Family Focus

Family Based Mental Health Services (FBMHS) are interactive,relationship based,therapeutic services designed to help parents care for their children and adolescents with mental health problems at home to prevent hospitalization or other out-of-home placements.  These services are designed to offer a rapid response to need.

How are FBMHS Provided?

  • FBMHS are provided primarily in the home or in a community setting by a team of therapists - a Mental Health Professional and a Mental Health Worker.
  • FBMHS Teams are available to enrolled families 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for crisis intervention. A weekly schedule of therapy sessions are established with the family as a partner in treatment planning.
  • Treatment Plans are developed jointly by the family and the therapy team.
  • FBMHS Support Services include referral and linkage to other social services as needed, respite care, participation in specialized support programs in the community, and assistance with tangible needs of the family.

Who is Eligible for FBMHS?

This program is designed for families living in Mercer County...
  • With children or adolescents (0-21 years) who have serious emotional or behavioral problems
  • With children or adolescents where there is a risk of psychiatric hospitalization or other out-of-home placements
  • With at least one adult family member in the home who agrees in writing to participate in the program
  • With a signed recommendation for FBMHS made by a psychiatrist, licensed psychologists or physician prior to beginning services
  • Who are authorized for services by Mercer County Behavioral Health Commission or Value Behavioral Health of PA.

FBMHS are provided at no cost to the families who participate. The service is reimbursable by Medical Assistance and third party insurers.  Services are available without discrimination to all children, regardless of source of funding.

Children's Aid Society of Mercer County subcontracts with Mercer County Behavioral Health Commission, Inc. and Value Behavioral Health of PA to provide FBMHS.  The Agency operates under a Department of public Welfare Type 48 license, and conforms to all provisions in PA Chapter 5260.

Goals of FBMHS

  • To reduce the need for psychiatric hospitalization.
  • To prevent out of home placement of a child.
  • To enable parents to confidently care for their children in the home.
  • To stabilize the home environment and keep the family together.
  • To strengthen and stabilize the family unit.
  • To promote positive, lasting changes that will enable children to remain in the home.
  • To punctuate competencies of all family members.
  • To nurture growth and independence within each family member.
  • To assist all family members to reach a healthier level of functioning.
  • To empower families to maintain progress independent of service providers.

To find out if family-based mental health services are right for you or someone you know, please fill out our referral form. A member of the family focus staff will contact you as soon as possible to discuss options available to you.

For further questions, please contact Conor Scullin, Family Focus Director at 724-662-4730 ext.30 or email at


As part of observances for Awareness Day, we are asking everyone to promote trauma-informed services and supports in all child-serving settings.  More informatiorn is available at .

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