniques by means of coloring and group discussion. This group is open for tweens and teens. All materials will be provided by UCS.  

Social/Emotional Support Group (B)
Tuesdays at 11am 
Facilitated by Tiffany Racicot, Therapeutic Case Manager 
Using pre-planned exercises learn to interact with your peers. Have fun with icebreakers, problems solving and using your imagination to build skills. This group is open to ages 12–14.

Strategies for Families (B)
Thursdays at 12pm (June 11July 2, 2020)
Facilitated by Ally Glasser-Brown, Therapeutic Case Manager, and Andrea Mook, School-Based Clinician   

This virtual psychoeducational group will present strategies and tools for children and families. Videos and worksheets will be shared in this 4-week series.  The strategies will be based on the Attachment, Self-Regulation and Competency model (ARC) as well as GoZen

Wondering Minds Girls Group (N)
Fridays 10 am–12 pm
Meets in person at UCS Northshire Offices
Facilitator: Jenifer Haskins, MA, Youth & Family Clinician
This group is for girls ages 12–14. We will focus on creating positive mindset, exploring out in the community, building strong self-esteem, and building tolerance and patience, using Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Exposure Therapy, Psychotherapy, and Mindfulness Meditation.

Youth Grounding and Mindfulness (N)
Wednesdays at 10am
Facilitated by Katie Baroody
In this group we will work on grounding and mindfulness techniques to reduce anxiety and stress. This group is open to kids ages 9–12.


Cookie Brigade (N)
Wednesdays 1–3 pm
Meets in person at UCS Northshire Offices
Facilitated by Sally Leonard, MA, Family Outreach Clinician
Due to COVID-19, Many Vermonters have been displaced and have found themselves placed in motels. In this group, the ‘Cookie Brigade’ will meet at UCS to package cookies, which will be distributed by a local church and placed in individual lunches. The Cookie Brigade offers our clients an opportunity to learn generosity, community, and a sense of empowerment, as together we work on solving a problem, not being the problem. Physical distancing and masks required. 

Teens4Change (B)
Thursdays at 11am
LOCATION: 21 Burgess Road, Bennington, VT 
Facilitated by Pam Bolus, Transition Aged Case Manager and Adrian Headley, Transition Aged Case Manager
Join other teens to work on projects and make a difference in the community. Enjoy a safe space to discuss your issues and concerns and receive support from your peers. Physical distancing and masks required. 


Coloring Your Way to Mindfulness (B)
Fridays at 10am (June 25July 16, 2020)
Facilitated by Christelle Mannon, Family Outreach Clinician
Open to the community – all ages. This virtual 
group is open to children & families who want to take a break from responsibilities and emerge themselves in coloring. Participants will receive mindfulness coloring packets and supplies provided by UCS. This will be a safe virtual space to relax & indulge in mindfulness coloring. 

Creativity for Change (N)
Wednesdays 9 am–noon
Thursdays 9 am–noon
Meets in person at UCS Northshire Offices
Facilitator: Jenifer Haskins, MA (Youth & Family Clinician)
Creating change through creativity, increasing positive mindset and self-confidence through art and exploring. Open to youth ages 10–14. Physical distancing and masks required. 

Fun with Science (B)
Fridays at noon

LOCATION: 21 Burgess Road, Bennington, VT
Facilitated by Rebecca LaPorte, Therapeutic Case Manager, Hope Therrien, Therapeutic Case Manager, and Tiffany Belville, Community Support Worker
Join in and some exciting science experiments at Burgess RoadThis is an opportunity for children to connect while participating in a structured and guided activity. This group is open to ages 5–10 and parents/guardians must provide transportation Limited openings. Social distancing protocols will be observed and all supplies will be provided by UCS. Physical distancing and masks required. 

Relax and Create (B)
Mondays at 2:15pm (June 22–July 20 )
LOCATION: 21 Burgess Road, Bennington, VT
Facilitated by Christelle Manon, Family Outreach Clinician and Lauren Hurst, Family Outreach Clinician
Enjoy the relaxation of creating with tie dye. Each week participate in a new tie dye project! Take some time and be creative, talk and relax with peers. This group will meet in person at Burgess road. Social distancing protocol will be observed and all materials will be provided by UCS. Physical distancing and masks required. 

Sports and Outdoors

Cycling Group (N)
Fridays 3–5 pm
Leaves from UCS Northshire Offices
Facilitated by Sally Leonard, MA, Family Outreach Clinician
We will meet at UCS and bike the new Manchester Bike Trail. Round trip is five miles, and is best suited to older, experienced cyclists. If needed, we have some bikes and helmets, but kids are encouraged to bring their own bike and helmet. Biking will give each participant an opportunity for socialization, exercise, and just plain fun.

Emerald Lake Fun (N)
Thursdays 10 am– 2 pm
Meets at Emerald Lake State Park, weather permitting
Facilitated by Sally Leonard, MA, Family Outreach Clinician
A day of lake activities: Our staff are experienced kayakers and paddleboarders and will teach the fundamentals of these activities; plus kids can enjoy swimming and hiking at beautiful Emerald Lake State Park. We will provide life jackets and follow all recommended water-safety rules. Lunch will be provided. Parents/guardians will need to provide transportation to and from Emerald Lake. Physical distancing and masks required. 

Game On! (B)
Saturdays at 9 am

LOCATION: Willow Park, Bennington, VT
Facilitated by Ajay Martucci, Community Support Worker,  Rebecca Shuler, PUCK/FES Coordinator, and Sandrya Matteson, Community Support Coordinator
Get out anmove your body to release energy and gain new skills in a variety of games and outdoor activities. Limited number of spaces available. Social distancing protocol will be used, and parents/guardians must provide transportation. 

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