Developmental Disability Services and Supports
JPHSA provides services and supports to Jefferson Parish residents, who meet State of Louisiana eligibility criteria for developmental disability services, from birth through lifespan.
JPHSA in collaboration with Families Helping Families of Jefferson provides training workshops and parent-to-parent mentoring for advocacy and education.
Children, adults and their families are assisted with their responses to and compliance with orders of the Jefferson Parish Juvenile Court and Adult Criminal Court. A social worker provides information, support planning and coordination, and advocacy so individuals and families may complete requirements of the court, obtain needed JPHSA and community services, abide by court ordered services, and succeed in school, post school programs and/or vocational programs or employment as appropriate to age, legal requirements, and preferences.
Mobile Crisis Services provides 24/7 assistance to individuals and families experiencing crises related to mental illness, addictive disorder, and/or developmental disability. Crisis situations are addressed and a safe environment restored through a range of services such as crisis counseling, one-on-one behavioral support and training, and out-of-home respite care.
Flexible Family Funds
Flexible Family Funds are cash payments of $258.00 per month to assist families with the care of their children with severe disabilities at home. A child must be under 18 years of age, have a severe or profound disability as documented in his/her Public School Educational Evaluation and school-based Individualized Education Plan, and must meet financial eligibility requirements (for children receiving Home- and Community-Based Waiver services only).
Home of My Own Program
Adults 18 years of age and older are assisted with the purchase of homes of their own. Participants must meet disability eligibility, income requirements, and have bank approvable credit ratings. Those who do are provided on-going assistance from JPHSA to complete the 35 steps toward planned home ownership.
Individualized Agreements for Individual and Family Support Services
Funding is provided directly to individuals/families through contract agreements so they may purchase services and supports as identified in the Comprehensive Plan of Support. Funding is limited to disability related needs when personal resources are not sufficient and no other community resource is available. Funding may be short-term to resolve a crisis or long-term to meet ongoing needs. Examples of services obtained include: personal companion, respite care, supported living services, specialized therapies, medical/health related expenses, equipment, supplies, home modifications, etc.
Personal Companion/Respite Services
Personal companion/respite services may be planned or emergency support for family members to enable a “break” in their ongoing roles of providing direct assistance and supervision for their loved ones with developmental disabilities. These services, provided in the family home or in the community, assist individuals with daily living, self-care, and health activities as well as community leisure and recreational activities.
Personal Support Coordination
Personal Support Coordination is considered the most important support provided through JPHSA’s Developmental Disabilities Community Services Division. Personal Support Coordinators offer ongoing assistance to individuals/families in obtaining needed personal resources, community resources, and JPHSA services and funding. They monitor the services identified in individual Comprehensive Plans of Support to assure the effectiveness of services and satisfaction with services as well as to resolve barriers in accessing services; and, they revise Comprehensive Plans of Support and strive to obtain funding and resources as needs and goals change. The Personal Support Coordinator is an advocate in promoting independence, participation, productivity, personal responsibility, good citizenship and quality-of-life in the community.
Psychological Services and Positive Behavior Support
Psychologists, educators, and social workers assist families, children, and adults to address challenging behaviors at home, school, and work. These services help individuals and families develop positive alternative behaviors and focus on developing appropriate social and communication behaviors.
Supported Living Services
Training and support are provided to help maintain adults 18 years of age and older in their own homes. Emphasis is placed on health and safety, independence, participation in the community, positive relationships with family and friends, budget management, and participation in meaningful community activities such as employment and volunteerism.
Transition Planning for Public School Graduates
An interagency work group collaborates to plan for the ongoing services individuals need upon graduation from school with a focus on assisting transition age youth with employment goals. Graduates are targeted three years in advance of their graduation dates.
Vocational services are provided to adults 18 years and older with mild to profound intellectual and physical disabilities.
- Supported employment includes vocational assessment, job identification, and job placement with on-going training and support provided by a job coach. The individual’s unique interests, strengths, and preferences are the basis for job identification. The job coach assists adults to obtain and maintain employment paying minimum wage or above.
- Volunteer jobs are obtained in the community to provide people with disabilities the enjoyment of working alongside other community members as well as with opportunities to contribute to the good of their community. Volunteer jobs provide other important experiences which may aide individuals’ path to paid employment.
