Nature and Scope of the Program
The goal of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services is to ensure that children and adolescents, both general and special education, enrolled in local school systems, have access to high quality mental health prevention, early intervention, and treatment services. To be most effective, comprehensive mental health services in schools must be provided by an on-site master’s level mental health professional in collaboration with teachers, administrators and families.
Requirements to be officially designated as a “School Based Mental Health Collaboration Partner” include: Participate in an Initial Orientation meeting with representatives from DMH and ALSDE; formalize the relationship between the Community Mental Health Center and the local school system(s) participating in the School Based Mental Health Collaboration with a written Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), contract, or similar instrument that is reviewed and renewed on a regular basis; participate in data collection and reporting as required; use and maintain standardized referral process/documentation; utilize a “Gatekeeper” at each school, who is preferably the School Counselor; conduct regular executive meetings to share billing/services provided and to solve problems and discuss difficult cases as required; schools provide private space and internet access with CMHC’s providing master’s level therapists with own computer or other record-keeping capability; staff will maintain separation of school records and mental health records for legal and confidentiality purposes.
At the beginning of each school year and not later than September 1, each school system and its community mental health counterpart will verify that they are meeting the standards listed above to continue to be a recognized School Based Mental Health Collaboration partner at the State level.
Children and Adolescents admitted to this program meet the standard admission/readmission criteria for outpatient clinic services as well as being enrolled in a local school system.
Termination/Transfer Criteria and Procedures
It is anticipated that consumers will successfully attain goals prior to discharge. A person may be placed in inactive status after 90 days of no contact or at the discretion of the Clinical Director or Licensed Psychologist. The consumer may be transferred to other services when the consumer’s counselor of the Clinical Director or Licensed Psychologist feel that such a transfer is indicated. Other circumstances may occur such as a consumer leaving the catchment area permanently, the consumer refusing further services, or the consumer requesting that the case be closed prior to the expiration of 90 days. In such event, the circumstances will be documented by the clinician and the case terminated with the approval of the Clinical Director or Licensed Psychologist.
Currently School Based Mental Health Services are available in Dothan City Schools and Houston County Schools. It is anticipated that additional schools will be joining.
The Family Integrity Network Demonstration team provides in home intervention services to children, adolescents, and their families (ages 5-17). The first priority of the FIND team is to intervene to prevent out of home placement, while providing professional, in-home assistance to increase family cohesion. FIND team utilizes follow-up case management services to ensure further continuity of care after the family has completed the 12 week program. The intervention provided is timely, intense, and accessible to all of those involved.
The Juvenile Court Liaison (JCL)
The Juvenile Court Liaison (JCL) serves youth who have come before the juvenile court system and have been found to be in need of mental illness and/or substance abuse services. In addition, the JCL serves on multiple state and local committees, acting as an advocate for those with mental health/and or substance abuse needs, by matching services of a least restrictive program for the safety and development of youth and family members.
Supplemental Services 4 Student Success (S4)
Supplemental Services 4 Student Success (S4) is a school based mental health program designed to ensure that children are provided needed mental health services in a safe, familiar, and nurturing environment while enhancing overall health and school success in students. S4 services are currently offered in Dothan City and Houston County School Systems. Through this agency/school collaboration, it is the goal of SpectraCare that all children will have access to the tools that they need to grow into healthy, independent, and productive individuals.