TCESC STEP PROGRAM
The TCESC Student Therapeutic Educational Program (STEP) is a highly-specialized program that combines educational services from Trumbull County Educational Service Center with behavioral treatment through Valley Counseling. The program assists Trumbull County children and adolescents who have significant behavioral/emotional problems that are severely interfering with their ability to progress in school.
Children enrolled in STEP spend part of the day in the classroom and the other part of the day receiving outpatient behavioral health treatment. The STEP Program is housed at the YWCA in Warren, Ohio at 375 North Park Avenue. The facility is conducive to therapeutic interventions and has the space to separately treat the child and adolescent population for selected interventions.
BEHAVIORAL PROGRAM DESCRIPTION
STEP develops its interventions based upon the bio-psychological factors that have caused a child to need to participate in the program. The program uses tools such as role modeling, peer support, skill development and education in mastering impulsive and or problematic behavior(s).
STEP is based on students’ ability to accept responsibility for themselves while assisting others in doing the same. The students and staff work together to form a therapeutic community and the input of each student is central to this community. Students assist each other by offering involvement, feedback and emotional peer support.
Because all students learn at a different pace, the treatment programs are individualized and relate to the student’s specific experiences.
Each student will receive an individual assessment to determine his/her current level of functioning and need for treatment. Following the assessment, we will develop an integrated individualized treatment plan to identify and prioritize problem areas. We will work with each child’s strengths and weaknesses to help him/her achieve his/her goals. Each student will participate in individual therapy, group therapy sessions and family therapy as needed.
COMMUNITY AND GOAL SETTING
Community meetings include all students. The therapeutic focus of this meeting is on students sharing their progress and their individual goals. Students’ peers and clinical staff emphasize encouragement.
EXPERIENTIAL COGNITIVE TASK GROUP
This type of therapy allows student to explore their feelings through creative expression. Students use various artistic mediums to gain insight into their feelings through self-interpretation and discussion.
This therapy group is offered three to four times per week and is a forum where communication can be learned and practiced. The process group has many therapeutic functions including providing a supportive network of peers and opportunities for feedback from others.
In this therapy, the group helps a student identify resources and solutions to solve identified problems. They also work together to choose and implement interventions to solve the problems. Students use their strengths to change their behavior while receiving feedback and emotional support from the group leader and group members.
Therapeutic recreation programming provides another opportunity for socialization, development of self-awareness and physical conditioning. Through recreation, students discover constructive outlets for anxiety, anger and other unexpressed feelings. These recreational activities promote leisure wellness through development of healthy leisure attitudes, interests and skills. Therapeutic recreation includes leisure awareness education, individual exercise programs, gym activities and a variety of other activities.
SELF RELAXATION GROUP
This group is designed to teach students relaxation techniques to assist them in building their coping skills. A licensed massage therapist uses self-touch, stress reduction relaxation techniques to educate each child in techniques to calm themselves and self-sooth. A registered nurse conducts this group. If the treatment team feels this group would benefit your child, a staff member will discuss this with you and obtain written consent before your child participates.
SKILLS DEVELOPMENT GROUP
These skill-building groups focus on increasing self-esteem and self-awareness. Topics discussed include dealing with anger, working through necessary losses, identifying self-defeating behaviors, setting personal goals, medication education, communication skills, parenting skills, and understanding codependency. The information assists students in identifying addictions, dysfunctional families, types of abuse and self-defeating behaviors.
The goals of family therapy, which is provided by the therapist, are to reduce the conflict and anxiety in the family system, make the family members more aware of each other's needs, develop appropriate role relationships and promote health and growth of entire family system. This therapy is provided monthly.
GENERAL HEALTH EDUCATION LECTURES
These highly-structured educational lectures focus on a variety of topics including chemical dependency, medication education and general health and wellness topics. Film presentations and reading materials are used to increase the patient's awareness of addictions and their effect on the child. A registered nurse provides these lectures.
CONSULTING OR CONTRACTED SERVICES
Other services, which may be necessary on an infrequent basis, are provided through consulting arrangements with credentialed/certified providers approved by the medical staff organization (i.e. medical services, laboratory, dental services, occupational therapy and dietician services).