- Community-based activity training is provided in a wide range of settings and places of interest. This training offers adults meaningful participation in the community and the opportunity to learn needed daily living, social, and communication skills.
- Vocational service activity training includes habilitation training on functional daily living and communication skills and social interaction with friends and colleagues at a vocational service agency. No more than 50% of vocational services take place in agency-based activities which means that the other 50% of the time, individuals should be engaged in supported employment, volunteer jobs and/or community-based activities or combinations of these services.
The Developmental Disabilities Home and Community-Based Waiver Services (Waiver) is a federally funded Medicaid program that provides eligible children and adults a wide range of services such as: in-home and community respite care and personal companion services; vocational services; supported employment; supported living services; environmental accessibility adaptations; assistive devices; and, specialized medical equipment and supplies as an Extended State Plan Service. The Waiver also provides transitional services which enable individuals to move from institutions, community homes, and nursing homes to live with their families or to live in homes/apartments of their own. When children or adults transition from institutions, community homes or nursing homes, they may receive funding for “start-up costs” associated with moving, e.g. rental deposits, utility deposits, etc. The Waiver also provides services needed to support the individual and family with remaining in the home and community.
JeffCare, a program of Jefferson Parish Human Services Authority
JeffCare, a program of JPHSA, operates East and West Jefferson Health Centers to provide primary and behavioral health care to children, adolescents, and adults. All services are provided by a team of physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses and/or medical assistants, clinicians, and care coordinators.
Care Coordinators are responsible for motivating and engaging individuals and/or their parents and family with behavioral change of an identified physical health or behavioral health problem contributing to the individual’s current condition. This is achieved through education, skills building, support, referrals to specialty care, and referral follow-up. Care Coordinators also provide assistance with identifying barriers to change and developing plans to overcome them.
Primary Care Services
Primary care services provided to infants, children, adolescents, and adults include:
- Routine health screenings;
- Well child examinations at 2 weeks and at 2 through 36 months of age (recommended at 2, 4, 6, 9, 12, 24, and 36 months);
- Annual wellness checks;
- Treatment for colds, flu, and other illnesses;
- Management of hypertension, diabetes, cholesterol, obesity, and other chronic conditions;
- Immunizations (adult and child);
- Sports, camp, and school physicals;
- Health education;
- Referral and care coordination; and,
- Behavioral health medication maintenance.
Behavioral Health Services
The East and West Jefferson Health Centers provide clinic-based mental health, substance use disorder, and co-occurring disorder services. Individuals (children, adolescents, and adults) seeking these behavioral health services are registered and screened to gather demographic, financial, and symptom information, and if appropriate, to schedule an assessment.
Assessments determine current symptoms, needs, and level of functioning in order to recommend appropriate services and to obtain authorization for the recommended services, as needed. Following completion of the assessment, individuals are referred to an appropriate provider to receive recommended and authorized services.
Adult Behavioral Health Services
The adult individual is scheduled for a comprehensive assessment and collaborative service planning session with a clinician. He/she may bring family and friends to participate in this session. Upon agreement on a plan, the clinician makes referrals for any services needed outside of the JeffCare Health Centers such as a housing program, vocational rehabilitation program, or an inpatient program. After a case consultation with the Medical Director, the clinician confirms and schedules appointments for agreed upon services provided in the Health Center, which may include a psychiatric evaluation and ongoing medication management, individual or group counseling.
Psychiatric evaluations are completed by psychiatrists and psychiatric nurse practitioners; and, individual and group therapy are provided by licensed clinicians.
Individual and group therapy models for mental health treatment include:
- Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a time limited evidenced-based practice that explores an individual’s thoughts, feelings, and behavior. The focus is on uncovering unhealthy thoughts that lead to negative feelings and influence behavior.
- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is a clinic-based cognitive behavioral treatment for “difficult to treat” and severely disordered individuals. The goals of DBT treatment are to improve client motivation to change, enhance client skills, generalize the new behaviors, structure the environment, and enhance motivation. Treatment includes individual therapy, group skills training, telephone consultations and therapy consultation meetings in an outpatient setting. DBT requires the therapist be on-call 24 hours per day due to the high risk nature of individuals in the DBT program. DBT is a six-month treatment program.
