Benchmark Blog

Benchmark Human Services Collaborates with Amerigroup Georgia to Evaluate and Enhance Transitions for Children Leaving Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facilities in Georgia

Mar 02, 2022
Benchmark Blog

Benchmark Human Services (Benchmark) recently initiated a 12-month project with Amerigroup Georgia to enhance the transition for children served in Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facilities (PRTFs) in Georgia to community placements. Headquartered in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Benchmark serves children and adults with behavioral health needs, intellectual and developmental disabilities, autism spectrum disorder, and significant medical needs. Benchmark has been providing services since 1960 and over the last 15 years, has become a go-to partner for state and county governments, insurance companies and managed care organizations, and service providers throughout the country.

Led by Breanna Kelly, a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) and board-certified behavior analyst (BCBA), the project will include a comprehensive evaluation of the current system to assess existing PRTF transition practices, identify barriers to transition to community-based placement, prioritize PRTF and foster provider training needs, and examine the continuum of care and related community supports for children and adolescents in Georgia. Kelly also works as a BCBA for Benchmark’s autism program serving the metro-Atlanta area.

“This project is a culmination of all the things I am very passionate about,” said Kelly. “We have the opportunity to collaborate with community-level providers to discuss systematic barriers and opportunities for change that can potentially help children with complex needs. I am a believer that everyone can be supported, we just have to be creative and person-centered in our approach.”

As a demonstration project, the primary objective is to identify best practices to transition children from PRTFs to community settings and ensure they have the necessary supports to address their complex behavioral needs, stabilize in a long-term placement, and avoid hospitalization, re-institutionalization, or involvement of law enforcement.

“As a company committed to materially and measurably improving the lives of fellow Georgians, we are committed to innovative programming that can better support vulnerable populations, including children in foster care,” said Mel Lindsey, Amerigroup Georgia Medicaid Plan President. “Through this collaborative effort with Benchmark, we can help ensure effective, safe and streamlined care and transitions for those children leaving PRTFs who are most in need of our help and support.”

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