Whitaker Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility (PRTF)

Whitaker Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility (PRTF)

About the Facility

Whitaker PRTF, located in Butner, NC is a secure, non-acute treatment program for males and females ages 13-17 who are experiencing severe and persistent emotional and behavioral challenges. Whitaker’s mission is to provide evidence based treatment from an inter-disciplinary team to the behaviorally and emotionally disturbed youth of North Carolina needing secure residential care through excellence in diagnosis, treatment and education. Our goal is to coordinate with community-based resources so that the youth can return to successful, productive lives in their home communities. Whitaker PRTF seeks to build a network of services to meet each resident’s needs and work to build on the strengths of the youth in our care to create positive relationships among peers. We also work to meet the needs and expectations of the family, school, and community. Our residents receive individualized treatment to increase their academic, social and behavioral competencies, so they can be successful in less restrictive environments.


Whitaker PRTF provides the following services specifically designed to treat target areas as identified in their individualized plans:

  • Psychiatric services and medication management
  • Individual Therapy- twice a week (Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), behavioral interventions (e. g. systematic desensitization, in vivo practice), Pathways model for sex offender treatment
  • Family Therapy (goal is two times per month)
  • School (on-site)- five days per week
  • Group Therapies:
    • Group Processing
    • CBT or DBT Group
    • Substance Abuse Group (Cognitive Behavioral Relapse Prevention Model of substance abuse treatment or Substance Abuse Education Group)
    •  Sex Education Group
    •  Grief Group or Survivors Group
    •  Small Recreation Group
    •  Nursing Group
  • Structured Milieu- a structured set of routines aimed at assisting residents to attain their goals through emphasis on positive peer culture and desire for affiliation

Within this structure, treatment is individualized, for example, by assignment to the more appropriate of the two different substance abuse groups or, when indicated, by provision of an Individual Education Plan (IEP) in the classroom.

Each group or individual session is documented. The Interdisciplinary Treatment Team reviews progress in each area with the resident and family/guardian at the time of the Monthly Treatment Plan review, or more frequently as indicated, and modifies the treatment plan as needed.

Who is Eligible/Admission Criteria 

To be considered for admission to Whitaker, adolescents:

  • Must be between the ages of 13 and 17 years
  • Must have a history of aggressive and/or self-injurious behavior
  • Must have failed less restrictive forms of treatment or currently be placed in a secure residential setting (ie. Youth Academy, Psychiatric Hospital or Detention) with no expectation of improvement in the current setting
  • Cannot have a serious medical condition (i.e., any condition that requires constant monitoring, that could be exacerbated by normal physical activities of adolescence, any life-endangering physical condition)
  • Must have treatment partners in the child’s community and a viable, community-based visiting resource
  • Cannot have an intellectual disability
  • Must be capable of reasonable communications with peers
  • Must demonstrate a reasonable expectation of benefiting from the Whitaker PRTF Program 

How to Apply

Care at the Whitaker PRTF begins with the Managed Care Organization or local provider who makes the referral to our facility.  

  • Assistant Admissions Director: Jenn Cook 919-575-7129

Forms and Documents


1003 12th Street
Butner, NC 27509
Office Number: 919-575-7927

Management Team

Map to Whitaker

Consumer Advocate (for all concerns and grievances): 919.575.7800