Children’s Mental Health Initiative (CMHI)

A partnership to help youth with intensive mental health challenges and their families.

Meant to be an alternative to traditional CHINS 6 filings, the Children’s Mental Health Initiative is a new opportunity for families to access services through a unique partnership between the Department of Child Services (DCS) and the Division of Mental Health and Addiction (DMHA).

This program is designed to provide a high fidelity wraparound approach to individual service planning which combines formal supports that the youth needs with the natural supports he or she has in the community. A Wraparound Facilitator helps create a child and family team to include teachers, counselors, pastors, neighbors, friends, family and other people involved with the family. Through the child and family team process, an individualized, community-based service plan will be developed; it will include a safety plan to make sure the family has steps to take when there is an emergency.

The State of Indiana has agreements with community Access Sites around the state. The Access Site serves as a clearinghouse to determine eligibility for this program, as well as a variety of other intensive mental health services.

What is an Access Site?
The local Access Site is considered the single point of communication for youth, families or providers that are in need of information related to intensive, community-based wraparound services. They are the contact for families and other referral sources seeking intensive community-based treatment services.

The local Access Site determines eligibility for services through the CMHI and the 1915i (coming in 2014).
They report referral and outcomes data back to the Division of Mental Health and Addictions (DMHA) on a quarterly basis.

Who is our Access Site?
In most communities, the local community mental health center is the DMHA approved Access Site. The community is served by the local System of Care (SOC), which is comprised of a variety of providers, agencies, families and youth.

Our community is served by a regional SOC that includes Gibson, Posey, Vanderburgh and Warrick counties. It is entitled “Families and Communities Embracing Successes” (FACES).


The community Access Site as approved by the SOC for our region is Southwestern Behavioral Healthcare, Inc.

Who can refer a child to the Access Site?
  • parents
  • service providers
  • schools
  • community members
  • health care providers
  • prosecutors
  • public defenders
  • judges
  • Department of Child Services (DCS)
  • anyone
How do we access these new children's mental health services?
Beginning November 1, 2103, referrals should be called into the Access Site at 812.436.4279. Callers should leave their name, the child’s name, phone number and address. Calls will be returned within two working days.

Information is then gathered to screen for eligibility. If additional clinical information is needed to determine eligibility, an assessment will be scheduled within five days. Those who meet eligibility criteria for services will access the recommended services through a DCS contract. Those who do not meet the criteria will be referred for other services.

Who is eligible?
  • a child/adolescent ages 6 through 17
  • youth experiencing significant emotional and/or functional impairments that impact their level of functioning at home or in the community
  • youth not eligible for BDDS services
  • youth not eligible for Medicaid
  • youth with no open case with DCS or Juvenile Probation

CMHI Criteria

Services Available
Services are determined based on the individual needs of each youth and family. Services may include:

  • Medicaid Rehabilitation Option (MRO) Services
    • Case Management
    • Skills Training
  • Clinic-Based Services
    • Family Therapy
    • Group Therapy
    • Individual Therapy
  • Intensive Community-Based Services
    • Family Support and Training
    • Habilitation
    • High Fidelity Wraparound Facilitation
    • Respite *

* Overnight respite must be provided by a DCS-licensed provider.

What happens when the family doesn't want to engage in services?
The services provided are voluntary. However, the following considerations should be noted:

  1. Does the family need services in order to maintain the safety of the child or other children?
  2. Does the family insist the child needs to be removed when the assessment indicates the child can be maintained at home with services, and the family is unwilling to accept the offered services?

If so, DCS will complete an assessment to determine if there should be an open DCS case to obtain the intervention of the court to require the family to engage in the services that are in the best interest of the child.

Additional Information/Resources
Click any of the links below for additional information.

To make a referral, call 812.436.4279 and leave your name, the child’s name,  phone number and address.