By Brittany Evans, CAT Team Leader
The Community Action Team (CAT) is a team-based approach to address the needs of youth and their families. Our team is comprised of two therapists, two counselors, a care coordinator, a nurse, and a team leader. We also collaborate with an advanced registered nurse practitioner (ARNP) who provides medication management, direct support to clients, and attends a weekly team meeting. CAT is considered the highest level of outpatient care. There are strict requirements to become a CAT client. The individual must between the ages of 11 to 21, have a mental health or co-occurring substance abuse diagnosis, and have one or more other high-risk characteristics such as being at-risk for out-of-home placement, two or more periods of hospitalization, Department of Juvenile Justice involvement, multiple episodes involving law enforcement, or poor academic performance.
CAT strives to strengthen the family and support systems for youth and assist them to live successfully in the community. We implement wraparound evidence-based practices. Wraparound is a team-based approach that helps the client and their family identify their strengths, culture, and needs. We then use those strengths to accomplish the family’s goals to improve their lives. Other program goals include improved school related outcomes such as improved attendance, grades, and graduation rates in addition to decreased substance abuse and psychiatric hospitalizations.
The Guidance/Care Center (GCC) has worked alongside Monroe County School District for years. Most recently, we had three staff members attend and complete the Comprehensive School Threat Assessment Guidelines training. This allows GCC to remain involved in the assessment process when an individual makes a threat to harm others in the school or community setting. We can complete the mental health portion of the threat assessment, help gauge the level of threat made, and engage in follow up support and services. This is not only a source of support for our students, but also for our community and schools.
Pictured: Alexandra Wilcoxon, Brittany Evans, Carol Valladares, Linda Lann, Monique French, Robert Prosser, Sandra Rautio