Therapeutic Day Treatment

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The mission of New River Valley Community Services’ Therapeutic Day Treatment program is to provide an optimal environment for children with emotional disturbances to learn practical living skills that will enhance their performance academically and behaviorally through the combined efforts of trained providers. The philosophy of the program is that children who have emotional problems can enhance their functioning level through the support of mentally healthy practices and behaviors.

Therapeutic Day Treatment for Children and Adolescents is a service which offers an array of psychotherapeutic interventions, using group dynamics. This array of services includes social, recreational, psycho-educational, and mental health activities for children and adolescents experiencing significant mental, emotional and/or behavioral distress. Participants are seen at a predetermined agency, school, or community location for a minimum of three hours, four days a week, and are involved in activities geared toward skill building during which they are receiving immediate feedback and redirection or reinforcement of the appropriateness of their behaviors. The primary model is based on stages of change allowing the child to progress from attendance, to participation, to the child’s recognition of strengths and areas that need to be improved on, and ultimately, to their implementation of constructive change. Activities will be scheduled in conjunction with school schedules to be advantageous to the child, and to allow for the child’s participation without missing academic instruction.

A client’s treatment objectives are based on challenging him/her to move to the next stage of change and are developed in accordance with the needs identified in the assessment. Experiences of meeting group and individual goals provide the child opportunities for success especially in learning and practicing daily living skills, anger management, conflict resolution and decision making. There is an emphasis on experiential learning vs. psycho-educational although group processing is utilized after some exercises. The program incorporates recreational activities, primarily on days when routine educational programming is suspended; for example, summer.

Children and adolescents are assigned to groups according to the therapeutic goals and an age range appropriate to the client. In addition to group activities, clients will be involved in individual and family counseling, and psychiatric evaluation as indicated by need, which may be provided separately from the structure of the Day Treatment Program. There will also be case management activities as are determined necessary to the goals of the ISP, which may include medication management, psycho education, assistance accessing community supports, alcohol or drug education, and/or referral to a physician for medical evaluation.

There will be coordination between the child’s school and the Day Treatment Program as to the appropriateness of the goals so that the learning can be transferred to the school setting as well as to community living. Prior to the summer months, the referring or assigned case manager will collaborate with school personnel on individualized goals and objectives and will report back to the school in the fall as to progress. During the regular school year, the TDT provider will coordinate with the child’s teacher and with relevant school personnel.

In the event of a psychiatric emergency while the client is involved in TDT, the staff will attend to the crisis and will contact Access emergency staff for support. Behavioral interventions are outlined in the agency’s Human Rights Policy. Any psychological assessments that are needed will be supplied by agency psychologists.

Those children or adolescents who are eligible for this service have documented mental, behavioral, or emotional illnesses which result in significant functional impairments in major life activities. The determination of significant disability is based upon consideration of the social functioning of most children their age. The disability must have become more disabling over time and must require significant intervention through services that are supportive, intensive, and offered over a protracted period of time. Individuals who are eligible for the program must demonstrate a clinical necessity for the service arising from a condition due to mental, behavioral, or emotional illness that results in significant functional impairments in major life activities. The individuals served may have coexisting substance use or abuse histories, and may receive education and treatment appropriate to these problems as well.

Individuals must meet at least two of the following on a continuing or intermittent basis: Have difficulty in establishing or maintaining normal interpersonal relationships to such a degree that they are at risk of hospitalization or out-of-home placement because of conflicts with family or community.
• Exhibit such inappropriate behavior that repeated interventions by the mental health, social service, school or judicial systems are necessary.
• Exhibit difficulty in cognitive ability such that they are unable to recognize personal danger or recognize significantly inappropriate social behavior.

And children and adolescents who meet one of the following:

• Require year-round treatment in order to sustain behavioral or emotional gains.
• Behavior and emotional problems are so severe they cannot be handled in self-contained or resource emotionally disturbed (ED) classrooms without this programming during the school day or as a supplement to the school day or school year.
• Would otherwise be placed on homebound instruction because of severe emotional or behavioral problems, or both, which interfere with learning.
• Have deficits in social skill, peer relations, or dealing with authority; are hyperactive, have poor impulse control; or are extremely depressed or marginally connected to reality.
• Children in preschool enrichment and early intervention programs when the children’s emotional or behavioral problems, or both, are so severe that they cannot function in these programs without additional services.

Contact Information
Christopher Taylor, LCSW, Program Coordinator 961-8300, 315-2003
Casey Henshaw, LPC, Program Supervisor 315-2009
Erin Griffith, LCSW, Program Supervisor 818-8227
Juan Polanco, LPC, Program Supervisor 510-5491
Julie Sink, M.a.Ed, Program Supervisor 357-0397
Rebecca Cutter, LPC, Program Supervisor 357-0294