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MVBCN Overview > ABOUT MVBCN > Initiatives > Children's System Change Initiative

Children's System Change Initiative

Announcing a New Program

Announcing a New Program

The Children's System Change Initiative (CSCI) is a new and dramatic change in the way public mental health services are administered and delivered to Oregon children and youth with severe emotional disorders who are covered under the Oregon Health Plan. This program was implemented October 1, 2005.

The premise behind the CSCI is that children and youth with serious mental health disorders need intense services that are coordinated, comprehensive, culturally competent and, most importantly, delivered in natural environments. This is a shift away from delivering intensive services in offices and institutions and instead delivering them in community and family-based settings. There is also a major emphasis on building a system that is driven by family voice and choice ensuring that families are true partners and decision makers in the planning and service delivery process for their children.

The goal of the CSCI is simply to keep children and youth "at home, in school, and out of trouble"

Integration of Residential & Day Treatment
Instead of two independent systems of care - community and residential treatment - there will be an integration of residential and day treatment services with existing management of outpatient and acute inpatient services by Mental Health Organizations. In Marion, Polk, Linn, Tillamook and Yamhill counties, the Mid Willamette Valley Behavioral Care Network (MVBCN) is working with the county mental health departments and the residential and day treatment centers to implement this change.

The CSCI involves a glide path that will transfer funding from the residential system to regional agencies and community mental health organizations beginning October 1, 2005. The funding formula shifts over the next three years increasing resources to the MVBCN region. These funds will be used to develop the local care coordination teams and intensive home and community-based services. In Marion, Polk, Linn, Tillamook and Yamhill counties the program will be called New Solutions.

As a result of the CSCI, county mental health agencies will end up being the sole gatekeeper for day and residential treatment for challenging youth. And some of these challenging youth, who might formerly have been placed in day or residential treatment, may instead receive intensive services and supports in their community.

The nature of these intensive community-based services has been determined over the past year by parents and community agency groups that have been meeting at the county level and at the regional MVBCN level. Educators, along with other parents and professionals helped identify local service gaps and developed a menu of services that will form the Integrated Service Array. The Integrated Services Array includes intensive and individualized home and community-based services for children and adolescents with severe mental and emotional disorders whose needs have not been adequately addressed in traditional settings.

Qualifying for the Integrated Services Array requires that a child or youth be referred by a parent, a mental health provider, or an allied agency (such as a school) for screening. Once the parent agrees, the New Solutions care coordination staff person screens the child or youth for eligibility. If the child or youth qualifies for intensive mental health services, a Child and Family Team is formed, an individualized service coordination and crisis plan is developed and wraparound and community-based services are implemented. For children receiving full wraparound support the team includes, New Solutions care coordination staff, the parents/guardian, natural supports, and representatives from involved agencies, and the child's school district.

If the Child & Family Team determines the need for more intensive services they make the request to their county's Care Coordination Committee. This committee is comprised of representatives from the local children's system of care that includes family advocates, and staff from schools, juvenile department, child welfare, developmental disabilities, alcohol and drug programs and private providers. The Care Coordination Committee determines eligibility for psychiatric residential treatment, day treatment, and treatment foster care, but also acts as a problem solving and resource development group. When this committee agrees residential services are necessary they refer on to the MVBCN who facilitates placement with a contracted provider. Once a child is placed in a residential facility the Child & Family Team continues to meet regularly to develop a transition plan of care in the community. The goal is to return the child to their family and home community as soon as the supports and services to ensure the child's success are in place.

Please check our website in the near future for more regarding this exciting program.

Kathleen Horgan
Children's System Regional Coordinator
October 2005

For local information you can contact New Solutions Care Coordination Staff or the MVBCN at:

Marion County: 503-361-2724
Polk County: 503-623-9289
Yamhill County: 503-434-7462
Linn County: 541-967-3885
MVBCN: 503-584-4838

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