Waterford in rural Connecticut serves boys ages 11-17 from around the country, who have social, emotional, behavioral and learning differences.

We are a nonprofit agency that has been serving children and families since 1922.  In 2009, we adopted Cornell University’s CARE model.  Our partnership with Cornell University is designed for families of children with challenges, who are seeking another route to personal and academic success.

Together with a highly dedicated and skilled staff, Board of Trustees and many friends in the community, they have developed an extensive array of programs and are committed to the spirit of doing “Whatever It Takes.” Waterford Country School works hard to ensure that each child entrusted to their care is given the opportunity to grow, learn, and develop at his or her own pace.

‘Where Everybody is Somebody’ is a common daily phrase if you visit Waterford Country School – this is a very special place. Every day staff does “whatever it takes” to help children and families in need. Through residential programs, family-based programs, education programs, and community support programs, they offer a diverse range of services to children of all ages. The kids are the reason they exist.

Guiding Principles:

Waterford Country School holds as its core value, interpersonal relationships based upon respect, compassion and hope among all persons at all levels. WCS focuses on developing a team of staff who possess the skills and talents to enable them to establish caring relationships with children and families leading towards positive change and the enhancement of their overall well being.

Agency Model:

For over 90 years, Waterford has operated on behalf of children and families, but since 2009 when they discovered Cornell University’s program model – Children And Residential Experiences (CARE) their value system shifted and grounded itself into the change inducing practice they stand by today. CARE is a multi-level program model for improving services for children in out-of-home care. Based on six guiding principles, the CARE model is designed to profoundly influence the way residential childcare professionals think about working with children.

CARE principles include being:

  • Family Focused
  • Relationship-Based
  • Competence Centered
  • Trauma-Informed
  • Ecologically Oriented

Waterford County School Therapeutic Boarding ProgramThe Therapeutic Boarding School Just for Boys Who are Struggling

Discover real help for your boy on the autism spectrum or if he has social, emotional, behavioral or learning differences. From around the country, boys come here to learn to succeed. Master’s level therapists lead the children in intensive individual, group and family therapy. Their Clinical team is skilled in treating adolescents with a variety of challenges.

Waterford believes all children want to succeed. If they are not successful in the classroom or at home, Waterford wants to help. This is their approach to caring for children. Their goal is to create an environment that fosters positive change, growth and a pattern of successful experiences.

“This is where I learned how to ride a horse, a skill I continue to enjoy, but also learned to love computers and technology, which is now my profession. This school saved my life!” – Austin

The students are served by their Connecticut State Board of Education approved private school with classroom sizes of 5-7 students, guided by Certified Special Education teachers and arranged strategically by learning style and ability.