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Service spotlight: Enhanced Crisis Response Pilot

The intent of this pilot is to put enhanced supports in place as quickly as possible for youth who are at risk for abandonment, crisis episodes or restrictive levels of care due to behavioral health needs. During this pilot program, Enhanced Crisis Response has been able to assist with youth returning home from the hospital and prevent residential inpatient by the use of community-based treatment and natural supports. Strong, proactive collaboration occurs between SPARC Foundation, Inc. (SPARC), Cardinal Innovations Healthcare, Mecklenburg and Cabarrus County Departments of Social Services (DSS), Atrium Health - Behavioral Health Charlotte, Monarch Child/Adolescent Facility Based Crisis, and the provider network to facilitate this program.

Eligibility criteria
  • Youth aged 3-20
  • Eligible for Cardinal Innovations’ funding and current resident of Mecklenburg or Cabarrus County
  • At the Emergency Department (ED) or in Inpatient treatment with parental concerns regarding member returning home
  • Youth in DSS custody at risk of going to the ED or admission to Inpatient treatment based on escalation of behaviors
  • Does not have a current clinical home provider (case-by-case exceptions might be made)
Expected outcomes
  • Maintain youth in their home/community with natural supports
  • Minimize need for long term residential stays
  • Decrease admission to Inpatient/presentation to the ED by providing 24-hour crisis response
  • Linkage to the most appropriate clinical services and community resources
A success story
One of the first referrals was a situation in which a child was at risk for abandonment in a local Emergency Department due to conflict and physical aggression in the home. There was an initial recommendation for a residential treatment to address the mental health treatment needs and allow the younger children in the home to be able to remain safe from any acts of physical aggression. With the support of the clinician, the child was able to be discharged from the ED within 24 hours and return home.

Once home, the clinician worked with the family to complete a comprehensive assessment and develop a treatment plan that addressed the treatment needs, safety needs, and honored the family values. The plan included the child going to live with his grandmother in a nearby state. This plan allowed the child to remain in the community and avoid residential treatment, honored the family values of keeping him home with family, allowed for the smaller children in the home to remain safe, and allowed for the family dynamic to begin healing from many years of trauma. The clinician was able to link the child and grandmother to services in the grandmother’s local community and provided support for the family for several weeks after he transitioned to the grandmother’s home to ensure that the kinship placement was solid and that the needs of the family were being met.
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