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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 220621 Find in a Library
Title: Facilitating Hospital to School Transitions: Practices of Hospital-Based Therapists
Journal: Residential Treatment for Children & Youth  Volume:22  Issue:4  Dated:2005  Pages:49-66
Author(s): Joan B. Simon Ph.D.; Elena A. Savina Ph.D.
Date Published: 2005
Page Count: 18
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined the typical transition practices of inpatient mental health therapists who are involved in the transition of young patients from inpatient psychiatric settings to school settings.
Abstract: Findings show that most transition practices are performed prior to a child's discharge, involve parents/caregivers, and relate to the child's diagnosis, academic behaviors, and interpersonal relationships. The most prevalent of the predischarge activities were meeting face-to-face with parents or caregivers, followed by consultation on the phone with school personnel, conversations on the phone with parents/caregivers, and meeting face-to-face with school personnel. Activities performed after discharge were less frequent than predischarge activities. Postdischarge activities tended to be phone conversations rather than face-to-face meetings. The content of conversations tended to be behaviors related to the child's diagnosis, academic performance related to the child's diagnosis, and interpersonal relationships with peers. Suggestions for therapists designed to improve transition services are to identify the child's needs, concerns, and resources prior to discharge; to explain to parents the importance of a smooth transition; to identify a contact person at the child's school; to invite the school contact person to join in the child's discharge meeting; and to provide parents and school personnel with materials that explain the transition process and key issues that must be addressed. The clinical directors at 65 facilities that provide inpatient mental health services to school-age children were contacted for this study. These directors were sent a packet that contained a letter of explanation about the study and five packets for therapists who handle transition planning at the facility. Forty-nine mental health therapists responded to the survey, which solicited responses regarding the therapists' transition policies and practices. 4 tables, 28 references, and appended questionnaire
Main Term(s): Juvenile mental health services
Index Term(s): Interagency cooperation; Mental disorders; Offender mental health services; Schools
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