Protocol for Children with Co-Occurring Disorders

Over the last several years, the Divisions of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities have examined the challenges and complexity of meeting the needs of children and adolescents with co-occurring developmental disabilities and emotional and/or substance abuse disorders. Because of the complexity of the issues related to co-occurring disorders, rarely can one system meet the need. In order to address this issue and improve the services for children and families across the spectrum, the Divisions developed a protocol, or a process, to help providers struggling with how to provide the most complete services for children and adolescents who fall into this category.

The protocol seeks to address several goals, including the following:

  • To assure that children/youth with co-occurring disorders receive the most complete service delivery available;
  • To assist families in accessing services from any DMH division as easily as possible;
  • To assure smooth transition between Divisions as the needs of a child/youth change; and
  • To assist the child/youth and their family with transition from child to adult services