A Team Effort: How TFCC’s Intensive In-Home Behavioral Health Program Supports Families in Tillamook County

When children are facing extreme emotional and behavioral challenges, Tillamook Family Counseling Center’s Intensive In-Home Behavioral Health Treatment (IIBHT) program provides vital support. Led by program manager Kaylan Smith, this innovative team delivers comprehensive care within the home and community. The IIBHT program in Tillamook County is a relatively new addition with its first client joining the program in April, 2023. Although in its early stages, it has already proven to be a vital lifeline for young individuals facing severe mental health challenges.

Program Overview

IIBHT is designed as a highly intensive outpatient program tailored to youth aged 0-20 who are grappling with multiple mental health diagnoses, severe suicidal thoughts, or at risk for going into residential treatment or transitioning out. The program can accommodate up to six children at a time. The multi-disciplinary team includes therapist Einar Hughes, skills trainer Chris McClure, family partner Shannon Pullen, and program manager Kaylan Smith.

Referrals to the IIBHT program can come from anyone within the community, as long as specific requirements are met including medical coverage with the Oregon Heath Plan. Children typically spend 3-6 months in the program learning valuable skills to manage behaviors interfering with daily life and inhibiting healing.  Once these skills are ingrained and can be used consistently, the clients transition to outpatient therapy, where deeper-rooted issues may be addressed.

A Glimpse into the IIBHT Process

When a family is accepted into the IIBHT program, the initial intake process involves assessments, a comprehensive overview of the program, and the development of a detailed safety plan for the client. Though it can feel overwhelming at first for families used to weekly or bi-weekly counseling sessions, they soon find a rhythm and experience dramatic improvements.

IIBHT brings a team into the family’s daily life, offering a structured schedule for home and community visits. All families have access to the team during normal business hours. For nights and weekends, a dedicated crisis team steps in, ensuring that families have support around the clock. The crisis team and IIBHT team work closely together to support families 24 hours a day. With consistent boundaries that extend beyond the home, youth learn to regulate emotions and behaviors that allow them to succeed at home, in school, and in the greater community.

Community Partnerships

The IIBHT program plays a crucial role in enhancing the overall well-being and mental health of the Tillamook community. Instead of waiting weeks for assessments and support, IIBHT’s dedicated team steps in to offer immediate assistance and aims to stabilize children to help them return to school, make friends, and engage in typical childhood experiences. It also fosters positive community relationships. For example, the partnership between IIBHT and the YMCA provides families in the program with free memberships, encouraging them to participate in new and healthy activities.

As the program continues to grow and evolve, the primary goal is to adapt IIBHT to best serve the unique needs of Tillamook County. Kaylan emphasizes the importance of aligning the program with the community’s resources and dynamic that runs efficiently. The Tillamook community, including schools and other partners, has warmly embraced IIBHT. As the program expands, it aims to work cohesively with community resources to provide the most effective support for children.

Meet IIBHT’s Program Manager

Kaylan has been deeply involved in the field of child and family therapy for over a decade beginning in graduate school where she had an internship at a children and families outpatient clinic. Kaylan’s passion for working with children has always been evident, and she has seen first-hand the challenges these young individuals face.

When the IIBHT program was introduced in Tillamook County, Kaylan was drawn to its intensity and the opportunity to focus on a small caseload with a team approach. “All of these things I have always felt are so important for mental health to be successful. It can feel like you are on your own island in your journey with mental health, but the team is what is needed and IIBHT provides that service,” Kaylan said. She envisions the program making a lasting impact on children’s lives, addressing their immediate and long-term needs.

The IIBHT program is dedicated to providing comprehensive, intensive, and compassionate support to children in Tillamook County facing complex mental health challenges. As IIBHT continues to grow, its profound impact on the community will continue to become increasingly evident. “Though challenging at times,” Kaylan shared, “the dedication of the team, family and community partners make the program successful.” By intervening early and intensively, IIBHT equips youth and families with skills and resources to carry them into a brighter future.

Testimonials from IIBHT Clients

“IIBHT to any one who wants to get help , they will fight the fight with you, they will go to bat for you, they save lives whether they actually know this or not they are a great asset to the small county of Tillamook and I wish there was more of them out there to help.”

“This is not outpatient care, it is a group of individuals (a team) with a key focus on your family, working together with a hope and determination to learn, recover, and heal.  We are not out of woods by any stretch, but in just this short period of time within my involvement with my family’s IIBHT, there is clear evidence that others truly care and that we are not alone!”

“This team has helped my family to see that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  I believe that with the support of an amazing team like the IIBHT program, a family can recover and continue to become successful within their respectful communities.”

Learn more: https://www.oregon.gov/oha/hsd/bh-child-family/pages/iibht.aspx