Programs and Services for Children and Families

Children have a variety of challenges and problems as they grow and develop.  One in five children in the U.S. has a diagnosable mental health problem, but only about 1/3 get the help they need to recover.

It is often hard for parents to know and accept when their child’s behavior has gone beyond the bounds of “normal and healthy” and requires professional care. Parents, family members, other caregivers and teachers can all help determine if a child needs professional assistance. Early identification, diagnosis and treatment can help children recover and grow to reach their full potential.

Some signs that a child may have a problem that requires professional assistance include:

  • Constant worry or anxiety
  • Hyperactivity or fidgeting
  • Persistent nightmares
  • Persistent disobedience or aggression
  • Frequent temper tantrums
  • Depression, sadness or irritability
  • Repeated refusal to go to school or to take part in normal activities

Any significant change in a child or adolescent’s behavior, mood, social and family relationships and school performance could indicate a larger issue.

Outpatient Treatment

Bridges' outpatient child and family service is dedicated to providing behavioral health services to children, adolescents and their families. The program provides individual, family, and group therapy. Services include comprehensive psychosocial assessments, developmental evaluations, crisis intervention, psychotherapy, psychiatric consultation, collaboration with the school system and other service providers, and case management.

Services are available to children under age 18, or adolescents up to age 21 if they are enrolled in high school.

Care Coordination

The Care Coordination Program provides intensive, individualized case management services for children and their families. Children who will benefit from this service struggle with complex behavioral health needs and require the coordination of multiple services. The Care Coordinator partners with the family to: identify the child's strengths and needs; create a support team; develop a plan of care that identifies needs and goals; locate and coordinate services and supports in the community; and advocate for services.

Care Coordination is available to children under age 18 with complex behavioral health needs requiring the coordination of multiple services.

Intensive In-Home Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Services (IICAPS)

IICAPS provides intensive home based clinical and case management services for children and families. IICAPS uses a team approach, with a clinician, mental health worker, and psychiatrist working together to provide the necessary services.  These include: comprehensive assessment of treatment needs; development and implementation of a goal oriented treatment plan; individual, family, and couples psychotherapy; psychiatric consultation; crisis intervention; school observation and consultation; and case management. IICAPS works with a family for up to five hours per week for six months.

IICAPS is available to children under age 18 at risk for psychiatric hospitalization, returning to the home or community from a hospitalization or placement, or to those in a lower level of service where more intensive services are needed to maintain them in the home or community.

Intensive Family Preservation (IFP)

IFP is a short-term, intensive, in-home service designed to intervene with targeted families in order to reduce immediate risk factors for future abuse and/or neglect, and to assess the need for out of home placement. The staff provides case management services with two home visits per week for three months.

IFP is available to children under age 18 with an open DCF case, who are at risk of being removed from their home due to abuse or neglect.

Community Support for Families (CSF) - A Bridges/CommuniCare Program

The CSF program is designed to work with families who have been referred by the Department of Children and Families (DCF) and Probate court to provide case management services.

The program staff works with families to connect them to basic needs services, and both traditional and nontraditional resources in their community, using a wraparound service delivery and intensive case management approach. The staff works with families with children under age 18 for a maximum of 6 months.

Prevention Services

Bridges and The Milford Prevention Council (a coalition of community members) work together to address underage drinking, the illegal use of marijuana, the abuse of prescription drugs, and other identified substance abuse issues in the community. The Milford Prevention Council works to achieve its goals through prevention education, the support of law enforcement and the strengthening of community collaboration. In addition, Bridges works with the Milford Public Schools to coordinate the Natural Helper Program.

Caregiver Support Team (CST)

The Caregiver Support Team (CST) prevents the disruption of child placements and increases stability and permanency of placements by providing in-home interventions with Department of Children and Families (DCF) kinship, foster or pre-adoptive children and families.

The assigned CST clinician works with the child and family to develop a support plan to address the service needs of the child and family. The CST staff works with the family for three to six months as needed. All children in the program are involved with DCF.

Children from birth to age 18 in kinship, foster and pre-adoptive homes with DCF involvement are eligible for CST services.

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