FCS Receives Innovation Fund Grant for Early Recognition Screening Program

Family Counseling Services has been awarded a $75,940 grant from the Care Compass Network Innovation Fund to provide transitional support for the Early Recognition Screening Program that annually screens the social and emotional health of nearly 1,000 Cortland County youth and connects families to community resources and services in order to promote success in school and in the community.  Historically, nearly 10% of the youth screened have presented with positive screenings and were referred for further evaluation and/or treatment.

Recognizing the importance of early recognition and treatment, Family Counseling Services works directly with local school districts and Head Start and indirectly with community partners to screen the social and emotional health of youth in the county.

“I am thrilled that CCN will partner with us to ensure that we can continue to provide this important service.  Early detection of the potential for depression or other mental health issues allows for early treatment,” said FCS Chief Executive Officer Lisa Hoeschele.

School-based screenings are offered to all grade levels within the first months of every school year. FCS clinical staff review the screening forms and contact parents if a possible concern is indicated on their child’s screening form. Parents decide what is right for their child and whether or not to seek further services. If interested, families are connected to community resources and services and can often be referred directly to FCS’s school-based mental health clinics for services.

In past years, the Early Recognition Screening Program was supported by a grant from the New York State Office of Mental Health. Innovation funds will be used to transition the Early Recognition Screening Program to an alternative funding model in alignment with New York State’s Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) Program.