The right treatment at the right time for each person is the key to Recovery.  About 170,000 folks (including nearly 50,000 children) use the public behavioral health system across the state… and we make sure that each get the best treatment possible. We regularly evaluate our comprehensive approach in behavioral health services by ensuring we’re using the most up-to-date evidence-based practices.

For kids, we use a Child and Family Team approach to help the child achieve and maintain self-reliance and independence.  To get there, some kids simply need outpatient services occasionally.  Some need wrap-around, community or home-based services.  Others (about 50 right now) need more intensive treatment in a licensed, residential setting.  Our goal is to provide the most effective kind of treatment for each child; evidence shows that a young person recovers better in settings as close to home as possible.

Arizona’s system for helping children with behavioral health needs is really a continuum of care, including wrap-around services. “Wrap-around” services include high needs case management, generalist direct supports, Child and Family Teams, respite, in-home counseling, home care training, peer support, respite, skills training other intensive community based services.  Effective wrap-around services reduce the need for residential treatment and the length of stay for kids who have to be placed out of home. Our system provides services based upon the needs and preferences of the child and family.

When a child first comes into contact with the system, evaluation team members work with the child and family to create an initial service plan. If there’s an immediate crisis or a concern for safety, we can refer him or her for crisis services or hospitalization.  We also look at other factors like involvement with CPS, the Courts, Special Education, and the child’s history (e.g. trauma or previous out-of-home placement).  The Child and Family Team consider all these elements to decide the best course of treatment, including where service happens.

If a child is placed in a residential treatment center, success is measured through his/her individualized treatment plan and the amount of progress made related to the symptoms and behaviors that prompted the admission.  Each child that’s placed in residential treatment is consistently reviewed using what’s called a utilization review process. Our Regional Behavioral Health Authorities also monitor residential treatment providers as part of their contract requirements for other processes like length of stay, recidivism, seclusion and restraint, complaints, and medication errors.  For more information on outcomes and measures we use you can view the outcome dashboards

With the child, family, providers and the RBHAs, we strive to help each child help on the quest for self-reliance, independence and Recovery.   That way we ensure we stay true to our Vision of “Health and Wellness for all Arizonans”.