- Illness Management and Recovery is another best practice in mental health treatment. It is a time limited model that focuses on skills building and application of skills to better cope with individual situations and diagnosis specific issues.
- Co-Occurring Disorders group is for adults with a serious mental illness and substance use disorder that follows Hazelden’s Co-Occurring Disorders Program. This model utilizes cognitive behavioral therapy techniques to assist individuals in making changes in life areas impacted specifically by a co-occurring disorder. Recovery and relapse prevention as well as skills for coping with a mental illness are covered.
Substance use issues are treated primarily through group treatment with limited individual sessions. Substance use treatment models utilized include:
- Matrix Model for Intensive Outpatient Treatment is recognized as a best practice. Treatment is nine hours per week, consisting of groups and individual sessions that focus on early recovery, relapse prevention, family education, and social support. A modified version of the Matrix Model (three hours per week) is provided in Spanish for individuals whose language preference is Spanish.
- Living in Balance is for individuals in need of addiction treatment but do not require or are not willing to commit to nine hours of treatment per week. It is a Hazelden model, considered a best practice, and is comprised of 24 group sessions that focus on early recovery, relapse prevention, and social support skills development.
- The third or fourth DWI program is for individuals convicted of a third or fourth DWI and who are required to participate in 52 weeks of outpatient treatment upon discharge from a 28 day inpatient program. The outpatient program consists of participation in intensive outpatient treatment for 12 weeks and then a step-down to twice a week for an additional 12 weeks and then weekly until the 52 required weeks are completed.
Random urine drug screens are a part of all addiction services provided.
A behavioral health service plan may include therapy alone or in conjunction with medication management or medication management alone. Upon completion of therapy and/or stabilization of symptoms, an individual may continue on a maintenance medication management program that requires visits every three months.
Child & Adolescent Behavioral Health Services
Following a comprehensive assessment, the child or adolescent patient is scheduled for collaborative service planning with a clinician. Service planning may include: individual and/or family counseling; group counseling; psychiatric evaluation and medication management; crisis intervention; recreational and crisis respite; school observations and consultation; interagency service coordination; and, substance use services.
Some specialized services offered to children and adolescents within a JeffCare Health Center include:
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is clinic-based cognitive behavioral treatment for “difficult to treat” and severely disordered individuals. The goals of DBT treatment are to improve client motivation to change, enhance client skills, generalize new behaviors, structure the environment, and enhance motivation. Treatment includes individual therapy, group skills training, telephone consultations, and therapy consultation meetings in an outpatient setting. DBT requires the therapist be on-call 24 hours per day due to the high risk nature of individuals in the DBT program. DBT is a six-month treatment program.
- Adolescent Community Reinforcement Approach (A-CRA) to alcohol and substance use treatment is a behavioral intervention that seeks to replace environmental contingencies that have supported alcohol or drug use with pro-social activities and behaviors that support recovery. This outpatient program targets youth 12 to 22 years old with cannabis, alcohol, and/or other substance use disorders. Treatment may include three types of sessions: adolescents alone, parents/caregivers alone, and adolescents and parents/caregivers together. The goal is to improve life satisfaction and eliminate alcohol and substance use problems by developing problem-solving skills, communication skills, and participation in pro-social activities.
- Early Childhood Services provide therapeutic intervention for children ages birth to five and their families. Services include comprehensive evaluation, medication management, individual therapy, and family therapy.
Behavioral Health Community Services
- The Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) is an evidenced-based intervention provided in the community for adults with persistent and severe mental illness. Individuals enrolled in ACT services traditionally do not respond well to health center-based services, and have difficulty attending treatment sessions and taking prescribed medications. These individuals often have trouble functioning independently in the community, frequently experience psychiatric crises, and often require psychiatric hospitalization. ACT Team members include: psychiatrists; nurses; mental health clinicians; housing specialists; addictive disorder specialists; vocational specialists; and, peer specialists. Services are provided in the home and community, allowing greater opportunity to engage directly with individuals and their support systems, thus improving outcomes. Individuals served through ACT are seen as often as clinically necessary, sometimes daily.
