Children's Services

The Alliance of Community Service Providers has opened online registration for their 16th Annual Conference for Direct Support Professionals (DSP). The event will be held Friday, April 20, 2018, from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm at the Philadelphia Hilton on City Avenue. The conference is open to all direct support professional staff who provide services to individuals with intellectual disabilities, behavioral health needs, and/or substance use disorders.

Several workshops are scheduled throughout the day focusing on adult mental health, children and families, addictions, intellectual disabilities, advocacy, and professional development. For more information and to register, use this link.

New two-part guidelines have been published online by the American Academy of Pediatrics in Pediatrics. The guidelines were developed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Canadian Pediatric Society, and psychiatric associations from both countries.

Guidelines for Adolescent Depression in Primary Care: Practice Preparation, Identification, Assessment, and Initial Management

Guidelines for Adolescent Depression in Primary Care Treatment and Ongoing Management

Updated guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of depression in adolescents now endorse universal yearly screening from 12 years of age onward. The new guidelines suggest that for a teenager presenting with a mild depression, physicians should consider a period of “active support and monitoring” before initiating evidence-based treatment with medication and psychotherapy. Only if symptoms persist should treatment be initiated. Rachel Zuckerbrot, MD, lead author of the Guidelines for Adolescent Depression in Primary Care, notes that “We know that more than 50% of cases of adolescent depression do not get identified, and even fewer get treated. Since pediatricians and primary care providers are at the front line, seeing these kids either for a well visit, school physicals, camp physicals, sports physicals, or just for common illnesses, they are in a really good position to identify depression as well as manage and treat it.”

Conference Information

  • Theme: Coming Together: Creating a Culture of CommUNITY
  • Date: Friday, April 6, 2018*, 8:30 am – 4:00 pm
  • Location: Ramada Inn, 1450 South Atherton Street, State College, PA, 16801
  • Click here for conference information


  • $79 for current PaPSC members
  • $99 for non-members

To Register:

*On Thursday, April 5, conference participants are invited to attend an informational and networking event from 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm in the Gallery Room of the Ramada Inn conference center. Learn more about PaPSC, receive information about the move of Certified Peer Specialist (CPS) credentialing to the Pennsylvania Certification Board (PCB), and meet other CPS’s from throughout the Commonwealth!

NatCon18 – National Council for Behavioral Health’s Annual Conference

Connect with the people and organizations that are driving the future of health care with innovations and revolutionary ideas. NatCon18 celebrates the diversity of our community as we’re reminded of the aspirations that unite us. And RCPA members receive $225 off with code 18MemberPA.

Experience the insight of unequalled speakers. NatCon brings you the most thought-provoking speakers to enlighten, inspire, and challenge you.

Meet the innovators of today and tomorrow at the Solutions Pavilion. Overflowing with more than 350 organizations, get the solutions you need to tackle today’s challenges.

Dig deep into the issues you care most about. Hear from innovators in practice improvement, finance, technology, public policy, integrated care, marketing, and workforce development.

Earn continuing education credits. Fulfill your licensing requirements at the same time you enrich yourself or your staff.

It’s all at NatCon18, the National Council Conference.

Register today and use code 18MemberPA for $225 off registration, until 11:59 pm EST on Monday, February 12!

The 20th Children’s Interagency Conference will bring together Pennsylvania’s Child and Adolescent Service System Program (CASSP) and System of Care (SOC) partners providing behavioral health. The conference will provide an excellent opportunity for providers, county administrators, youth, family members, practitioners, and educators to learn about changing trends, promising and best practices, resources and various system of care activities across Pennsylvania.
The conference will also add a national perspective on a variety of issues including government, family peer, early childhood, youth leadership, and school-based mental health.

The 2018 RCPA conference will take place October 2–4 (please note new dates) at the Hershey Lodge. A premier statewide event, the Conference Committee is seeking workshop proposals for possible inclusion. This event offers diverse educational opportunities and submissions are needed in every area; a complete listing of focus tracks is available on the online proposal form. Presentations are encouraged that assist providers to develop and maintain quality, stable, and effective treatments, services, and agencies in an industry where change is constant. The committee looks for presentations which:

  • Highlight new policy, research, and treatment initiatives such as the CCBHC model and Centers of Excellence, to name a few;
  • Provide specific skills and information related to individual and organizational leadership development and enhancement;
  • Address system changes that affect business practices such as Community HealthChoices and integrated and co-located care; and
  • Offer concrete skills and tools to operate more efficient and effective agencies, allowing organizations to strive, survive, and thrive.

Workshop ideas beginning to percolate for 2018 include pharmacogenomics; technology as a human resource option; executive leadership; integrated care strategies for implementation and reimbursement; XYZ rate setting; social capital; ethics; sexuality and sexual abuse issues in the intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) service area; trauma informed care across service types; emergency planning for community violence; acquisitions/mergers and consolidations; value-based purchasing; abuse and protection in the aging population; emerging leaders. The committee welcomes any proposal that addresses these and other topics essential to the rehabilitation, brain injury, mental health, addiction, aging, children’s, and developmental disability communities. Members are encouraged to consider submitting proposals and to forward this opportunity to those who are exceptionally good speakers and have state-of-the-art information to share.

The Call for Proposals and accompanying guidelines outline requirements for submissions. The deadline for submissions is Friday, March 16 at 5:00 pm. Confirmation of receipt will be sent. Proposals submitted after the deadline will not be considered.

Proposals selected stand out by inclusion of solid learning objectives, information that a participant can use to enhance professional skills or methods, and being geared to a diverse and advanced audience. If the proposal is accepted, individuals must be prepared to present on any day of the conference. Workshops are 90 or 180 minutes in length. At the time of acceptance, presenters will be required to confirm the ability to submit workshop handouts electronically four weeks prior to the conference. Anyone unable to meet this expectation should not submit proposals for consideration.

Individuals are welcome to submit multiple proposals. Notification of inclusion will be made by May 15. Questions may be directed to Sarah Eyster, Conference Coordinator.

The Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) has prepared and distributed a plan for regulatory revisions to be made over the next several years. While there are many regulations currently under review, this plan identifies the next round of revisions. In addition, OMHSAS will work with the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) as indicated while revising the regulations. For more information, please contact OMHSAS directly.