Out of Home Settings for Children

The system of care is designed to provide community-based mental health treatment with the goal of supporting a child/youth’s progress and success within the context of family and community.  Community-based care may include times when a child/youth requires a brief out-of-home placement as part of the family’s primary community-based treatment plan.  Any out of home placement should be designed to support the child/youth and family so that the child/youth can quickly return to their primary living situation with in-home supports.

The following out of home settings are designed to be short-term in nature to support a child/youth and family to develop the skills necessary to reduce mental health symptoms and transition back into the child/youth’s home. Designated Agencies (DA) are authorized to make the determination of medical necessity for out of home placement of children, using the Procedural Guidelines for Prior Authorization of Out-of-Home Treatment For Children and Families with Intensive Mental Health Needs.

Therapeutic Foster Care

These arrangements provide short-term individualized support for children in the home of a contracted foster home provider. Foster home arrangements may include 24-hour, seven-day-a-week services or a shared parenting arrangement whereby children live part-time in the foster home and part-time with their family as members learn new skills and positive coping strategies for family living. Home providers are expected to work closely with the service coordinator, family and treatment team to assure care is aligned with family integration goals and the child’s treatment plan objectives. Home providers are considered independent contractors with a DA/SSA responsible for quality oversight and case management services on behalf of the child. If there is the need for a planned overnight break for the primary foster home, the child may stay at a secondary foster home.

This out-of-home setting is designed to be short-term in nature to support the child/youth and family to develop the skills necessary to reduce psychiatric symptoms and transition back into the child/youth’s home.

Staffed Living Programs

Staffed Living/Transitional Living programs for children and youth are community-based homes (formerly referred to as micro-residential programs) for up to four children with significant mental health/behavioral needs.  These arrangements are targeted to children and youth who are at risk of institutional care, are transitioning to home from psychiatric inpatient or intensive residential treatment, and/or youth with significant mental health needs who are transitioning to adulthood. These settings are required to be licensed by the Department of Children and Families as a Residential Treatment Facility. Each Staffed Living program serves no more than four children or youth in a community-based setting with 24/7 staffing and intensive mental health services and supports.

Contact Information

Department of Mental Health
Commissioner Emily Hawes
280 State Drive, NOB 2 North
Waterbury, VT 05671-2010
Phone: (802) 241-0090
Fax: (802) 241-0100

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