- Case management services assist adults with persistent and severe mental illness in accessing resources, keeping scheduled appointments, and using services and supports available in their community. Case management services are appropriate for individuals who collaborate with their treatment providers and are able to demonstrate independent living skills. Individuals may benefit from these services if they need assistance with organization, transportation, housing, shopping for groceries, budgeting, employment, and leisure activities. Case managers also assist individuals with making applications for appropriate benefits, acquiring or maintaining a natural support system, and improving functioning in the community. The case managers maintain weekly telephone contact and monthly face-to-face contact (more if needed) with individuals.
- Community Psychiatric Support and Treatment (CPST) services provide goal-directed supports and solution-focused interventions intended to achieve identified goals or objectives included in a comprehensive service plan. CPST is a clinically oriented face-to-face intervention that can include family members or significant others as needed. A minimum of 51% of CPST contacts must occur in community locations where the individual lives, works, attends school and/or socializes. Services also include psychosocial skills building services to strengthen the individual’s ability to fully participate in his/her community.
- Strategies and/or treatment options that address the negative effects of mental illness and minimize environmental stressors interfering with daily living. These strategies focus on improvements in the areas of financial management, housing, academic and/or interpersonal relationships and community integration.
- Individual supportive counseling focused on solution-focused interventions to assist the individual with improving social, interpersonal, self-care daily living and independent living skills.
- Assistance with identifying and responding to triggers that negatively impact the individual’s ability to remain in their community. Services also assist the individual with identifying a plan for addressing psychiatric or personal crises to rapidly restore stability and functioning.
- Assistance with developing daily living skills specific to managing a home, including managing money, medications, using community resources, and other self-care requirements.
- The Drop-In Center serves adults, ages 18 and older, who are residents of Jefferson Parish with mental illness. The Center provides social, recreational, and educational activities planned by service recipients with an emphasis on self-help and peer-focused support. Regular activities include dances, movies, games, picnics, and peer-support group meetings. The program emphasizes the importance of structured activities, and encourages the participation of family members/friends. The Drop-In Center is open 16 hours per week including hours after 5 p.m. on weekdays and weekends. Individuals do not have to “enroll” in the program and may drop in anytime the Center is open.
- The Gambling Treatment Program is a service for individuals with a gambling addiction. Clinical specialists use the “Overcoming Your Pathological Gambling,” model recommended by the Louisiana Office of Behavioral Health. The program requires participants to complete a clinical assessment, followed by a core 12-session treatment process. After the core program, participants complete a post-treatment assessment and participate in individual, family, couples, and aftercare support groups as determined by the assessment. Individuals are also encouraged to participate in the Gamblers Anonymous program.
- Outpatient substance abuse services for adults are provided by the Celebration Hope Center, an accredited faith-based, outpatient treatment program. Following a comprehensive assessment, treatment services include individual and group therapies, self-help groups and spiritual guidance. The Center offers daytime and evening intensive outpatient programs, and ancillary counseling services. Aftercare and follow-up sessions are also provided.
- Residential substance abuse services for men 18 years of age and older are provided by Responsibility House. Using a modified therapeutic community, residential treatment helps individuals with substance abuse disorders gain the insight and skills needed to live a life of sobriety. The goal of the program is to provide structured, supervised, residential treatment services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, using an outcome-driven approach to treatment. Key components include: cognitive behavioral therapies; 12 Step oriented treatment therapies; education on the 12 Steps; study of the texts Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous; structured group sessions; individual counseling; co-occurring disorder treatment strategies; and, participation in local 12 Step self-help group meetings.
- Residential substance abuse treatment services for women with children are sponsored in part by JPHSA through Family House, a structured, 24 hour-a-day residential treatment facility. The overarching goal of this program is to help mothers develop the insight and skills needed to function successfully in their communities as recovering individuals and parents. Services provided by the program include intensive addiction treatment and parenting guidance that addresses the social and psychological development, nutrition, and educational needs of children. Connection with psychiatric services is also provided as needed for both mother and child. There is an onsite therapeutic center for the preschool age children of residents to help reach developmental milestones. Older children attend local public schools.
