For Immediate Release
May 1, 2019
Chief of Communications
Deputy Chief of Communications
Transformation Update: New Treatment Plan Process Kicks Off,
Substance Abuse Beds Now Available
New leadership team overseeing changes, procurements in Division of Youth Services
(LITTLE ROCK, Ark.) – Starting today, youth committed to the Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS) Division of Youth Services (DYS) and their families will participate in a new approach to developing personalized treatment plans. These plans will be tailored to youths’ individual needs, with a focus on behavioral health, and will include an option for youth to get treatment in a group home specializing in substance misuse.
“Today marks a turning point for us because we are making good on our promise to create a more robust and personal treatment plan process for youth,” said DYS Director Michael Crump. “There’s still a lot of work to do, but these changes will provide a solid foundation for the work that comes next.”
Previously, youth who were committed to DYS custody met with a case coordinator, the after-care provider, and a probation officer to develop treatment plans with the youth’s family on the phone. Now, a team made up of an education specialist, a nurse, a behavioral health clinician, an independent living specialist, and a behavior modification specialist will meet with the youth and his or her family. During that meeting the team will review all assessments completed on a youth, and together they will develop a treatment plan specific to that youth.
If the youth’s only need is for substance abuse treatment, the Division now has a contract with Quapaw House, Inc., to provide eight substance abuse treatment beds in a group-home setting. Youth can go directly from assessment to this program. DYS also will create an all-girls residential facility at the Harrisburg Juvenile Treatment Center by the end of May so more personalized services can be offered to that population.
These changes are part of a larger and ongoing effort announced late last year by DHS and the Governor to improve the juvenile justice system so that it better serves youth and their families.
As part of those efforts, the Division is undergoing a complete restructuring that places heightened focus on developing individualized treatment and services, holding contractors accountable, and ensuring judges have strong service options for diversion and aftercare treatment.
Under the new structure, Registered Nurse Cheryl Grappe is serving as the assistant director of treatment. She oversees admissions, treatment, and case management. Kara Benca will serve as assistant director over service delivery, compliance, and quality assurance; and Marq Golden will serve as the assistant director over diversion. The restructuring to create Benca’s and Golden’s units is ongoing and should be completed in the next three months. As part of the restructuring, all job duties within the Division are changing.
In addition to the restructuring, the Division has been actively working on several new procurements for services. These include:
- Special one-year contracts for community-based services for youth with existing community-based providers with an effective date of July 1. These contracts will serve as a bridge contract until the agency can complete a review of community-based needs and issue a new request for proposals. Under the bridge contracts, all community-based providers would receive an increase in funding. These contracts still must be reviewed by the state Legislature.
- An invitation to bid to provide medical services for all DYS residential facilities closes May 3, with an anticipated contract start date of July 1.
- Work on a procurement for residential sex offender treatment, residential substance abuse treatment, and therapeutic group homes is ongoing.