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TARGET Program

TARGET is a group treatment program within the Pritzker Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health that helps kids, adolescents and teens get connected to mental health treatment more quickly than if they were to wait for treatment with an individual provider. To make this happen, TARGET provides brief evaluations that let us know if one of our therapy groups could benefit your child. If your child is enrolled in a TARGET group, they will receive therapy that is supported by research.

Patients We Serve

The TARGET program supports children, adolescents and teens (ages 3-18) who have mental health challenges including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), disruptive behavior disorders, anxiety, and depression. We serve families insured by Medicaid as well as those with private insurance.

Therapy Groups

As of winter 2019, TARGET offers three therapy groups. Each group is made up of 8-12 kids and includes both a child and parent session, which are held at the same time. The following are the current TARGET therapy groups:

  • Parent Management Training for 3-6 year olds (Preschool age): This group uses The Incredible Years® curriculum, which helps parents learn strategies to help manage their child’s difficult behaviors. These challenges can include poor relationships with others, temper tantrums, difficulty following rules/directions, defiance, mild aggression, and difficulty following routines at home and at school. In this group, parents learn how to build a more positive relationship with their child, set effective limits, use behavior charts, give appropriate consequences, and help their child use coping skills. This group is a 12-week program that meets one evening each week.
  • Parent Management Training for 7-10 year olds (School age): This group uses the Defiant Children© curriculum to help parents learn strategies to help manage difficult behaviors, such as defiance, inattention, disorganization, difficulty following rules/directions, difficulty following routines at home and at school, and poor relationships with others. This group is a 12-week program that meets one evening each week.
  • Unified Protocol for Children and Adolescents: This group uses the Unified Protocol for Transdiagnostic Treatment of Emotional Disorders in Children and Adolescents© to help youth with anxiety and depression learn strategies to help cope with strong emotions. This group focuses on increasing emotional awareness, strengthening flexible thinking, identifying emotional avoidance and other maladaptive behaviors, gaining awareness and tolerance of physiological symptoms, and developing more helpful ways of coping with strong emotions.

Medication Management

Children and adolescents enrolled in TARGET groups are eligible to be seen for a medication evaluation by one of the TARGET providers. Options will be discussed during your child’s intake evaluation with TARGET.


Caroline Kerns, PhD
TARGET Coordinating Psychologist

Kimberly Lienhoop, LCSW
TARGET Social Worker 

Stephanie Stern, CNA
TARGET Program Coordinator 

Madeline Graber, APRN, PMHNP-BC, LSW
TARGET Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

How to Get Started with TARGET

If your child is in need of treatment, please call 1.800.KIDS DOC (1.800.543.7362). During that call, you will describe your child’s mental or behavioral challenges to a KIDS DOC team member. After that, you will receive a call from an intake worker in the Department of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. During that call, please ask to be considered for the TARGET Program. Your child’s information will be given to the TARGET team and we will contact you to begin the TARGET process.

If your child already sees a pediatrician or other medical provider at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, you may work directly with that provider to obtain a referral to the TARGET program.

Our Location

Physical Address

All TARGET groups and appointments are held at: 

Lurie Children's Outpatient Services at 1440 N. Dayton
1440 N Dayton St, 2nd Floor
Chicago, IL 60642


Patient parking is available at the Blackhawk Parking Garage, located at 1467 N Dayton St, Chicago, IL 60642. The cost is $3 for 0-2 hours and $6 for 2-3 hours for validated tickets. 

Public Transportation

  • By bus:
    • #8 Halsted Street bus – get off at Halsted/Blackhawk stop
    • #72 North Avenue bus – get off at North/Clybourn/Dayton stop
  • By train:
    • Red line – get off at North/Clybourn stop

Getting up to the TARGET offices

Once you enter the building through the front door, use the elevator to go to Floor 2, Outpatient Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. Upon exiting the elevators, please check in at the front desk to your right. If you parked in the Blackhawk Parking Garage, please ask to have your parking ticket validated before your appointment.

TARGET Program Frequently Asked Questions

In the initial phone call from TARGET, you will be asked some questions to help us understand whether or not the TARGET Program is a good fit for your child. If so, we will send a packet of rating forms for you (and your child, if your child is 8 years or older) to fill out and return to TARGET. Once we receive those forms, one of our TARGET clinicians will review your answers. We will then contact you to schedule an intake appointment with you and your child.

When you arrive for the intake appointment you will check in at the front desk and will be asked to fill out some forms. The length of the intake appointment will be between 90-120 minutes, depending on how many forms you need to fill out after arriving. This will be discussed with the TARGET coordinator when scheduling your appointment.

Please note: If you received a packet of rating forms in the mail prior to your appointment, it is essential that you complete these and bring them to your intake appointment. Failing to do so may result in your intake appointment being rescheduled.

At the end of the intake appointment,your clinician will often schedule a second visit. During this visit, your clinician will provide a diagnosis and will discuss whether or not a TARGET group may benefit your child. If so, your child will be enrolled in a TARGET group. If TARGET is not the best option for your child, other treatment options will be discussed at that time. 

If your child is enrolled in a TARGET group, their progress will be monitored using several rating forms that are filled out by parent, teacher, and child. Overall progress will be discussed after your family has completed group.

In order to see your child improve, it is very important that families attend the group as much as possible. If a family misses more than 2 group sessions, we will discuss other ways that your child may be able to receive treatment that he/she needs. 

No, medication is not required for group participation. However, if recommended, medication may help your child benefit from the group by making it easier for him/her to pay attention and focus in group sessions. 



MyChart gives you safe, secure online access to portions of your child's electronic medical record (EMR). MyChart also serves as a secure message center to communicate with your child’s healthcare providers and complete online questionnaires for enrolled programs. Click here to learn more about MyChart. 

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The TARGET program is supported by an anonymous donor to the Building Healthier Communities program.

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