Children's Services

Doors to Wellbeing Peer Specialist Monthly Webinars – Building a Strong Mental Health Peer Specialist Workforce
Tuesday, March 27, 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

This webinar will discuss initiatives designed to train and provide employment opportunities for mental health peer specialists created by a peer-run program staffed by Certified Peer Specialists (CPS) who demonstrate/model recovery through education and their own lived experiences. This webinar will include an introduction to a successful internship program as well as examining the challenges and possible solutions for mental health peer specialist career development. It will also look at a unique initiative through FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) grants for mental health peer specialists.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Describe effective approaches to managing mental health peer specialists in the workforce;
  2. Identify the obstacles and challenges associated with mental health peer specialists in the workforce; and
  3. Examine two initiatives that have successfully placed approximately 20 CPS in 2015 & 2016.

Registration is free – but you must register to attend.

Dr. Renee Turchi was recognized today by her fellow pediatricians and the Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics as the Pennsylvania Pediatrician of the Year for 2017. Dr. Turchi serves as Medical Director of The Center for Children with Special Health Care Needs at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia and Director of the Pennsylvania Medical Home Initiative. For more than a decade, Dr. Turchi has collaborated with RCPA staff and members to advance collaborative and integrated mental health and pediatric care for children and adolescents. She has worked with RCPA staff, families, and other stakeholders in statewide efforts to improve the care and treatment of children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, children in foster and kinship care, and children with mental health conditions related to their complex health care needs in Pediatric Medical Homes across the state. RCPA is pleased to offer our congratulations to Dr. Turchi, a friend to RCPA, and champion for children with complex physical and mental health care needs!

The Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) is in the process of reviewing state regulations for inpatient levels of care. The services included in the review are: private psychiatric hospitals, psychiatric units in hospitals, extended acute care (EACs), residential treatment facilities for adults (RTF-As), and residential treatment facilities for youth under 21 (PRTF).

There is interest in involving individuals and stakeholders in the process. A variety of surveys have been developed in order to get input from individuals who may not have the opportunity to participate on statewide work groups and planning meetings. The surveys below are for the following groups:

Thank you in advance for circulating the surveys to the groups listed above. If you have any questions or concerns related to the surveys, please contact Sherry Peters.

Lynn Kovich, Deputy Secretary at OMHSAS, held a budget briefing webinar for stakeholders. Topics included state mental health facilities, Community/Hospital Integration Projects Program (CHIPPs) / Southeast Integration Projects Program (SIPPs) summary, regulations overview, 1115 Waiver, Community HealthChoices (CHC), and more. Please see the PowerPoint presentation for details; thank you.

The Children’s Division is interested in increasing the level of participation with Attachment Based Family Therapy (ABFT) training. ABFT is an evidence-based therapy with demonstrated positive outcomes for adolescent suicide prevention.

Drexel University (Suzanne Levy and Guy Diamond) has agreed to offer the DAY ONE prerequisite training via webinar on Wednesday, March 14. Day One is a mandatory training day for those who plan to practice the ABFT principles. After completing the Day One webinar event, you will be prepared to participate in the trainings offered on March 20 and March 21 (Day 2 and Day 3).

We received feedback that travel and lodging costs associated with the original Day One in-person event was an issue; therefore, we are fortunate to offer this webinar option to members and non-members. Please consider taking advantage of the opportunity. Please contact Robena Spangler with any questions.

Registration information is as follows: 

Day One Webinar Important Information – Please Review Before March 14

  1. Schedule
  2. Slide handouts for Day 1 presentation
  3. Book Flyer
  4. Therapist Certification Process
  5. Instructions for CEUs
  6. Instructions for logging onto Zoom

Thank you for your interest!

The Bureau of Autism Services (BAS) has announced that registration is now open for upcoming free statewide professional training opportunities; Comprehensive FBA Training, provided by the BAS Clinical Team. This training is provided for professionals who are responsible for conducting behavioral assessment and planning for individuals across the lifespan, in any system.

This free training will review the foundations of behavioral support with a focus on the process of Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA). Steps of the FBA process will be presented for the purpose of practical application. These steps include: data collection, data analysis, and data-based recommendations. Potential pitfalls and methods to control for these implications will also be shared.

For more information follow this link.

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.

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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!