Home- And Community-Based Services

Mental Health
3. Services

Home- And Community-Based Services

Mental health services are available in your community and can even be provided in your home. If you are struggling, these services can help to support you and your caregivers so that you do not have to go to the hospital or leave your home. If you are living in a group home, Residential Treatment Center (RTC), Residential Treatment Facility (RTF), or hospital, putting services in place may help you move to a foster home or return home to your family.

Children’s Single Point of Access (CSPOA): You may be eligible for services or placement through CSPOA if you are between the ages of 5 and 18, are diagnosed with a Serious Emotional Disturbance (SED), and live in a foster home or with family. If you live in a therapeutic foster home or a group home, you cannot receive CSPOA services. If you think you would benefit from any of the programs described below, ask your caseworker or your lawyer about submitting the CSPOA application. The following services and placements are available through CSPOA:

  • Case Management (CM): A case manager is a specialist who will work directly with you and your family. The case manager will identify your family’s needs and coordinate services to help keep you in your home. Your CM will make 2-4 contacts with you and your family each month.
  • Home and Community Based Services Waiver: This program (sometimes called "waiver services") offers services such as skill building, family support, crisis intervention, and case management. You will receive a service plan to meet the specific needs of you and your family. Waiver services will help you to remain safely in your home or foster home.
  • Children’s Community Residences (CCRs): CCRs are placements that are available through CSPOA. For more information on these placements, see Chapter 4.

Single Point of Access (SPOA) Case Management/ACT: If you are 18 or older and are diagnosed with a Serious Mental Illness (SMI), you may qualify for services through SPOA. SPOA provides access to Case Management and Assertive Community Treatment (ACT). Case Management is similar to the case management offered by CSPOA. ACT Teams are mobile teams of mental health professionals, including a psychiatrist, nurse, social worker, and case manager. The ACT Team assigned to you will work with you to help you live successfully in the community. Some of the services you can receive include case management, initial and ongoing assessments, psychiatric services, employment and housing assistance, family support and education, and substance abuse services. The Team will meet with you on a regular basis and is available 24/7 in case of emergency.

Your caseworker can submit the SPOA application for you. For more information and to find a copy of the application, contact a Case Management/ACT Consultant at the Center for Urban and Community Services (CUCS) at (212) 801-3300 or visit their website at:


Bridges to Health (B2H) Waiver Program: The B2H Waiver Program provides mental health services to young people in foster care who have a diagnosis of Serious Emotional Disturbance (SED) or Developmental Disability (DD) and who reside in placements with fewer than 13 beds (including group homes and therapeutic foster homes). You must be in foster care to apply, but once you are enrolled in the program, you can continue to receive services until you turn 21. You can even receive services after you are adopted or discharged from foster care. In fact, B2H services are often put in place to help your family care for you successfully after you leave foster care.

Together you and your family will work with an agency to design a service plan—called an Individualized Health Plan (IHP)—that best meets your needs. You may change your service plan at any time.

Every young person enrolled in B2H receives a service called Health Care Integration (HCI). You will choose a Health Care Integrator (HCI), who will work with you and your family to design your service plan and to help you get necessary medical, vocational, educational, and other services.

The B2H Waiver Program offers 13 services, in addition to HCI. Remember, you and your family get to choose which of these services you will receive. These services will be included in your IHP, and most of them will be provided by someone different from your HCI. This worker is called your Waiver Service Provider (WSP). Some of the services you will be able to choose from include skill building, vocational services, crisis intervention and avoidance, and respite.

If you are interested in the services offered by B2H, ask your caseworker to submit an application. For more information about B2H, a complete list of services, and the application, see: