Family-Based Mental Health Services

Family-Based Mental Health Services

We believe that children thrive in their own homes.

Our Family Based Mental Health Services (FBMHS) are designed to prevent hospitalization or out-of-home placement of children and adolescents with severe mental illness or emotional problems. We also help reunite families whose child has been placed outside of the home.

We see families as partners and resources in treatment. Intensive therapy and support can help. All children in the family with health needs are eligible.

  • FBMHS team members deliver treatment to the family in their home, school or community
  • Our goal is to transition the child to a local mental health provider

Families are referred by county agencies, managed care organizations, schools, physicians, psychiatrists, juvenile probation, residential care facilities and hospitals.


  • Therapy – Individual, family and group therapy can help families improve communication, coping and parenting skills.
  • Crisis Management – 24/7 crisis support for enrolled families
  • Case Management – Support services are available to all family members, including referrals to community agencies.
  • Family Support Services – A combination of formal counseling, recreational therapy and basic needs. The support is determined by the family and must fit their treatment plan.

What is the Cost? 

Clients must have a mental health diagnosis. Catholic Charities will bill Medical Assistance or the family’s medical insurance carrier for covered services.

Who is Eligible?

Children and adolescents (ages 3-18) with a mental health diagnosis who are at risk for being placed outside the home because of mental health or behavioral problems are candidates for FBMHS. At least one parent must be willing to actively participate in the program.

Families in need of services should contact the nearest office for help with the referral process.


Jennie was sexually abused by her step father for several years when she was younger. She was in and out of several psychiatric hospitals with self-harm behaviors and emotional withdrawal symptoms. Jennie also was struggling at school.
Jennie’s mother felt tremendous guilt for having put her daughter in that situation and she had her own mental health treatment.
Family Based Therapists were unsure if either Jennie or her mother had the ability to live together successfully. The Family Based team helped the family learn how to talk and be there for each other again in a different way. The family learned to be reliant on each other for emotional support and how to be more tolerant of the distress that they each had.
Mom slowly learned to tolerate her daughter’s distress. Each gained more confidence in each other. Jennie is back at her home school and being successful, and is even starting to participate in community activities as a volunteer.

- J. Doe
Council on Accrediation Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organizations United Way

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