Delaware Guidance Services - Intensive Outpatient Treatment Program

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Intensive Outpatient Treatment Program
Intensive Outpatient Treatment Program Fully funded by the Division of Prevention and Behavioral Health Services,
the Intensive Outpatient Treatment Program (IOP) is a state-wide community-based program for children and their families.

Geared toward higher risk children, this program provides intensive therapy outside
of the office setting. Therapeutic teams meet with children in their homes, schools, community centers, places of worship, and occasionally in our office.

Primary goals of IOP are to enable kids and family members to find new, meaningful and appropriate social supports and develop additional resources within their own network of relationships, thus reducing or ending the need for mental health services. Toward this end, outpatient therapists are involved toward the conclusion of treatment as a safety net.

Meetings take many forms:
  • We work with families toward goals that are meaningful to them.
  • We develop relationships with kids so that they can let us know what they need and how to help them.
  • We teach children and families how to tell stories and make up rituals that help them stay in touch with their family history and culture.
  • We have conversations with family members to help them discover strengths within themselves and their families.
  • We arrange family/team meetings with our psychiatrist to make sure a child's medication is helping and that parents are in agreement with its use.
  • We go with parents to their children's school to have family meetings with teachers to improve family-school communication and develop solutions to school problems.
  • We involve kids, siblings, and other family members in enjoyable activities to strengthen family bonds.
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All families admitted to IOP come referred by the Division of Prevention and Behavioral Health Services treatment teams. Most frequently they refer families in either of two situations:  1) families have youngsters coming out of more intensive programs such as hospitals, residential treatment centers, or 2) families have children or adolescents who are in danger of needing such services and more routine outpatient services have not been enough to bring about the needed change.
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