About Children’s Service Center

As a behavioral health care system, Children’s Service Center (CSC) is deeply committed to the wellness of young people in our community. Our services are designed to meet the individual needs of children, adolescents and their families. Children’s Service Center’s assessment, crisis, and referral services are staffed 24/7 by psychiatric professionals for initial assessment and referral. We accept Blue Cross/Blue Shield, most indemnity insurance plans, CHAMPUS, Medical Assistance, and are a preferred provider for several managed care organizations and HMO plans.

CSC is accredited by the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of healthcare Organizations (JCAHO).

Mission Statement

A community organization that provides and promotes quality services with care and compassion to enhance the emotional well-being and mental health of children, adolescents and families.

Brief History

153 years of hope, help, and healing

Children’s Service Center is a diagnostic and treatment center for children and adolescents with emotional disturbance, severe and persistent mental illness, and pervasive developmental disorders like autism. CSC also serves children with developmental disabilities.

The center has deeply entrenched community roots in northeastern Pennsylvania dating back to the 1860s. Incorporated in 1862 as the Home for Friendless Children, the benevolent founders of this organization created a sanctuary in order to provide shelter, food and instruction to a number of destitute children in the Wyoming Valley. With the Civil War raging during the same time, a shelter for many soldier’s orphans was gravely needed and the “Home” in Wilkes-Barre graciously opened its doors providing warmth, safety and security for these children ravaged by war.

The “Home” continued to attract wide attention both locally and abroad. As its programs grew and developed, it became a nationally renowned shelter and educational center for infants and children. By 1929, the Home for Friendless Children had become the Children’s Home, which continued to coordinate services for the children of the Wyoming Valley.

As time went on, it appeared that the children needed more than just “shelter,” they needed a home. Some of them had severe behavioral problems and needed psychiatric care. This resulted in two cottages being built, the Martha Bennet Home and the Children’s Home. Spearheaded by Dr. J. Franklin Robinson, the cottages became the first two open psychiatric residential settings for children in North America. Not only were children from the local area treated, but also those from other states and countries. It was at about the same time that the Martha Bennet Estate and Children’s Home Foundation requested that a newly formed organization – Children’s Service Center – be established to manage and oversee the residential program. The creation of Children’s Service Center occurred in 1938.

Dr. Milford E. Barnes succeeded Dr. Frank Robinson as Director of CSC. He was particularly helpful in the CSC’s response to the Pennsylvania MH/MR Act of 1966, making it possible for the organization to become a comprehensive mental health center for children and adolescents. Since this time, Children’s Service Center has undergone a major expansion of services, particularly collaborating with schools, families and other community agencies. With the needs of children becoming increasingly complicated in an environment of major change in health care and welfare reform, the CSC is faced with the challenge of providing quality services to children in a timely manner. CSC currently serves more than 4,000 clients each year.

The issues facing children and their families have changed since CSC’s inception during the Civil War. However, our commitment to our clients has not. CSC offers the most comprehensive array of services to children and families in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Joint Commission Accreditation

Children’s Service Center’s programs are accredited by the Joint Commission – the Gold Standard in physical and behavioral health. We strive to provide safe and quality care to all we serve.

Executive Team

Michael P. Hopkins, President and CEO

In 2008, Mike brought his 26 years of experience in children’s behavioral health to Children’s Service Center. Mike previously worked at Gustavus Adolphus Child and Family Services in Jamestown, NY; KidsPeace National Centers, Orefield, PA; and Counseling and Care Services, Danville, PA. He holds a Masters degree in Human Resources and Administration, and a Bachelors degree in Psychology and Technical Communications.

Sharon K. Pisarcik, Chief Financial Officer

Shari has more than 25 years of accounting and financial management experience. Prior to joining CSC in 2013 as Controller, Shari worked at Wyoming Valley Health Care Inc., as a Controller for the affiliated Visiting Nurse Association and prior to that in Internal Audit and Compliance for the Hospital. Shari holds a Bachelor's Degree in Accounting from Wilkes University and is a Certified Public Accountant.

Christopher C. Boyle, Vice President Human Resources

Chris has worked in human resources and financial management for 25 years. He joined the CSC family in 2008, prior to which he was Director of Human Resources/Controller at American Asphalt paving Company. He spent ten years as Vice President Human Resources/Operational Systems at Pride Mobility Products. Chris holds a Bachelors degree in Business Administration with emphasis in accounting from Delaware Valley College.

Ron Simon, Chief Operations Officer

Ron has 25 years experience in behavioral health, with a combination of clinical and management positions. Ron joined CSC in 2014, prior to that he served as the Executive Director for NASW-PA. Ron has Bachelors degrees in Psychology and English and a Masters degree in Social Work. He is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in PA.

Medical Team

M. Akram Khan, M.D.

Dr. Khan is Chief of Psychiatric Services at Children’s Service Center. He is Board Certified in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. For the past seven years, Dr. Khan served as Medical director of CSC’s Partial Hospitalization Program. Prior to joining CSC in 2005, Dr. Khan served as a Second Year Fellow in the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania. He spent 18 months as a Clinical Observer at Stanford University School of Medicine, in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. He has worked as clinical assistant professor of psychiatry the Commonwealth Medical College Dr. Khan brings to his position years of research and teaching experience in psychiatry.

Dr. Mushtaq Jameel, M.D.

Mushtaq Jameel, MD joined the Children’s Service Center in March 2015 as a psychiatrist. He is Board Certified in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Prior to joining the CSC, Dr. Jameel was a staff Psychiatrist at the Chambersburg Hospital and was Vice Chair of the Hospital’s Department of Behavioral Health. Dr. Jameel is a graduate of the Sindh Medical College, Karachi, Pakistan and did his post graduate training at Drexel University School of Medicine and Columbia University, St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center. Dr. Jameel is a member of the American Psychiatric Association (Fellow); American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry; and, the Pennsylvania Psychiatric Society.

Khalid Mahmood, M.D.

Dr. Mahmood is Board Certified in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, General Psychiatry and Neurolog. Before coming to CSC in 2012, Dr. Mahmood worked as a child and adolescent psychiatrist with NHS Human Services. His position prior to that was as a child and adolescent psychiatrist with Neuropsychiatry Associates of South Arkansas. He served his Fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the State University of New York. Mount Sinai School of Medicine was the site of his Residency in General Psychiatry. He has worked with CSC since 2010.

Oladapo Richard Osuntokun, M.D.

Dr. Osuntokun is Medical Director of CSC’s Tunkhannock Office. He is Board Certified in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry as well as General and Adult Psychiatry. He has worked as clinical assistant professor of psychiatry the Commonwealth Medical College, as Clinical and Medical Director at St. Michael’s School and Residential Treatment Facility for Boys, and as Chief Executive and Medical Director of Medpsych Consultants and Associates. Dr. Osuntokun joined CSC in 2010.

Events

Family Finding Services

To build a lifetime family support network for youth in foster care, CSC is now offering Family Finding Services in collaboration with Luzerne County Children...

Youth Skills Development Program

In partnership with the Luzerne County Offices of Juvenile Probation and Children and Youth Services, the Children’s Service Center is offering a Youth Skills Development...

Parent Child Interaction Therapy

Parent Child Interaction Therapy is an evidence-based treatment that has demonstrated clinical improvements in the behavior of pre-school-aged children. See the following video to learn more about PCIT and the Children’s Service Center. For inquiries or to make an appointment for your child call 570-825-6425.