- Maria Golden, PhD, NCSP, Psychologist, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, & Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Perelman School of Medicine at University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
- Maribeth Wicoff, PhD, Psychologist, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia; Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
- Chimereodo Okoroji, PhD, NCSP Postdoctoral Fellow, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA
- Jennifer Mautone, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), Philadelphia, PA
Children spend the majority of their time in school where academic and many behavioral health needs are addressed. For example, many schools utilize multi-tiered systems of support to deliver behavioral health prevention and intervention programs to students in need. The school system and special education supports can be difficult to navigate. When children are having difficulty in school, families often first seek support from their primary care providers (PCPs). With the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, direct interaction with teachers and school staff were limited (Liu, Bao, Huang, Shi, & Lu, L. (2020). Now as schools reopen and work towards the promised “return to normal”, the need to address students’ social, emotional, and academic needs has only grown. Given these challenges, medical providers are receiving even more requests for school and behavioral health supports (Armitage & Nellums, 2020). These needs have been even greater for underserved and minority populations due to the growing needs for behavioral health supports and the often-limited access to high quality care. Thus, primary care offices are often where families initially seek support. Integrated behavioral health consultants (BHCs) who have expertise in special education and training in schools can support pediatricians and families in navigating the nuances and complexities of the school system (Sheridan et al., 2009). Additionally, BHCs can facilitate multi-disciplinary collaboration across systems to best support the child (Sheridan & Kratochwill, 2007). Front line health care workers and teachers have been two professions challenged most through the pandemic. The presenters will discuss the even greater need for cross system collaboration since the pandemic and explore case examples of successful BHC, PCP, and teacher collaboration. Examples will be introduced on ways to successfully collaborate across multiple settings using data-based decisions to support children’s academic and behavioral health needs. Attendees will then be presented a case and given a worksheet to complete on how specific pediatric concerns (e.g., anxiety, disruptive behaviors) may look at school, the PCP’s office, and in therapy. They will then work to generate recommendations for each setting with understanding of potential barriers. A handout with guidelines for case conceptualization and coordination of care will be provided for future use.
- Identify how the setting impacts special education services and recommendations provided to families
- Compare and contrast how common behavioral health topics present differently in medicine, behavioral health, home, and school
- Identify 3 reasons to collaborate across systems and increase understanding of systems and language/processes used to facilitate effective care