The transition back to school following treatment can be sufficiently stressful to cause children to regress. The Transitional Care Program was developed to provide support to families and help children with mental health issues re-enter their community schools successfully by sustaining the patterns and skills they learned while in treatment at the Day Hospital.
The Transitional Care Program:
- Emphasizes and fosters communication between home and school
- Helps teachers and other school personnel to understand children’s mental health issues and resulting special needs
- Supports children’s success by promoting consistency and structure at a time of transition, and by emphasizing rapid reinforcements and tangible consequences
- Supports the child’s success by supporting parents and caregivers
- Helps families connect with local community organizations and service providers
The Transitional Care team consists of an educator and social worker who provide the continuity of care that supports the children in the gains they have made in the Day Hospital. Each have specialized tasks, and work in constant communication with each other.
- Observe discharged children in school during class, recess, lunch, and/or daycare.
- Communicate in a consultant-liaison role with school personnel (principal, teachers, resource personnel, daycare supervisors)
- Offer emotional support to school personnel
- Meet with school personnel, parents and hospital staff as required
- Initiate at least weekly telephone contact with children’s primary caregivers
- Assess child’s behaviour at school, home, and in the community, looking for signs of regression and provide feedback to caregivers
- Offer emotional support to caregivers, identify problems and possible solutions, and help parents to become advocates for their children