Carson City August 18, 2022
Yesterday, the Nevada Legislative Interim Finance Committee approved more than $45 million in proposals using American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to support Nevada’s Children’s System of Care.
Prior to the pandemic, Nevada began designing the Comprehensive Children’s Mental Health Crisis Response Continuum in response to the community’s need to ensure care was offered when someone experiences a behavioral health crisis. The funding approved by IFC will help to build a System of Care to intervene earlier and provide compassionate care in an appropriate setting.
In the absence of a comprehensive crisis system, law enforcement must intervene for people in need of behavioral health support, long wait times and boarding are occurring in emergency rooms, deaths by suicide continue, and children are at increased risk for out-of-home placements.
Through this initiative, ARPA funds have been leveraged to address the needs and establish systems and services for Nevadans using evidence-based interventions in collaboration with Clark County Department of Family Services, Washoe County Human Services Agency, the Department of Education, community partners, and DHHS Divisions.
“We are grateful to our Legislators for approving this funding that will allow us to assist children, youth, and families with interventions at the onset of a behavioral health crisis,” stated Dr. Cindy Pitlock, Administrator of the Division of Child and Family Services (DCFS).
The approved funding for Nevada’s Children’s System of Care includes:
• $15 million for children’s wraparound care coordination and intensive case management. This effort will support the highest acuity youth and families. Wraparound services build on individual and family strengths by bringing families, providers, and key members of the family’s support network together to build a customized plan of care. Plans focus on keeping the family together in the least restrictive setting possible and ideal candidates for wraparound services are youth with moderate to high complex needs who are at risk of out-of-home placement.
• Youth in crisis are currently held in inappropriate settings due to a lack of available beds at Nevada facilities. $6.7 million has been allocated for DCFS to implement tenancy improvements and adequate staffing at Desert Willow Treatment Center and Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility Oasis. This will make more acute inpatient and residential treatment beds available so that Nevada youth with intensive needs can stay in-state during a higher level of care placement.
• $5 million for robust in-home treatment options which will allow children and youth to safely remain in the home while being provided intensive therapeutic and behavioral support services. With the increase in the need for services for children and youth with complex behavioral health and developmental disabilities specialized nursing care, physical therapy, language therapy, and additional supervision are necessary to keep the youth at home with their families. Supportive living programming to keep the youth at high risk for displacement in the home reduces family and youth trauma, improves outcomes, decreases relinquishment, and ultimately decreases the cost to the system.
• The Clark County Clinical Division and China Spring Youth Camp in Douglas County are both working to support multi-system-involved youth with substance use and mental health issues. About $4.8 million has been allocated for community-based assessments and treatment options to promote healthy development, preserve the family unit, continue engagement in education, and maintain the highest levels of funding.
• $3.4 million was approved to allow DCFS’ Children’s Mobile Crisis Response Teams (MCRT) to support Clark County School District, Washoe County School District, and the Nevada Department of Education during after-school hours when school district teams cannot provide deployment and intervention.
• $2.9 million to support emergency and planned respite services for qualifying families.
• $1.9 million for Family-to-Family Peer Support which provides instrumental social and informational support to families with children with behavioral health and special education needs.
• More than $5.8 million has been allocated for oversight, program management, staffing, technology and other needed supports to ensure successful outcomes.