The Children's Bureau in the Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) has been working with the University of Pittsburgh and its community partners to develop, implement, and manage the Pennsylvania Youth and Family Training Institute. This Institute is the next phase in the evolution of the children's behavioral health movement in Pennsylvania . It builds on the work of the former CASSP Institute, and will be the centerpiece of the OMHSAS effort to transform the Pennsylvania 's Children's Behavioral Health System. The Institute will provide training, technical assistance and monitoring to engage and empower youth and their families in the treatment and recovery process.
The Institute has been assembling an Advisory Board composed of equal representation of youth, families, and professionals. Shannon Fagan, former Westmoreland County CASSP Coordinator, became the Executive Director on March 3, 2008. The Institute, in conjunction with the Children's Bureau, has been working with counties and behavioral health managed care organizations to identify several counties to serve as "early implementers" of youth and family teams, utilizing the High Fidelity Wraparound practice model.
In addition to working with the early implementer counties, the Institute will continue to provide an orientation and training on the High Fidelity Wraparound model to all interested parties. Public information efforts will be held over the next few months as the Institute becomes established and begins to marshal the energy and dedication of so many people who are committed to transforming the children's behavioral health system in Pennsylvania.