UnityPoint Health - St. Luke's Children's Specialty Services


Number of patients waiting reflects the current number of patients waiting to be seen. This number changes frequently and is not exact.

Hours of Operation

  • Monday: 7:00 AM - 5:30 PM
  • Tuesday: 7:00 AM - 5:30 PM
  • Wednesday: 7:00 AM - 5:30 PM
  • Thursday: 7:00 AM - 5:30 PM
  • Friday: 7:00 AM - 12:00 PM
  • Saturday: Closed
  • Sunday: Closed

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Programs for Children & Teens

St. Luke's Children’s Specialty Services provides several programs for children and teenagers to help them cope with mental, emotional and behavioral concerns.

Life Program

The Life Program is an Intensive Outpatient Program for youth from 6 to 18 years old. Youth who are experiencing behavioral or emotional challenges in their home, school or in the community are good candidates for the programs. The programs use a cognitive behavioral therapy approach to address the behaviors of the children in a group setting. The underlying goal is to teach the children and adolescents to better cope with challenging life situations.

Program Details
While in the program, children and adolescents work on their identified goal areas. Everything we do is in a group setting and the staff focuses on a different theme or skill area each week. These topics include identifying feelings, anger management, coping skills, teamwork and several others.

Our staff work closely with your doctor, therapist and school to make sure the needs of your child are being met in all settings.

Our professional staff includes:

  • Psychiatric Nurses
  • Youth Counselors
  • Recreation Therapists
  • The other professionals working with your child are included in the treatment planning process
Our programs operate from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. during the school year and from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. during the summer months.
Referral Process | Insurance | Transportation
Referral Process

Referrals can be made by parents, schools, therapists, doctors or others who are working with the family.

To make a referral you may contact the Life Program Groups directly:

  • Group 1:  Elementary School (369-8728)
  • Group 2:  Middle School (369-8685)
  • Group 3:  High School (369-8535)

The program is covered by most insurance companies.


The Children's Specialty Services assists with transportation as needed by the family.

About the Groups

Life Group 1: Elementary School Program

This program helps elementary children who display serious behavioral and emotional difficulties at home, school or in the community. Children are taught social skills, anger management and coping skills. The family component of the program also teaches families to deal effectively with their children's behaviors.

For more information, contact Camilla.Lawrence@unitypoint.org or (319) 369-8728.

Life Group 2: Middle School Program

This day program assists teenagers with making the transition home from the hospital or other placements, or to avoid hospitalization altogether. Individuals are taught social skills, anger management and coping skills.

For more information, contact Camilla.Lawrence@unitypoint.org or (319) 369-8685.

Life Group 3: High School Program

This day program assists teenagers with making the transition home from the hospital or other placements, or to avoid hospitalization altogether. Individuals are taught social skills, anger management and coping skills.

For more information, contact Camilla.Lawrence@unitypoint.org or (319) 369-8535.

My child is going to start in one of the programs soon. What can I expect?

While in the program you can expect to be a part of the program team. Your child will bring home a home sheet every day. This will provide you with the opportunity to give the staff feedback on how your child has done at home. For our younger children there is also a space for their classroom teacher to give feedback. You can also call us and talk to us directly about any questions or concerns. Our program runs Monday through Friday from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. (except during the summer and school breaks when we run our program from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.). Typically, kids are in our program for about 6-8 weeks. We expect that all children are picked up by 5:30 p.m. each day. If for some reason you are unable to pick your child up in time, please contact us so that we can assist you in finding other means of transportation.

Tell me about confidentiality while in the program.

It is important that we have a safe and trusting environment. Information that is shared in the Children's Specialty Services needs to remain confidential. Outside of the program, communication between participants is discouraged and discussion of specific issues is prohibited.

  • No exchange of phone numbers
  • No social networking or email (this includes Facebook, Twitter, texting, email, cell phones, land lines etc.)
  • All electronic devices must be turned off or turned in each day. If we find that your child is communicating with fellow participants, the following will occur:
    • Staff will meet with the youth and the parent and review the policy
    • If it happens a second time dismissal may occur
Will my insurance pay for this program?

Most insurance companies will pay for our programs under the Mental Health benefits.  Medicaid/Title 19 also pays for the programs.  It is important for all parents to realize that although we will check the benefits of your insurance, it is your primary responsibility to monitor your coverage and verify the benefits.  Please be advised that certifications and benefits disclosures are not a guarantee of payment from your insurance company.

What if my child is sick or unable to attend program?

Please do not send your child if they are experiencing fever or if they are ill. We prefer that your child be symptom free for 24 hours before returning to group. Please contact us to let us know that your child is ill and will not be attending programming. We expect that your child will attend the program on the days they are scheduled.  If they are unable to attend programming, please call the staff to excuse them.  If a child has frequent absences staff will meet with parents to determine if this is the appropriate placement for your child.

What if my child has a school activity while they are attending a Children's Specialty Services program?

If your child has a special event or school activity that conflicts with our program, please let us know. We do not want your child to miss out on these special events.

Teaching Interventions to Empower and Strengthen Families (TIES)

TIES is a FREE early intervention program targeting children 18 months to five years of age. During program sessions, parents are trained to work in a classroom to actively practice the skills they are learning. It is staffed by both professionals and parents who have completed the program with their own children.

About TIES

TIES is based on Tennessee's Regional Intervention Program (RIP), which began in 1969. In 2010, the RIP Expansion Program voted unanimously to grant the Cedar Rapids' TIES program full accreditation.

There is no cost to families to participate in the TIES program. Adult family members pay with their time. After completing the program, they are asked to return and help train new families.

Here are a few of the many reasons parents come to TIES:

  • Aggression
  • Mealtime problems
  • Bedtime and sleeping issues
  • Running from adults
  • Destruction of property
  • Tantrums
  • Separation anxiety
  • High activity level
  • Non-compliance
  • Trouble at school

TIES is a partnership of the ABBE Center for Community Health, Grant Wood AEA, Healthy Linn Care Network, Mercy Medical Center, St. Luke's Hospital and is funded by the Linn County Early Childhood Iowa.

Meet Our Team

Teresa Daubitz, Program Coordinator
Teresa has been Program Coordinator with TIES since October 2021. Prior to her employment at TIES, Teresa was the Outreach and Engagement Coordinator for the Abbe Mental Health Center. Most of Teresa's 30+ year career has been focused on community mental health for adults and children. These experiences and community relationships provide well-rounded services for our families. Teresa has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Iowa and holds a Social Work license with the state of Iowa. Teresa has been appointed to and served on both the State of Iowa Board of Social Workers and the Mental Health and Disabilities Commission. Teresa and her husband Marc are empty nesters after raising four children following the TIES model and philosophies.

Caitlin Kolosick, Case Manager
Caitlin has been a Case Manager with TIES since March 2022. She received her bachelor's degree in Psychology from Mount Mercy University. After graduation, she began her career with HACAP in the Family Support and Head Start programs. Prior to her work with TIES, Caitlin spent the last 10 years working in the mental health field providing support to adults through each stage of their recovery. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband, her two children and two dogs at home when they are not running around to various sporting activities.