The Transitional Care Program supports children aged 5-12 who have graduated from the Day and Evening Programs of the Jewish General Hospital’s (JGH) Child Psychiatry Program in Montreal. Since 2002, the program has helped children reintegrate into community schools after having received in-hospital treatment.
Children aged 5 to 12 are referred to the JGH Day Hospital for problems such as oppositional-defiant disorder, conduct disorder, aggressive behaviour, suicidality, attention deficit disorder, selective mutism, school refusal and post traumatic stress disorder. The Day Hospital offers a multimodal treatment program including: special education in small class groups, individual play, art therapy, social skills training, family therapy, and psychological assessment. Children often make significant progress with respect to behaviour and overall wellbeing, and the Transitional Care Program helps them to maintain this progress after they leave the Day Hospital. The Transitional Care Program is designed to support children, families, and schools as all three negotiate the child’s return to the community school.
The main objectives of the program are to:
- maintain academic behaviour and classroom performance
- maintain pro-social behaviour and adaptive functioning
- prevent recurrence of aggressive or other problem behaviours
- sustain adherence to taking medications
We also aim to support the child’s family, teachers, and other service providers, by sharing knowledge about the program, and by providing resources, insights and practices from our program. The Transitional Care Program:
- facilitates communication between families and institutions (especially schools)
- promotes early responses to signs of regression, addressing small problems early
- coordinates all adults’ responses to the child’s behavioural issues, increasing efficacy
These activities help to moderate the stress of the child’s return to school, and as a result tend to reduce the time and resources teachers and schools must devote to the child. This moderate ongoing management approach helps to prevent emerging problems from reaching a crisis point, and therefore keeps families from needing to access emergency services. By supporting the children’s success, the Transitional Care Program diminishes the burden on schools and social services; reduces family stress; and helps to prevent relapse and re-admission to the hospital.