What's New at CBH

The Greater Williamsburg Child Assessment Center

9/19/2012 8:00:00 AM
Written By:
Leigh Carroll-Stump, GWCAC Coordinator

Are you looking for help for your child's behavioral health needs and do not know where to turn? You are not alone. In 2007, the Williamsburg Community Health Foundation (WCHF) convened a group of representatives from 17 community non-profit agencies to address that same question. After a series of community dialogs the WCHF created the Children's Behavioral Health Initiative (CBHI), whose mission is to strengthen behavioral health services for children, adolescents, and their families in the Greater Williamsburg region. What was determined from the dialogs is that there is a lack of awareness of available community resources, as well as a lack of communication and understanding of how to refer children and their families to the resources.

In partnership with the WCHF, Colonial Behavioral Health established the Greater Williamsburg Child Assessment Center (GWCAC) and the GWCAC Network of Care website (www.gwcacnoc.org) to serve as a single point of access to children's' behavioral health care needs.

Launched on September 23, 2009, the GWCAC Network of Care website hosts a service directory with over 470 community programs and services ranging from behavioral health needs, to medical, housing, financial and volunteer opportunities. The website also hosts a community calendar that posts all area AA, NA, MA, Alateen, NAMI and other support groups as well as child and family community events. In addition the website features a library of over 30,000 health related articles, medication listings, symptom checkers and much, much more.

The Greater Williamsburg Child Assessment Center opened its doors six months later on March 23, 2010 providing behavioral health assessment and referral services to children age 2-18 years old. Provider choice is given to families based on the child's identified treatment needs. In addition community supports are offered to the families ranging from food/clothing/housing to support and recreation groups. The goal of the GWCAC is to instill a sense of hope for families in meeting their child's and families individualized needs, whatever they may be. After two and half years of operation, the GWCAC has received over 1,300 calls for assessment and information and provided over 571 assessments.

Through community partnerships with local pediatricians, school systems, departments of social services and other community agencies, the GWCAC has provided a valuable service in linking children and their families with appropriate community behavioral health services and supports. If you or someone you know could benefit from these services, please call us at (757) 253-4047.

Leigh Carroll-Stump has over 15 years' experience working in community mental health and was hired as the GWCAC Coordinator in October 2008 to oversee the development and implementation of the GWCAC and the GWCAC Network of Care Website on behalf of the CBHI. Over the past 3.5 years, Leigh has been fortunate to see the community come together to form the CBHI Advisory Group; and come to a collective understanding of the need for developing a system of care in which a greater awareness of available services and an increase in communication and collaboration amongst partnering agencies is achieved to best serve the children and families of our communities.

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