April 18 — 3:00 pm, 2017

Where to find behavioral programs and info

south philly hs Harvey Finkle

School-based services

▮School Therapeutic Services

School Therapeutic Services (STS) is an intensive, short-term service offered in selected elementary schools in the Philadelphia School District. This program was developed to support students whose emotional and behavioral issues create barriers to their school success. A team of experienced mental health professionals from a provider agency works closely with school staff and families.  

If your child’s school does not have STS, you may request a transfer to one that does.

▮Therapeutic Emotional Support Classrooms

Therapeutic Emotional Support Classrooms (TESC) meet in group and individual therapeutic sessions for about six months led by full-time Master Level Clinicians. This program is only offered at certain elementary schools. The sessions provide guidance to empower the client to gain independence and master certain skills. For more information, go to http://www.cchss.org/tesc.html

▮STS and TESC providers, by school


▮Behavioral Health Rehabilitative Services (formerly “Wraparound”)

This essentially provides the same services as STS in schools that don’t have that program. Both programs seek to actively involve the family in dealing with students’ issues.  

▮High schools with outpatient services

Most behavioral health services in the School District are geared to grades K-8.  But two high schools have outpatient clinics serving their own students: Frankford and South Philadelphia.

Guidance on specific issues

▮If a child changes schools or starts a new school

If a student is receiving behavioral health services, notify the provider in the school they are leaving and speak to the counselor in the receiving school. The family is responsible for  initiating the notifications.  

“It’s important that whatever services your child is receiving, you communicate that to the new school,” says Bridget Taylor-Brown, the School District’s director of prevention and intervention.

▮Consent from parent or guardian

Unless drugs or alcohol are an issue, a parent/guardian must consent to any behavioral health assessment or treatment of a child, in or out of school, up until age 14.  At 14 or older, students can give consent, although a provider may also require your consent for an older child. A student of any age may obtain treatment for drug or alcohol abuse without parental notification or consent.  

▮Regular contact with providers

Community Behavioral Health is a nonprofit contracted by the City of Philadelphia to provide mental health and substance abuse services for Philadelphia County Medicaid recipients. CBH requires weekly contact between providers and families. Contact your school counselor or CBH member services at 215-413-3100.

What the city offers

▮For questions about city’s outpatient and inpatient behavioral health services:

Call Community Behavioral Health Member Services at 1-888-545-2600.

▮For a mental health emergency:  

Call the acute services crisis number of Community Behavioral Health at 215-685-6440.

▮A note on waiting times:

If your child has Medical Assistance, behavioral health providers must see the child within seven days. If the child needs urgent care, the provider must see him or her within 24 hours.

▮If you are having a problem getting an appointment:

Call member services at 1-888-545-2600 if your wait time exceeds seven days, or if the provider says they won’t see a child under age 4. “We have some providers who will see a kid as young as 2 or 3,” says Andrew Devos, deputy chief operating officer at Community Behavioral Health.  

▮If you see a clear case of child abuse or neglect:

Call the Department of Human Services child line at 215-683-6100.

Insurance issues

▮Information about Medical Assistance

Call Community Behavioral Health Member Services at 1-888-545-2600.

▮Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)

CHIP is Pennsylvania’s health insurance program for uninsured children and teens.  There may be fees and co-pays, based on income. In Philadelphia, CHIP is provided through these four insurance companies:

    Aetna 1-800-755-2422

    United HealthCare 1-800-414-9025

    Kidz Partners 1-877-710-8222

    Keystone Health Plan East 1-800-688-1911

If you have private insurance through your employer, call the member services number on the back of your insurance card.

▮Other questions about health insurance or help in applying

Public Citizens for Children and Youth hotline at  215-563-5848, Ext. 17.

Advocating for your child

▮Talk with other parents who may have similar issues. Parents Involved Network (PIN), a parent support group in Philadelphia, is at 267-507-3860.

▮Get help in making the system work for you. Call thePublic Citizens for Children & Youth hotline at 215-563-5848, Ext. 17.

To learn more

▮General information on the city’s child behavioral health system

Public Citizens for Children and Youth is an excellent source. A series of guides and research reports is available on the group’s website: pccy.org.

PCCY’s most recent online pdf guide to services in Philadelphia is available in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese at http://www.pccy.org/resource/where-to-go-for-help-philadelphia-children/

An online pdf guide for early childhood educators for Philadelphia infants and toddlers (from birth to age 5) is available at


For more on the city’s behavioral health resources, go to HealthyMindsPhilly.org.

▮General questions about trauma and trauma-informed care

National Child Traumatic Stress Network: www.nctsn.org.

ChildTrauma Academy: ChildTrauma.org.

▮General questions about mental health

American Psychiatric Association Answer Center: 1-888-357-7924 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m. EST.

▮About the issue of stigma

Scattergood Foundation: scattergoodfoundation.org.

▮Resources on childhood trauma for pediatricians

The American Academy of Pediatrics has a series of guides for diagnosing and dealing with child trauma: https://www.aap.org/en-us/advocacy-and-policy/aap-health-initiatives/healthy-foster-care-america/Documents/TraumaDiagnosis.pdf













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