The following steps must be completed prior to enrollment in the program:
- The TCESC Emotional Disturbance Supervisor, who works with the Trumbull County schools, makes referrals to the Transition Program. If a student is referred, typically that student has significant behavioral/emotional problems that have been observed and identified in the school environment.
- If the parent/guardian agrees with the referral, the first step in the process is to obtain an assessment by Valley Counseling. This no cost assessment, which is completed in approximately 1 ½ to 2 hours, takes place at the YWCA unless directed otherwise. During this assessment, clinical staff members assess the status of your child’s behavioral/emotional problems and gather information from the family about any behavioral treatments that your child may be receiving. When the assessment is complete, the clinical staff reviews it with the medical director of the behavioral portion of the Transitions Program. The medical director will make a recommendation if your child’s needs are appropriate for the program.
- The behavioral health treatment component of this program is an outpatient healthcare service. Therefore, you must provide a copy of your insurance/or Medicaid card. Some insurance companies require a pre-certification prior to beginning any outpatient program. If your insurance requires this, Valley Counseling will notify you. The agency will verify your benefits and provide financial counseling prior to enrollment.
If you agree to enroll your child in Transitions, the following steps must be completed:
1. The program’s start date will be established. On the first day of the program, you, as the parent/guardian, must accompany your child to meet with staff and complete the necessary paperwork.
2. On the first day, you and your child will meet with the Transitions staff members who will be working with your family. Staff members will review the specific programs with you and give you a handbook. We will also ask you additional questions that will be used to plan your child’s treatment.
3. Communication with the family is an essential component of the program. We will keep you informed about your child’s progress in the program and will ask you how your child is responding. A case manager will keep you informed about your child’s progress.
4. If your child is already receiving behavioral treatment from another provider, we will discuss with you (and the provider, if possible) the role each provider will play in the treatment.
5. In the event of lack of compliance with the program, the team will request a meeting with you to determine if further services are required.
6. The timeline for a student child to participate in the Transitions Program is determined on an individual basis.
7. The TCESC Emotional Disturbance Supervisor arranges all busing for the student.
To maintain the safety of all our students, it is essential that nothing other than school textbooks or school notebooks is brought to the program. Your child must carry textbooks and notebooks by hand. Book bags and/or backpacks are not permitted. Please check that your child’s pockets are emptied before arrival. Lockers are available to store coats prior to entering the program.
Because safety is essential, we always take precautionary measures. All program areas are regularly checked for potential hazards and all staff members are trained in emergency procedures. Additionally, each student is closely observed and assessed to ensure that he/she is stable enough to tolerate and continue to participate in the program. If a student becomes agitated, he or she will be removed from the group and monitored on a one-to-one basis by a staff member until he or she is calm enough to rejoin the group.
ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE PROCEDURES
- We need cooperation and compliance with specific procedures to ensure your child is safe in the parking lot and lobby area. If you are transporting your child to the program, please note the following safety procedures:
- Your child will be assigned a specific number at admission. We will use this number at dismissal to assure we have the correct parent/guardian.
- If you need another adult to pick up your child, you must notify us using the code number. You must also provide us with the name of the adult who will pick up your child. In addition, the adult picking up your child must have the code number and must be prepared to show a photo ID to verify identity.
- The program’s hours are 8:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Please try to be punctual.
- Vehicles must enter the parking lot one way and exit the other side. Directional signs are posted.
- Please note that we have many children and families arriving and picking up at the same time. Safety is essential. The speed limit for the parking area is 5 miles per hour.
- All students must be accompanied into the building and signed in by either the parent/legal guardian or their representative. You may not drop off a child at the front door.
- Sign releases for schools/psychiatrists and agencies/ others to aid in continuity of care.
- Participate in family therapy sessions.
- Work in conjunction with team’s recommendation.
- Communicate per parent agreement.
- Attend annual IEP , IEP reviews, and three year re-evaluations where applicable.
- Meet with team on program compliance issues.