- Maribeth Wicoff, PhD Psychologist, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA
- Maria Golden, PhD Psychologist, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA
- Christine Rivera Gonzales, MA Intern, Milton Hershey School, Hershey, PA
- Jennifer A. Mautone, PhD Psychologist, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA
- Chim Okoroji, MA Psychology Fellow, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA
Within primary care, children only come through the medical office door one time a year for well child checks or if there is a problem. Although some speciality clinics may see children and teens more than once a year, these visits are often focused on complex symptom management and care among different specialities. The majority of children’s time is spent in the school environment. However, school is a complex system that is often difficult for parents to navigate on their own, which may lead to a disconnect between family and school. This often leads parents to reach out to medical providers first if they are concerned about school difficulty. Sometimes, school staff even request that children see their pediatrician or present proof of a medical diagnosis if there is a concern. Some school concerns that families often share include: learning difficulties, behavioral concerns at school, difficulty concentrating, anxiety and school avoidance, fatigue, and sleep concerns. Often medical providers may feel ill-equipped to manage these concerns and systems (Burka, Van Cleve, Shafer, & Barkin, 2014). With the integration of behavioral health in primary care and speciality clinics it reduces some of the burden on medical providers to help navigate school difficulties and concerns that the family may share and help improve student functioning. Integrated behavioral health providers with school psychology training have an advantage in helping pediatricians and families navigate the complexities of the school system given their experience with multi-disciplinary collaboration and their understanding of academic and behavioral supports. Presenters will discuss important school jargon, legal considerations for care coordination communications, and methods of connecting with school systems as behavioral health providers within integrated settings and a school-based mental health clinic. Successes and barriers to collaboration with school settings will be discussed.
- Identify important considerations for care coordination between schools and behavioral health providers within primary care settings.
- Discuss successes and barriers to collaboration with school settings.
- Understand important school lexicon and legal considerations that integrated behavioral health providers need to be aware of when trying to help families navigate school-based concerns.