The primary objective of the school program is to create a safe, warm, inclusive environment in which to assess each secondary-level students’ academic, adaptive, and social-emotional functioning. Youth attend the program five days a week for assessment, assignments, social activities, and social development. An individual program is designed for each student through consultation with the community school. Program staff are a vital part of regular multi-disciplinary team meetings and maintain ongoing communication with families and the community school team throughout each youth’s admission.
Youth are admitted following a referral by a community agency or physician or may be transferred from the Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Emergency Unit. Following a youth’s admission to the Adolescent Unit, program teachers meet with youth and families to discuss school program objectives. With consent, program staff obtain school records and engage in conversations with the youth’s school team regarding the youth’s current school functioning and best ways to support the youth during and following admission.
Discharge Process and Transition Planning
When youth are preparing to leave the program, families, program teachers, and members of the school team, mental health team, and BCCH multi-disciplinary team meet to develop transition plans. Many youth return to their previous school placements; others are referred to specialized programs or placements in their home districts. Adolescent Psychiatry Program teachers work together with the multi-disciplinary team to prepare formal reports that summarize assessment findings, youths’ learning preferences and coping strategies, and recommendations for ongoing support in the school context. Teachers also facilitate transition scheduling and gradual re-entry, including supported school visits.