The Illinois Office of Mental Health in 1988 wanted to create an alternative to hospitalization for children and adolescents, with serious emotional disturbances. The SASS program was developed to treat children in the least restrictive environment, to avoid the child being placed in the hospital if possible, or shorten the number of days the child is in the hospital.
The Screening, Assessment and Support Services (SASS) program is designed to serve children and adolescents who are wards of the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) and Division of Mental Health clients (DMH) who are thought to be in need of psychiatric hospitalization and/or intense counseling and case management services.
It is an emergency service capable of providing crisis intervention as well as pre-admission screening to assure appropriateness for inpatient psychiatric hospitalization. The SASS program serves Crawford, Edwards, Richland and Wayne counties.
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