Statewide Initiatives > School Based Behavioral Health Services

School Based Behavioral Health (SBBH)

The Children’s Bureau has been working with the Department of Education in working to ensuring that schools are caring and supportive places that maximize learning as well as social, emotional, and behavioral development. SBBH will bring together schools, county mental health programs, and community resources to develop a continuum of services that enable children to have their educational and mental health needs met within their school districts. The Children’s Bureau is moving forward in several areas of the state to support school-based mental health initiatives.

The State Leadership Team of Pennsylvania School-Wide Positive Behavior Support initiative now has its own web site: papbs.org. The Pennsylvania Positive Behavioral Support Network web site is one component in fulfilling the mission to “support schools and their family and community partners to create and sustain comprehensive, school-based behavioral health support systems in order to promote the academic, social and emotional well-being of all Pennsylvania’s students.” 

Pennsylvania Positive Behavior Support Network Newsletter

Student Assistance Program (SAP)
The Student Assistance Program (SAP) is a collaborative effort between the Pennsylvania Departments of Education, Health and Welfare that is comprised of school personnel and behavioral health professionals. The primary goal of the program is to address barriers to learning and to enhance student success. SAP is operating in all 501 school districts throughout the Commonwealth.

School-Wide Positive Behavior Support: A Plan for Pennsylvania
The Education Law Center recently released a report on School-Wide Positive Behavior Support, which is a research-based, highly effective, approach to creating, teaching, and reinforcing students’ social, emotional, and academic learning skills that improves and sustains academic achievement and mental and emotional wellbeing of all students. Other states that have implemented PBS have reduced disciplinary referrals, increased students’ academic achievement, and improved school climate and safety. Pennsylvania has already started to implement PBS through a small pilot project. A workgroup of the OMHSAS Children's Advisory Committee is developing a white paper on positive behavior support that will recommend its implementation in all 501 school districts in Pennsylvania.

National Technical Assistance Center on Positive Behavior and Intervention Supports
Funded by the Office of Special Education Programs in the US Department of Education, the National Technical Assistance Center on Positive Behavior and Intervention Supports was established to address the behavioral and discipline systems needed for successful learning and social development of students. The Center provides capacity-building information and technical support about behavioral systems to assist states.

SharedWork.org
Pennsylvania participates in the National Community of Practice on Collaborative School Behavioral Health, just one of the emphases of the SharedWork.org web site. This site is "designed to support and facilitate the shared work that occurs among individuals, organizations and agencies at the local, district, state, and national levels." In addition to the Community of Practice on School Behavioral Health, where Pennsylvania is one of 12 states participating, the SharedWork.org web site also includes a Community of Practice on Transition where Pennsylvania is one of 13 states. Each community of practice contains sections on What’s New (upcoming meetings, news, and announcements), Repository (important files and documents for use by the community), and Discussion (ongoing communications and sharing among all the practice groups and stakeholders). To access the information on the various Communities of Practice on the web site, you will need to create a user account with a password.

Reducing Behavioral Problems in the Elementary School Classroom, published by the US Department of Education
Designed for elementary school educators and school- and district-level administrators, Reducing Behavioral Problems in the Elementary School Classroom, offers prevention, implementation, and schoolwide strategies that can be used to reduce problematic behavior that interferes with the ability of students to attend to and engage fully in instructional activities. The guide provides five concrete recommendations for promoting positive student behavior in elementary schools. A project of the US Department of Education, the WWC is a central and trusted source of scientific evidence for what works in education. The WWC develops and implements standards for reviewing education research, assesses the rigor of research evidence on the effectiveness of interventions (programs, products, practices, and policies), and produces user-friendly practice guides for educators.

School Re-Entry for Children with Traumatic Brain Injury
More than 4,000 children in Pennsylvania have traumatic brain injuries each year that require hospitalization. Many children are left with difficulties in physical, cognitive, or behavioral functioning. The BrainSTEPS program was created in 2007 by the Brain Injury Association of Pennsylvania, as part of a contract with the Department of Health, to inform and support those who provide educational services to children with traumatic brain injury.