Dominic Herbst, Bethesda Family Services Foundation President, was the chief adult/juvenile probation officer for two counties in Pennsylvania when he realized the need for a comprehensive alternative youth program within that community. In 1983 Herbst created Bethesda Day Treatment Center* and developed the premise of what has become Bethesda’s Relational Healing approach, based upon his desire to bring healing and restoration to youth and their families.

The national Bethesda Family Services Foundation was established in 1995 to replicate the Bethesda program model across the United States. The impetus for this endeavor was provided by a modest grant from OJJDP; the purpose of this grant was to develop ten new program centers across the country. Many programs have benefited from our approach, including programs in Oklahoma, Maryland, Florida, Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Minnesota, California, Georgia, New Mexico, Ohio, Washington, Michigan, Virginia, and Pennsylvania.


    Additional services implemented by Bethesda Family Services Foundation include a detailed training program, parenting programs, family healing seminars, juvenile mentoring, and group homes.

    Bethesda’s program methodologies have been featured in the following prime time national television documentaries:

    • ABC World News Sunday

    • Victory Over Violence, hosted by Walter Cronkite, produced by Arnold Shapiro Productions

    • Sticks and Stones, produced by George Rivera Productions

    • Breaking the Cycle of Violence, produced by the National Education Service

    • BAD DADS, a one-hour special on Bethesda’s Parenting Program, hosted by George Foreman, produced by Arnold Shapiro Productions