- Supported employment services are available for eligible adults with a primary diagnosis of mental illness who are currently receiving services in a JeffCare Health Center or JPHSA program. Individuals must be willing to work within 30 days and believe they are able to work. First, an Employment Specialist (ES) conducts a vocational assessment, and then assists with developing a resume and interview skills, conducting online and in-person job searches, and finding transportation. The ES provides extended follow-up after an individual becomes employed to ensure ongoing success. Services are not time limited and are provided as long as the individual is engaged in the process of obtaining or maintaining competitive employment and participates in JeffCare or JPHSA services.
- Supportive Adult Independent Living (SAIL) is an intensive, strengths-based case management program. SAIL comprises a team of one case manager and two social service staff members who focus on skills building activities and developing service plans in collaboration with the individual and his/her JPHSA treatment/service team. The main objective of SAIL is to facilitate an individual’s access to outpatient psychiatric services, helping to improve engagement with needed services. The team also helps the individual to develop or improve Activities of Daily Living (ADL) skills.
- The Social Inclusion Program assists adults with developing leisure skills and improving their capacity for social relationships. Individual support is provided by a counselor who encourages, connects, and accompanies participants to places of interest and in engaging in pro-social activities. The counselor assists individuals in overcoming barriers to community participation, and provides coaching to improve social skills, coping skills, confidence, self-care, and independence.
- Vocational counseling is provided to adults with a primary diagnosis of mental illness currently receiving services with JeffCare or JPHSA. Services include work readiness, development of a Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP), education on the benefits of working, and benefits counseling to address concerns about how work affects Social Security Income. These services are offered in individual and group sessions. Participants are referred to Louisiana Rehabilitation Services (LRS) and must meet Selection Group 1 criteria in order to qualify for services.
Child and Adolescent Services
- Community Psychiatric Support and Treatment (CPST) is a goal-directed, face-to-face intervention with the individual present; however, family or significant others may also be involved. A minimum of 51% of CPST services must occur in community locations where the person lives, works, attends school and/or socializes.
- Identification of strategies and treatment options to develop skills needed to manage the individual’s mental illness and to minimize interruptions to daily living activities at school, work and in family and interpersonal relationships
- Assistance with developing effective responses to triggers that negatively impact an individual’s ability to function successfully in the community. CPST assists individuals in identifying potential psychiatric and personal crises and in developing a crisis management plans to help restore stability and functioning.
- Community support services offer outreach and wrap-around services for children and families. This program reaches out into the community where individuals live and work to better understand the experiences and hardships of the children and families served by JPHSA and its programs.
- Community support meetings feature experts who present topics of interest to parents of youth with special needs.
- Interagency Service Coordination (ISC) facilitates the collaboration of multiple child serving agencies in creating a comprehensive treatment approach for youth and families.
- The Flexible Family Fund and one-time financial assistance/cash subsidy assist families of children with severe mental health needs.
- Functional Family Therapy (FFT) is an evidence-based program for youth ages 10-18 and their families that addresses conduct disorder, substance abuse, and an array of family problems. Treatment involves three phases: engagement and motivation; behavior change; and, generalization. FFT is a “home-based model” with interventions ranging from 12-15 one-hour sessions in most cases, with the potential for up to 30 sessions for youth with more severe problems.
- Multi-Systemic Therapy (MST) is an intensive family and community-based intervention considered to be one of the most effective evidence-based models for youth today. The MST approach considers the network of connected systems encircling the individual and family (peers, school, and neighborhood). MST is strengths-based and remains focused on the most current issues faced by the family. It is recognized as a Model Program by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention as well as the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
- The First Episode Psychosis (FEP) Program recognizes that the majority of individuals with serious mental illness such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depression, experience the first signs of illness during adolescence or early adulthood. There are often long delays between symptom onset and the receipt of evidence-based interventions. Youth who are experiencing FEP are often frightened and confused, and struggle to understand what is happening to them. They also present unique challenges to family members, authority figures, and other concerned parties because of an impaired awareness of the illness; however, early intervention using evidence-based models can offer real hope for functional recovery and return to a trajectory of success in educational, vocational, and social endeavors. JPHSA’s FEP Program provides a certified Peer Support Specialist to engage youth and their families in a personal way through positive self-disclosure, role modeling, and general support to help understand the nature of the first episode of psychosis.
