The County Outreach Program works with rural, county school districts to identify students experiencing significant mental health and behavioral issues which are interfering with their ability to be successful in school and achieve their academic potential.
The County Outreach Program staff work with students, parents, and school personnel to develop interventions that will stabilize the child’s behavioral and emotional functioning so that the child can achieve greater success in school. Outcomes will focus on school based data, as well as parenting goals/interventions that relate directly to helping the child change their behavior to achieve greater success in school.
Through collaboration with rural county schools, referrals are made to the program by rural school district personnel for students who are in crisis and need additional support services to stabilize their behavior and participate successfully in the public school education program. Each child will have specific goal(s) which can address issues such as out of school suspension, referrals to the office/school detention due to behavioral problems, study and organizational skills, homework routines, improved attendance, etc. The child’s family is also involved in establishing goals to stabilize the child’s behavior in the school setting and increase their success in school. The County Outreach Program provides direct intervention services to the student and their family, as well as consultation and coordination of services with school district personnel involved with the child’s education program to achieve greater success in the public school.
The County Outreach Program is the only program of its kind that specifically targets the needs of students attending rural McLean County schools. Frequently, children and families residing in the rural county areas have difficulty accessing mental health and family support services, which may be critical in stabilizing a child in both the home and school environment. Small rural school districts have fewer resources to utilize when looking for additional assistance to help a struggling student achieve greater success in school. This program provides additional resources to underserved county areas and has a unique focus of creating partnerships between home and school to enhance the ability for a child to succeed in both environments.
Children (ages 3-15) with severe emotional disabilities/mental health issues have poor life coping skills, experiencing chronic failure in their school, home and community setting. Families of these children struggle with parenting and how to cooperate with public schools to assist their child in making positive changes in their behavior that will lead to greater success and achievement at school. The County Outreach Program focuses on helping parents and school personnel to develop effective mental health and behavior intervention strategies to stabilize the child’s emotional functioning in both the home and school setting. By enhancing communication and coordination between home and school, more consistency is provided to stimulate positive behavior change in the student and achieve increased success in school. Referrals are made to the program by rural school district personnel (teacher, school social worker, building principal) for students who are experiencing behavioral and mental health issues having a negative impact on their school achievement. The County Outreach worker makes 2-4 visits to the child’s home (monthly) to provide direct services targeted at stabilizing the child’s behavior. Behavior intervention strategies developed for the child are also coordinated with the public school district personnel. The program utilizes 1.5FTE direct service staff who assist parents and school personnel to develop a greater understanding of what supports and interventions the child needs for success in school, and form a cooperative partnership between home and school to consistently provide the interventions needed to support the child successfully achieving in the school program.