Intensive Mental Health Program for Kids in Foster Care Now Offered in Duluth

The program dedicates six hours per week to each child involved

DULUTH, Minn. – About 85o kids in St. Louis County spent time in foster care in 2017. More than a quarter of them suffer from serious emotional problems.

A new program aims to get mental health treatment for those kids.

Duluth’s first intensive mental health program for kids in foster care has now started. The outpatient plan dedicates six hours per week to each child enrolled.

Christine Squier is Cambia Hills’ Outpatient Clinical Supervisor. She tells us many kids in foster care suffer from anxiety, depression, and PTSD.

It’s often a challenge to figure out what’s causing those symptoms and what kind of treatment works for each child.

That’s why her facility’s program has sessions with the child, plus meetings with their families, school, and everybody else involved in their life.

“When we have that family involvement, that’s when we get the greatest success and so if we have foster family involvement, bio family involvement all together with these clients, hopefully we can help everybody figure out what’s going on and prevent the need for future services,” said Squier.

Sessions are two hours long and are held three times every week.

Staff hope the intensity of the program will help them quickly figure out the best treatment for each kid and family.

There is now only one therapist involved. They can see up to four kids at a time. If the program is successful, more therapists can be brought on board.

Kids are referred to the program by a county case worker.

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