Screening, Assessment and Support Services (SASS)

Screening, Assessment and Support Services (SASS)

Screening and Treatment for Children and Adolescents

The Children’s Mental Health Act of 2003, Illinois Public Act 93-0495, represents a significant opportunity for Illinois to promote the well being of children by maintaining them in the least restrictive settings, working with families in their home(s) or other natural environments, providing culturally and linguistically competent services, maintaining normalizing routines and activities, and allowing for earlier interventions to address growing problems. A requirement of the Children’s Mental Health Act of 2003 is to ensure the screening and assessment of children and adolescents prior to any admission to a hospital for inpatient psychiatric care for all children eligible for Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) Medical Programs. With the passage of this Act, HFS joined two other Illinois State Departments that have been funding screening and assessment services for children since 1992: the Department of Human Services (DHS) and Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). The three State Departments are now collaborating to implement the Screening, Assessment and Support Services (SASS) Program.

This statewide initiative: (1) provides screening, assessment and treatment of any child who may be at risk of psychiatric hospitalization and who is eligible for public funding under any program funded by one of the three collaborating Departments: (2) enhances access to coordinated community based mental health services either in lieu of or following inpatient care and screening; and (3) effectively links families and guardians to appropriate level of care to meet the mental health treatment needs of their child.

The CARES line contact information is 800-345-9049.

Services Provided

Description of Services

The following is a list of services one may receive if they are a participant in the Will County Health Department's Screening, Assessment and Support Services Program.

Eligibility for Services

Who is Eligible

The Crisis and Referral Entry Service (CARES) monitors the admission process into the SASS program and authorizes a SASS screening. CARES is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Admission Process

Information Regarding Admission to the SASS Program

The SASS program has a 24/7 staffing schedule with a backup schedule. SASS services are provided 365 days per year, 24 hours per day with acceptance of all referrals from CARES on a no-decline basis. The CARES line contact information is 800-345-9049.

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