Children's Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)

Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) is a non residential program that offers a full day of outpatient mental health treatment for adolescents ages 8-14. The program provides clinical diagnostic assessment and treatment services on a level of intensity equal to an inpatient program, but on less than 24-hour basis. The program serves 16 children with a mental health diagnosis who are currently having difficulty maintaining successful behavior in a regular school setting, being disruptive in the community, and/or experiencing difficulty functioning within the family.

The program provides a level of care that enables stabilization of the child’s emotional and behavioral disturbance with a therapeutically supported diversion from inpatient care. The goal of the program is to restore a level of functioning that enables the child to successfully return to a regular school setting, re-enter the community and improve the family functioning.

Mental health concerns such as anger management, impulse control, social skills, self-esteem and decision-making are specifically targeted for improvement. Treatment efforts are individualized and focused on the child’s response during the treatment program hours, as well as the continuity and transfer of skills at home and in the community. Parent involvement is crucial to the process of reinforcing and maintaining the skills the child learns in the program. Therefore, a requirement for parents to attend family sessions with their child is necessary.

The program is located in the Horizons Building of Community Counseling Center at the Donahoe Center. The program operates 9AM – 3PM, including lunch. The structure of the program provides various group therapy and psycho-educational interventions for three hours each day as well as regular individual sessions and family sessions. The remainder of the day, the child receives academic instruction by a teacher and teacher’s aide provided by the Ashtabula County Educational Service Center as specified on the child’s Individual Education Plan (IEP). Accommodations can be made for those children who remain in their home school for a portion of the day and attend PHP programming the other part of the day.

Adolescents whose primary disturbance is conduct related, or substance abuse would not be considered appropriate for this level of care or will be considered on a case by case basis.

The Partial Hospitalization Program was introduced into the Conneaut Area City School District in September, 2005. PHP Specialists are performing services at Lakeshore Primary, Gateway Elementary and the Conneaut Middle School. The following year, the program was expanded to the Pymatuning Valley Local School District at the Primary School.  This allows the child to remain in the school environment and continue to receive treatment for behavior that may be hindering a child’s progress in academics. This also provides PHP Specialists available to the school personnel to consult on mental health concerns. Expansion of the program into all school districts county-wide will be explored.

Summer programming is available to serve an increased number of youth to maintain structure and consistency for the child’s continued mental health stability. This program focuses solely on mental health interventions that promote positive social skills, enhance coping skills and practice team building skills.

For further information, please contact Karen Fronczak LPCC-S, LSW, Program Director.