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October 31, 2014

Contact:, (212) 341-0886

Children’s Services and Bellevue Hospital Collaborate to Improve Mental Health Services in the Juvenile Justice System

NEW YORK, October 31, 2014 - The Administration for Children'fs Services (ACS) and NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) announce the implementation of an intra-city agreement that will allow Bellevue Hospital Center to provide psychiatric and psychological care to youth in secure and non-secure detention.

This important partnership is one in a series of steps ACS is taking to enhance mental health services throughout our juvenile justice continuum. We are improving assessment practices, better identifying the needs of the young people involved in our system, creating more informed treatment and placement options for young people with complex emotional and behavioral issues, and working to maintain consistent quality services.

"We would like to thank the Health and Hospitals Corporation for working with us to execute this agreement and allowing us to build our relationship with Bellevue Hospital and Dr. Havens," said ACS Commissioner Gladys Carrion. "This collaboration will allow youth in detention to benefit from Bellevue Hospital's groundbreaking work in trauma evaluation and interventions, and services in treatment for serious issues that often stem from abuse and neglect."

"HHC is the leading provider of behavioral health services in the City, and Bellevue is one of the hospitals leading that effort," said HHC President Dr. Ram Raju. "Young people are a very important population to reach as intervention at a younger age results in better outcomes for patients. We're pleased to provide these services in conjunction with ACS."

"In partnership with ACS, the Bellevue team has made great progress in moving the facilities towards trauma-informed care," said Bellevue Hospital's Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Director and Chief of Service Dr. Jennifer Havens. "We are excited to have the opportunity to deepen the work and provide these youth and families with the level of mental health care they need and deserve," Dr. Havens said.

Dr. Jennifer Havens, Director and Chief of Service of the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Bellevue Hospital, leads a team of child and adolescent psychiatrists and psychologists who are based at Crossroads and Horizon Juvenile Detention Centers, providing mental health evaluation and treatment to youth in secure and non-secure detention. In addition to direct clinical services, the Bellevue team is focused on enhancing the quality of the milieu in the centers through the implementation of effective group programming, and supporting the front-line detention staff in their management of youth. The Bellevue team works in close collaboration with detention staff (including contracted mental health, ACS case managers and juvenile counselors and facility leadership) to maximize the effectiveness of mental health interventions.

This partnership will allow both of the ACS-run juvenile detention facilities to benefit from the expertise of Bellevue's successful programs in helping children who have been exposed to trauma and abuse, suffer from depression, substance abuse and/or PTSD. The improved mental health evaluation process, trauma-informed screening, and treatment options will help guide each youth's treatment planning, inform the placement matching process, and promote continuity of care. Furthermore, this work will provide a framework to train and educate staff within juvenile detention facilities to ensure more successful outcomes.

The execution of the Intra-City agreement will enable ACS and Bellevue to build on the significant work that Bellevue has already done over the past two years, made possible from a four-year grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to infuse trauma-informed care in our juvenile justice secure detention settings.