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Partial Hospital Guidance to School Districts
January 24, 2008

The Department of Public Welfare (DPW) released the bulletin Guidance for Interagency Planning for Children in Need of Behavioral Health Rehabilitation Services or Partial Hospitalization Services During the School Day earlier this month. The bulletin provides guidance to child and adolescent partial hospital programs and Behavioral Health Rehabilitative Service (BHRS) providers about the need for collaboration between mental health services and local education agencies. The bulletin is available on the PCPA web site.

Guidance to Schools Regarding PHP Services
On December 19,2007, Diane Castelbuono, deputy secretary, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, sent a letter to all school district superintendents with guidance regarding their role in providing educational services to students being treated in partial hospitals and in collaborating with the mental health provider agency. This letter represents a significant milestone in the relationship between the state’s education and behavioral health leadership as well as community education and behavioral health agencies. A copy of Deputy Secretary Castelbuono’s letter is attached a. Highlights of the letter to the superintendents include such guidance as:

  • “In all situations, it is the responsibility of the student’s resident school district to provide or ensure the provision of education services to a child who is placed in a partial hospital program (PHP).”
  • “….children placed in PHP may not receive homebound instruction for a period in excess of thirty days.”
  • “The PHP provider will work with the school district to develop an education plan that will include the educational goals for the student while they are enrolled with the PHP as well as a transition plan that will ensure successful reintegration to their traditional school facility.”

Deputy Secretary Castelbuono encourages superintendents to “initiate contact with PHP providers if they have not contacted you.” PCPA encourages members that provide PHP services or other services that support the success of students to contact their local school superintendents and advance this effort to promote communication and collaboration.

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