In 1994, Pillars Community Health launched a program to provide additional support to children and adolescents living with mental illness. Called Respite at the time, and today known as Community Support-Individual (CS-I), the program helps young clients practice their skills and work toward their therapeutic goals while out in the community. The program is driven by Individual Support Providers (ISPs) who take the children and teens to various places and activities in the community and find ways to address issues that have arisen in therapy.
Pillars Community Health launched a CS-I program for adults in 2016. Services are available in English and Spanish. The length of time with the program and the number of hours per week are based on individual clinical needs.
Child and Adolescent Services
In the child and adolescent CS-I program, ISPs work one on one with children and adolescents to help them make progress toward their therapeutic goals. This might include improving social or interpersonal skills; improving anger management skills; improving behavior; learning to use community resources; and/or building self-esteem among other things. ISPs are typically matched up with clients based on shared interests, experience level, availability, and location.
CS-I is a community-based service so the ISPs take their clients on outings in real-life settings (for instance going to the YMCA, the park district, the zoo, a local park, the library, the mall) where they can work on their goals in the moment. The ISP acts as a role model for appropriate behavior and provides an environment where the client can feel comfortable learning and interacting while in the community.
Each ISP is assigned to a client based on shared interests, location, and experience, and most spend about 6-10 hours with the child each week (the schedule is flexible based on the availability of the both the ISP and the family). The therapist and ISP work together as a team to help the child reach their goals. Parents and other family members are strongly encouraged to get involved with treatment. For children and adolescents, parents should be present or at least aware of when sessions will begin and end, and should cooperate and communicate with the ISP to create a strong partnership. Any child or adolescent who is currently receiving therapy with Pillars Community Health and is Medicaid or FSP (Family Support Program) funded (or funded by another source that supports CS-I) is eligible for this program.
The adult CS-I program assists clients in achieving rehabilitative, resiliency, and recovery goals. An adult CS-I client may receive assistance with self-management (such as organization skills); skill building (such as daily living tasks); identification of community supports; and the use of community resources (like public transportation, the YMCA, or the library). Adult CS-I sessions are typically 2-4 hours and can be held in community-based settings or in the client’s home.
Any adult who is Medicaid funded (or funded by another source that supports CS-I) is eligible for the CS-I program.
In FY2017, a total of 58 ISPs helped 87 clients in the program.
Pillars Community Health is regularly seeking new community members to fill open ISP positions.