Child and Family Services

Child and Family Behavioral Health Treatment Service 

Child and Family Behavioral Health Treatment Service is a community and home-based service for children who need intensive mental health services due to social-emotional difficulties.  Services are offered to the child and family in their natural environments, so that skills can be learned and integrated into their day-to-day experiences.  A team of individuals, inclusive of a masters prepared clinician and a behavioral health professional, work collaboratively with the family to ensure that there is improvement in the child and family’s functioning, skill development and adaptive behavior. 

Because parents play a key role in helping children to be successful, parents are actively involved in all aspects of the treatment from the assessment, where the child’s strengths and needs are identified, to actually participating in treatment sessions in order to support the child’s practice of new skills. 

The goals for the service are to assist the family to understand the child’s behavior and developmental level, teach the family how to appropriately and therapeutically respond to the child’s treatment needs, assist the child and family with establishing natural supports in order to sustain the progress once treatment ends and to decrease the symptoms that required intensive services. 

Community-Based Treatment for Children without Permanency

Community-Based Treatment for Children Without Permanency is a community and home-based service for youth who do not have permanency, i.e., they are homeless, legally emancipated, or have V-9 status with DHHS and are in need of intensive mental health services due to social- emotional difficulties.  Services are offered to youth in their natural environments in order to help youth develop and maintain skills and behaviors necessary to:

  • manage their mental health treatment needs,
  • live independently,
  • live with and interact with other community members,
  • build or maintain satisfactory relationships with peers or adults,
  • improve their self-awareness and environmental awareness,
  • support social integration, and
  • gain awareness of and appropriate use of community services and resources.

The goal of community based treatment services is to improve the youth’s functioning in all aspects of his or her life.  Because the youth must be an active participant in treatment, youth receiving community based treatment services are involved in all aspects of the treatment planning process.

Youth receiving this service must be no more then 20 years of age and meet the following criteria in order to be eligible for the service:

  1. An Axis I or Axis II diagnosis
  2. a significant functional impairment that impacts at least one of the following areas: developmentally appropriate, social, behavioral, cognitive or adaptive skills
  3. Must have a diagnosis of a serious emotional disturbance for one year or likely to last more than one year
  4. Determination of the appropriate level of care, as based on the Child/Adolescent’s Functional Assessment Score (CAFAS), and other clinical assessment information obtained from the member and family,
  5. need treatment that is more intensive than Outpatient services, and
  6. Not have permanency.

Supervised Visitation Service

The State of Maine plays a vital role in protecting the best interests of children whose parents have a custody or visitation matter within the family courts.  Sometimes, based on issues of protection and safety, a judge will decide that in order for a child to have contact with a parent, a neutral third person must be present during any visitation.  This type of third-person visitation arrangement is called "supervised visitation.”
Supervised visitation may be needed for many reasons, such as:

  • to give the visiting parent a chance to address specific issues,
  • to help reintroduce a parent and a child after a long absence,
  • to help introduce a parent and a child when there has been no existing relationship between the parent and the child,
  • when there is a history or allegations of domestic violence, child abuse and neglect, or substance abuse;
  • when there are parenting concerns or mental illness, or
  • when there is a parental threat of abduction.  

Supervision of family visits consists of skilled observation and assessment of parent-child interaction and in modeling/teaching parenting skills by a trained visitation support worker during scheduled visit times; and for the purpose of providing a safe environment in which children in the care or custody of DHHS can visit with their parents and other important people in their lives, and the parent/child interaction can be strengthened through facilitating appropriate interactions and parenting techniques.

AMHC provides visitation support worker for supervised visits.  While it is the visitation support worker’s primary responsibility to ensure safety, the worker also makes every effort to support the child in enjoying the visit with the parent(s).  It is AMHC’s job is to make sure that the children involved in the visits are safe and free from any unnecessary stress.  The visitation support worker is present during the visit, listens to what is being said, and pays close attention to the child's behavior.  If necessary, the provider may interrupt or end a visit.  They are required report suspected child abuse to Maine DHHS.

Referrals for supervised visitation services can be made by a parent, family member, significant other, a family representative, such as an attorney or health service provider, or a DHHS caseworker.