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Child & 
Adolescent Services

Through comprehensive clinical care from highly trained, passionate staff, your family will have the confidence to face any of life's challenges.  

Comprehensive Clinical and

Diagnostic Assessment

A diagnostic assessment is a comprehensive, written evaluation conducted by a mental health professional who works closely with each child and family to identify what services or activities would be most helpful for the child’s individual needs.  

 

The mental health professional interviews the child and/or family to gather information such as:
 

  • Onset, frequency, duration and severity of current symptoms

  • History of current problem

  • Relevant family and social history

  • Effects of symptoms on functioning in home, school and community

The mental health professionals completing the Diagnostic Assessments are licensed psychologists, social workers, professional counselors, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, psychiatrists or marriage and family therapists with expertise in a wide range of children’s mental health concerns that include depression, anxiety, ADHD and trauma.

Individual, Group, and Family Therapy
 

Individual, group and family therapies (also known as Outpatient Therapy) are aimed at treating children and adolescents with behavioral disorders, trauma, anxiety, grief and loss issues and depression.  Therapy may be provided at different sites including our offices, school, home and various community settings.

 

Individual Therapy

In therapy, our psychologists, social workers and professional counselors work to help children and adolescents lead healthier and happier lives. Individual therapy is recommended to address specific problems with a more personalized approach.  The frequency and length of treatment varies depending upon the specific concerns.  

 

Group Therapy

Groups offer a ready-made situation to learn new ways of looking at problems, relating to others, engaging in role-modeling and feeling supported in a safe environment. The length of treatment varies based on the severity of the problems, motivation, and ability to risk making changes. 

  

Family Therapy

Family therapy provides a non-judgmental, safe place where families can deepen connections, work through stressful times, and discuss more effective patterns of behavior and communication. The specific focus of treatment will depend on your family’s needs.  Family therapy may include all family members or only those that are able or willing to participate.

 
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Intensive In-Home Services

Intensive In-Home (IIH) services are designed to preserve families in their home environment and to identify helpful solutions for dealing with challenging dynamics within family systems. This is a time-limited, intensive child and family intervention that is intended to accomplish the following:

 

  • Reduce presenting psychiatric or substance use disorder symptoms

  • Provide first responder intervention to diffuse current crisis

  • Ensure linkage to community services and resources

  • Prevent out of home placement for the child or adolescent

 

Intensive In-Home services are available to families 24 hours a day, seven days a week and are provided in the family’s home and community.   

 

Intensive In-Home services are delivered to children and adolescents, primarily in their living environments, with a family focus, using Evidence-Based Practices and a variety of parenting curricula. IHH services include but are not limited to the following interventions, as clinically indicated:

 

  • Individual and family therapy

  • Substance use disorder treatment interventions

  • Assisting families to create a functional structure that will support a child's growth and well-being

  • Linkage to resources and supports in the community

  • Psychoeducation and advocacy within the school setting when needed

 

Family Centered Treatment

Family Centered Treatment (FCT) is part of Carolina Outreach’s continuum of care for at-risk children and their families. FCT is an evidence-based treatment model that helps families of youth who are experiencing moderate to severe struggles that make it hard for them to do well in their home and/or community. FCT helps preserve the family unit and prevent out-of-home placements. FCT supports families to practice new ways of confronting current problems, to own and maintain any changes made, and to predict and plan around future barriers to maintaining changes. The average length of treatment is 6 months.

 

FCT works with families who have experienced one or more of the following:

  • Exposure to trauma (acute, chronic, complex, and/or systemic)

  • Involvement with systems such as DJJ, DSS, Department of Correction for any family member

  • Out-of home placement, hospitalization, or incarceration of a family member with a plan to return home

  • Less intensive treatment has been unsuccessful

 

A clinical focus of FCT is to identify how individual, family, and generational patterns of trauma impact the family system. In 2018, SAMHSA recognized FCT as a trauma treatment practice, awarding the FCT Foundation with a 5-year federal grant to become a NCTSN network member.

 

FCT services are conducted in the family’s home and include:

  • Multiple contacts with the family each week

  • Individual and family therapy

  • Opportunities for families to practice connecting with each other in new ways

  • Trauma-informed, collaborative care

  • 24/7 Crisis response

  • Linkage to resources and supports in the community

  • Psychoeducation and advocacy within the school setting when needed

 

School-Based Mental Health (SBMH)

School-Based Mental Health (SBMH) services at Carolina Outreach are currently available only in Chapel Hill-Carrboro and Durham County Schools.

SBMH services at Carolina Outreach are designed to assist students who are experiencing challenges at school and/or at home that are interfering with their academic success. These challenges may include:

  • School avoidance

  • Symptoms of depression or anxiety

  • Frequent suspensions or detentions

  • Excessive worry, stress, conflict with peers and/or adults

  • Difficulty concentrating

 
 

Medication Management

Before recommending any medication for a child or adolescent, a prescriber will complete a thorough psychiatric evaluation. This may include a physical exam, psychological testing, consultation, or other medical tests.

 

When prescribed appropriately, taken as prescribed, and used a part of a comprehensive treatment plan, medication may help reduce or improve the daily functioning of children and adolescents with psychiatric disorders.