Family Based Mental Health Services


Family Based Mental Health Services are team delivered, community based services that aim to provide services to the entire family. FBMH services follow all CASSP principles in Fayette and Greene Counties. The Stern Center provides specialized, trauma focused family based services. Our FBMH program highest priority is to preserve the family unit by creating a safe and healthy family environment. We aim to prevent psychiatric hospitalization or out-of-home placement of a child or adolescent with emotional disturbances. When appropriate, the FBMHS program assists in reuniting families whose child or adolescent has been placed outside of the home. This will be accomplished by providing intensive treatment (2 or more sessions per week) as well as partnering with various other child serving programs and agencies that may be involved with the child and family. The Family Based team provides 24/7 around-the-clock crisis services. The FBMH team often links families to other supports and agencies within the community.

Our family based teams provide services to children and adolescents who have experienced many kinds of trauma. A trauma is a very stressful event that is outside the range of usual human experience. Trauma often involves a sense of intense fear, terror, and helplessness. Trauma can be: domestic or sexual violence, natural disasters, accidents, house fires, robberies, attacks by bullies, child abuse, divorce and abandonment, deaths of family members, friends, pets, etc. Every child can handle upsetting events in different ways. Sometimes, a child will go through the events until they are no longer disturbing or hurtful. Other times, instead of facing the memory, the child will push it out of the way. This can work for a while, but when the memory is not worked through, it keeps its disturbing power. The more the child avoids facing the memory, the worse it may become.

When children experience trauma or loss, you may notice some changes in personality or behavior. Their feelings can be expressed in many different ways sometimes ways that don't make sense to adults. This is common, and with time, the behaviors and feelings can fade as the child works through them. Children should be given the chance to talk about the feelings. If they are not, it may send the message that even adults are too afraid to talk about it. Sometimes, parents/guardians may be so upset that it's just too hard to handle the child in the best way. Therapy can help a child and a family work through the events and feelings, to prevent the same responses in the future.

Our therapists receive extensive training on trauma, abuse, and attachment issues so they can help children and families work through the events and feelings. Our Family Based Program Director and Clinical Team Lead are Certified Trauma Specialists. They have been certified thru the Association of Traumatic Stress Specialists. They have completed extensive training in the field of trauma, abuse, and attachment. 

In order to qualify for FBMHS, your child must have an independent Comprehensive Child Evaluation completed by a Licensed Psychologist or Clinical Evaluator. If the evaluation recommends that FBMHS is medically indicated, the County Mental Health Department and the Managed Care Company will assess the medical necessity and frequency for the final authorization of services.

Empowering Lives &  Making a Difference

The Stern Center 2021