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Program Spotlight: Children’s Therapeutic Services & Supports

Dec 26, 2023

People Incorporated has undergone a positive shift in its programs for children, pivoting from the day treatment model to the provision of Children’s Therapeutic Services & Supports (CTSS). The decision to pivot to this more dynamic and flexible approach has allowed People Incorporated to address staffing concerns and better meet the diverse needs of children within the community.

The day treatment model, characterized by intensive services previously provided at the New Hope program site, faced challenges in staffing and enrollment due to inadequate reimbursement rates. The new CTSS model involves practitioners embedded in 5-6 school sites in the Robbinsdale district, offering individualized skills sessions for qualifying children in collaboration with People Incorporated’s School-Based Mental Health (SBMH) therapists. The effort is aligned with People Incorporated’s priority of “integrated care,” which blends services and requires a high degree of collaboration between health professionals. This approach allows for greater flexibility, increased accessibility, and a collaborative effort with school staff.

“This model complements our other programs and what we are offering in the schools already, and since we have a historic partnership with Robbinsdale Area Schools, they were really interested in partnering with us,” said Sara Benson, Director of Operations for Children’s Mental Health.

One of the key components of the CTSS program is the introduction of Critical Core Skills groups. These groups aim to benefit students by fostering essential skills for success in school and beyond. Basic skills such as following directions and using assertive communication are expanded to include social skills, helping children build relationships and connect with their peers. The groups provide real-time opportunities for students to practice these skills in a supportive environment, addressing conflicts and challenges that naturally arise when children are together.

“Therapy can be great for building individual skills, but the groups give children an opportunity to put these skills into practice in real time,” said Benson. “They can practice with their peers.”

The CTSS groups take place at the clinic or in specific school sites, and they are designed to be in collaboration with therapy as a hands-on way to achieve therapeutic goals. The clinic-based groups are open to applicable students regardless of their school district, and interested families can call Central Access to initiate the process. A comprehensive evaluation will be conducted to determine eligibility, and participants will be connected with group facilitators if they meet the criteria.

People Incorporated’s implementation of the CTSS program reflects a dedication to innovation, flexibility, and a commitment to providing effective therapeutic services for children in need. As the program continues to evolve, there is a collective optimism about the positive impact it will have on the lives of children and families in the community. To support this ongoing work, you can make a gift on our website today and designate it towards “Children’s Services.”