- The Louisiana Partnership for Success (PFS) is a substance abuse prevention program developed in 2014 by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The PFS Program at JPHSA strives to achieve quantifiable declines in substance abuse rates among youth living in Jefferson Parish. Environmental strategies are used to encourage decreased substance abuse rates among youth and to educate families about the dangers of substance use, specifically, underage drinking among individuals ages 12 -20 and prescription drug misuse and abuse among individuals ages 12-25.
Housing Resources and Programs
Housing Coordination Services
The JPHSA Housing Coordinator provides information, resources, linkages, and referrals to individuals experiencing homelessness or housing related crises. The Coordinator is available for telephone consultation and publishes a Community Resource Guide available at JPHSA, and through numerous local agencies and service providers. The Guide is also available online through JPHSA’s website (www.jphsa.org).
PATH Case Management
PATH (Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness) provides outreach and intensive case management services to individuals in Jefferson Parish who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, who have a mental illness or suspected mental illness, and who are not currently involved in mainstream behavioral health services. PATH case managers connect with homeless individuals on the street and in shelters and provide them with assistance in locating available housing. They also assist with obtaining basic necessities such as food, clothing, ID cards and other mainstream resources, and link eligible individuals with treatment services.
Pathways Independent Living Program
Pathways is a supervised, independent living program for individuals with a primary diagnosis of a severe and persistent mental illness who have significant functional impairments and need intensive support services to live independently. All residents must be receiving or willing to receive treatment for mental illness and/or a co-occurring addictive disorder. Pathways provides shared apartments, and residents are referred to community-based clinics and supports for treatment. Pathways also offers intensive support services to help individuals acquire independent living skills increasing their capacity to obtain permanent housing and maintain an independent living situation in the community. Pathways uses a scattered site apartment approach and serves a maximum of 10 individuals at any given time. No maximum length of stay is enforced.
Permanent Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities
The Supportive Housing Program (SHP) provides permanent housing and intensive supportive services for homeless individuals and families with at least one adult who has a severe mental illness and/or substance abuse disorder. Individuals and families are empowered to live as independently as possible in the community while receiving intensive case management, peer support, employment services, and rental assistance. The program goal is to promote residential stability, greater self-determination, and self-sufficiency.
Samaritan Project for Chronically Homeless Individuals
The Samaritan Project provides permanent supportive housing and supportive services to chronically homeless individuals with a disabling mental illness, chronic substance abuse disorder and/or physical disability. The individual must have been homeless for one year or had four episodes of homelessness within a three-year period to be eligible for the program. Participants must enter the program from the street, a shelter, transitional housing arrangement, or from a safe haven. Individuals are empowered to live as independently as possible in a permanent, community-based setting with intensive case management services, peer support, employment services, and rental assistance.
Shelter Plus Care
Shelter Plus Care provides permanent housing in connection with supportive services to homeless individuals with a chronic mental illness and/or substance use disorder. The program is HUD-funded and provides rental assistance for an affordable apartment of the individual’s choice. Rental assistance is accompanied by a range of supportive services provided by community-based providers. Individuals must agree to participate in these services to remain in the program. Households with income are required to contribute 30% of that income toward the rent. Participation in the Shelter Plus Care program is not time limited.
Other JPHSA Services
JPHSA is a Medicaid Enrollment Center. Staff interview individuals face-to-face and complete applications online.
Mobile Crisis Services (MCS)
MCS provides 24-hour telephone and face-to-face crisis response and intervention services for children, adolescents, and adults with mental illness, substance abuse and/or developmental disabilities. The Mobile Crisis Team has the capacity to respond to crises in a variety of settings (e.g. homes, schools) across Jefferson Parish, and can provide resources, assessment, intervention, brief in-home respite, and transportation to Health Centers when needed. The team works closely with JPHSA’s Health Centers, the Jefferson Parish Coroner’s Office, and Sheriff’s Office to avoid hospitalization whenever possible and to link individuals with appropriate community-based supports.
The Extra Mile
The Extra Mile (TEM) provides a range of ancillary services to support the individuals and families served by JPHSA. TEM provides advocacy, education, volunteer opportunities, and donated goods and clothing.