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Newsroom DCF Creates Mobile Crisis Response Service for Kansas Families

Agency awards contract to Beacon Health Options

Topeka – Kansas Department for Children and Families Secretary Laura Howard today announced the agency has awarded a contract for family crisis response and support services to Beacon Health Options.

“Signing this contact is an important step toward a responsive family and child wellbeing system,” Howard said. “This mobile crisis response service allows DCF to better serve families and caregivers who have children experiencing emotional crisis or other behavioral health symptoms including substance use disorder.”

“Beacon Health Options is pleased to be selected by the Department for Children and Families to implement a state-wide Family Crisis Response and Support crisis line,” said Susan Coakley, interim president, Beacon Health Options. “Our goal is to work closely with the department to ensure Kansas children and young adults have access to a comprehensive crisis system that anticipates needs and provides recovery-focused interventions in all phases of the crisis continuum. Through this collaboration we anticipate greater success at deescalating and mitigating crises before more restrictive or institutional interventions become necessary and to ensure connection to needed supports and services.”

Services provided under the contract include:

            • A centralized behavioral health crisis helpline
            • 24 hour a day, seven day a week screening and mobile response stabilization services to                           connect clients to community-based services no matter where the crisis is occurring

“This crisis response model gives DCF the capability to provide any child or youth in Kansas who are experiencing a behavioral or psychiatric emergency with rapid community-based mobile crisis intervention services regardless of health care insurance or status,” Howard added.

Young adults between the ages of 18 to 21 who were formerly in the foster care system also are eligible for the services.

With this contract DCF hopes to support families during an emotional crisis before more restrictive or institutional interventions are necessary. Additionally, the agency wants to ensure families are connected to community-based supports and services and prevent unnecessary hospitalization or other out-of-home placements for children and youth.

Beacon Health Options currently contracts with the Kansas Department of Aging and Disability Services for management of substance use disorder, problem gambling, and DUI funds and they administer the State Opioid Response Funds. Beacon has experience in other states with crisis intervention service and mobile response administration.

DCF will work collaboratively with Beacon during the next 6 months to establish contracts with providers with the expectation services will be available to families in the fall of 2021.
This is a 3-year contract with an annual cost of approximately $2.7 million.