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Children's Mental Health

The Children’s Mental Health Program is a coordinated network of community-based services and supports that is youth-guided and family-driven to produce individualized, evidence-based, culturally and linguistically competent outcomes that improve the lives of children and their families.

This program provides funding for in-home and community based outpatient services, crisis services and residential treatment (including psychiatric residential treatment facilities, Therapeutic Foster Care and Therapeutic Group Homes provided through joint Medicaid and Mental Health Program contracts with behavioral health managed entities and providers).

The program also provides coordination and management of the Juvenile Incompetent to Proceed (JITP) program. The system requires that services are individualized, culturally competent, integrated, and coordinated. The aim is to provide a smooth transition, from children’s mental health to the adult mental health system for continued age-appropriate services and supports. These services are designed to build resilience and to prevent, severity, duration and disabling aspects of children’s mental and emotional disorders.

Services in the Children’s Mental Health Program

Service Planning and Coordination - Multi-disciplinary planning teams, often called Family Service Planning Teams are family-focused and community-based, and serve as a focus for identifying supports and service planning for the family.

Residential Treatment - In some cases, residential treatment may be necessary for children who have been diagnosed with severe emotional disturbance, who are recommended to need a residential level of mental health treatment by a Florida licensed psychologist or psychiatrist, and who are not eligible for public or private insurance.

Family Inclusion - Florida's Children's Mental Health program is fully committed to the value of family involvement. We strongly believe that families must be included in all decisions regarding the planning and provision of mental health services for their children.

Medicaid Eligibility

Medicaid - Children may be eligible for Medicaid. Medicaid-covered services can be provided only to Medicaid-eligible children, only by Medicaid-enrolled providers.

Juvenile Incompetent To Proceed Program

JITP - Florida's Juvenile Incompetent to Proceed (JITP) Program provides competency restoration services to juveniles who have been charged with a felony prior to their 18th birthday and do not have the ability to participate in legal proceedings due to their mental illness, mental retardation, or autism.


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