VVGC Children’s program believes that all children presenting with behavioral health conditions can and should be served within the context of their family and community when at all possible. Outpatient and community-based services are designed and implemented with this philosophy in mind.
The Children’s program embraces a model of care which reflects a “community systems of care” approach which in Arizona is known as The Child and Family Team for all children in care. “Higher complexity” children and families are served in a manner consistent with a traditional Wraparound Process. Each approach is similar in that it shares common values and supports a strength based, needs driven process that respects the unique needs and cultural differences of each child and family. Family and, as desired, their informal supports are encouraged to be a part of service planning as well as providing interventions for the child. Children are at all times considered a part of a family and community system. These systems can be powerful change agents in the child’s life.
It is accepted that periodically children/adolescents present with needs that present immediate risk for themselves or others requiring referral to more restrictive settings for care to insure their safety. However, these episodes of care are time-limited and every effort is made to return the child to his/her natural environment as soon as possible.
Who We Serve:
• AHCCCS eligible children and families
• Children involved with Child Protective Service (CPS) who have been removed from their parent/guardian.
• Adolescents involved with juvenile justice through the Juvenile Probation Department (JPO).
• Other Non-AHCCCS eligible children and families as indicated by need and available funding.
Days/Times available for services:
• Monday through Friday
• 8am to 6pm
• Flexible to nights and weekends as indicated by specific need
• Please be aware that service times after school hours are always in demand and have limited availability so these are considered “prime” appointment times and can be rescheduled to non-prime hours if no-shows or cancellations occur regularly.
- Assessment: At the outset of services a comprehensive evaluation is conducted. This service is completed by Mater’s level clinicians credentialed to complete assessments. The assessment includes the presenting issue, family history, medical and behavioral health history, education, development, etc. Formal assessment occurs at the outset of treatment and ongoing assessment occurs throughout care. Clients are reassessed annually. All care decisions are based on the assessment.
- Child and Family Teams: All services are delivered in the context of the Child and Family Team (CFT). The CFT is a strengths-based needs-driven approach which honors the unique needs and cultural background of the child and family. Te CFT participates in assessing and planning services that are individualize and based on the assessed needs of the child and family. This process involves meetings including the Assigned Clinician, child, and family. The family is welcome to identify others who may be helpful on the team and can invite them to be part of the process. Often, these “informal” supports become the difference in supporting positive outcomes. At times other formal community system partners are involved due to the family’s involvement with those agencies.
- Psychiatry: Psychiatric services are delivered by a Board Certified Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist. In most instances this begins with a comprehensive psychiatric evaluation. The recommendations are discussed and education is provided which allows the family to make informed decisions regarding care. When medication is prescribed follow-up generally occurs at three month intervals or sooner as indicated by need.
- Counseling: Counseling services are provided by clinicians who hold a Mater’s Degree. Counseling is most often delivered in the outpatient clinic office, but can be delivered with permission at school, home, or another location in the community. The location of service depends on the best interest of the child and family being served.
- Substance Abuse Services: Substance abuse services are available in both group and individual format. For adolescents (13-17 years old) the most common and most effective service delivery process is in the context of groups supplemented by individual and family therapy. For those younger than 13 years individual and family therapy is generally preferred.
- Behavioral Skill Training: Behavioral skill training is delivered by trained technicians in the school, community, and home environment. Services focus on behavioral skills such as impulse control, attentiveness in school and other activities, emotional regulation, anger management, completion of chores, etc. Skill training assesses and provides intervention utilizing a strength-based (Positive Behavioral Support) model which is applicable across the domains of a child’s life (home, school, and community). Family members also receive coaching in how to best reinforce the child’s positive behaviors without the gimmicks and expense of “token economies”.
- Parent Support: Behavioral skill training is delivered by trained technicians most often in the home environment. This service assumes that all parents bring much strength to the table when addressing the unique needs of their child. Parents are considered the experts in communicating the uniqueness of their child. Staff provides a strength’s based assessment and assist the family in developing new tools to address their child’s problematic behaviors and/or emotional deregulation.
- Case Management: This service is provided in order to assist the child and family in assessing and accessing services which may be helpful in supporting the family towards its identified goal. Services accessed can include formal services with agencies and others or informal supports through available community programs or even the family’s friends and neighbors. As indicated by complexity, a specially trained Dedicated Case Manager is assigned to assist families in successfully navigating and optimally accessing services.
- Transportation: This service is provided as a means to insure children and families have access to medically necessary covered behavioral health services. Children and families are supported in accessing public transportation whenever possible and at other times are offered a ride by clinic staff. Services are provided in late model, well maintained vehicles.
- Transition to Adulthood: This service is provided in order to address the unique needs and challenges presented to those adolescents who have mental health concerns and who will soon reach the age of majority. The years between 18 and 24 present many exciting opportunities and changes. It is a time where many life-long decisions are made. It is imperative that those young adults entering this developmental period of their life are as prepared as possible to make informed and wise decisions. Planning begins in collaboration with the adolescent and family at age 16 and continues through the 18th birthday. Services include planning for ongoing behavioral health care, success in school/vocation, housing, and peer/social interaction.
- 0-3 Assessment and Intervention: This service is provided staff trained to recognize and address needs in the area of development, attachment, and bonding. It is recognized that children who experience disruptions in care or are unable to adequately bond with their caregiver experience anxiety and trauma in the moment which often leads to maladaptive behaviors later in life. Staff assesses the child and caregiver’s ability to develop secure bonds and offer guidance and support in insuring healthy bonding is established and maintained. Staff also screen for possible developmental delays and when indicated refer for further evaluation and services.
Links to some helpful websites:
Building Blocks for a Healthy Future
Family Involvement and Support
Boystown National Hotline
National Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health
Child Abuse Information
Child Welfare Information Gateway
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Transition to Adulthood
Transition to Independence (TIP) Model
Information and Education
Focal Point- Research and Training Institute