Treatment and Rehabilitation for Youth with Substance Use Problems
14. Support Services: Type and Integration
14.1 Required Support Services: Key Expert Perspectives
There was general consensus among key experts that successful youth treatment is holistic, eclectic and comprises of a range of associated services. Key experts were asked to identify the most critical adjunctive services:
- specialized mental health services and connections with clinical therapists and child psychiatrists;
- health services (to address general physical health issues);
- education services (full range of educational services and support from school support to home study or tutoring);
- housing support services to provide safe and secure housing for street-involved youth;
- recreational services to support skill building;
- services directly applicable to First Nations and Inuit youth to teach and address language issues, and to facilitate culturally supportive practices and linkages (e.g. spiritual and traditional practices);
- employment and apprenticeship training.
14.2 Optimal Integration of Services: Key Expert Perspectives
Key experts identified several ways of integrating these critical support services. The most frequently recommended option for integrating services is a case management model bringing major players together using a coordinated approach centred on individual youth needs.
We need multidisciplinary teams (the people in the youth's life) - teachers, probation officers - must meet together with youth to address problems and look for solutions.
Have one person - a primary person organize the key players.
Other recommendations for the integration of services were:
- the development of comprehensive services by the agency providing treatment;
- the use of existing systems (e.g. school) as "gateways" to accessing other resources (e.g. recreational services);
- integration of specific services and resources into the program (e.g. school and recreational services). These services could be managed by other agencies but would be under the umbrella of the treatment program.
Specific literature describing best practices related to the identification and integration of adjunctive services for youth treatment was not available.