Children’s Behavioral Health Programs and Services

Children’s Behavioral Health Services (CBHS) facilitates the provision of services for the benefit of Maine children, youth, and families. While CBHS is not a direct-service provider, our mission is to oversee and provide access to a broad range of services for children up to their 21st birthday, and their families, including:

  • Mental Health
  • Intellectual Disability
  • Pervasive Developmental Disorders
  • Developmental Disability

Levels of Care

When exploring behavioral health treatment services for children and youth the goal is always to utilize the least restrictive treatment in the least restrictive setting possible.

Necessary level of care is determined by the intensity, frequency, and duration of mental and behavioral health symptoms and how they impact safety and daily functioning

  • All clinical treatment settings can and should work directly with caregivers to assist them in learning skills to understand and manage the youth behaviors.
  • The treatment setting is selected based on the intensity, frequency and duration of referral behaviors and how potentially dangerous the youth’s symptoms are in the moment.
  • The more restrictive treatment settings are the least natural settings and come with their own potential risks such as being far away from home and learning new behaviors from other youth.

Graphic showing levels of care

Before considering referrals to higher service intensity levels, consider the following:

  1. Caregiver involvement in treatment is essential to success. If caregivers have not been involved, please attempt to engage them in treatment before referring to a higher level of care.
  2. Can the current service provider increase their time with the youth and family during the time of extra need? (e.g., can outpatient see the family twice a week)
  3. If outpatient treatment is being utilized, ask the provider if they will do some sessions in the home. CBHS may be able to assist with barriers if outpatient providers travel to the family homes. 
  4. Have all prior treatment recommendations been attempted? If not, consider implementing the recommendations before looking to a higher level of service intensity.

MaineCare Services

MaineCare services are available to children who receive health care coverage from MaineCare or have the Katie Beckett Waiver. Eligibility for these services is determined by MaineCare rules.

Additional coverage for children who do not meet regular MaineCare eligibility requirements may be available. See our Apply for Health Coverage Assistance page for more information.

Referrals for all Children’s Behavioral Health Services can be made by parents, guardians, or any support person who has parent/guardian permission.

Targeted Case Management (TCM) and Behavioral Health Home Support (BHH)

Targeted Case Management (TCM)

Purpose: TCM helps families identify and link to appropriate resources and treatment services to meet the needs of their child.

Population Served: A child or youth aged 0 – 21 with MaineCare or Katie Beckett waiver and a mental health diagnosis, an intellectual disability, or a developmental disorder.

How to Access: A parent/guarding or support person who has guardian permission can make a referral for TCM services by calling an agency providing TCM services. Visit our Find a Provider page for more information about TCM providers in Maine.

Information Sheet: Information sheets are a helpful tool to ensure youth and parents/guardians are fully informed about behavioral health services.  Prior to referring a family for a particular children’s behavioral health service, please review the information sheet with the youth and family to ensure they are interested in the service.

Behavioral Health Home Support (BHH)

Purpose: Behavioral Health Homes are a partnership between a licensed community mental health provider (the Behavioral Health Home Organization or BHHO) and one or more Health Home practices to manage the physical and behavioral health needs of eligible adults and children. Behavioral Health Homes build on the existing care coordination and behavioral health expertise of community mental health providers.

Population Served: A child or youth aged 0–21 with MaineCare (or those under age 19 with MaineCare’s Katie Beckett waiver option)  who has a mental health diagnosis, autism, intellectual disability, or developmental disorder and has a need for more intensive coordination of their physical and mental health care.

How to Access: To find out if a youth is eligible for BHH services contact a BHH provider agency in your area. 

Information Sheet: Information sheets are a helpful tool to ensure youth and parents/guardians are fully informed about behavioral health services.  Prior to referring a family for a particular children’s behavioral health service, please review the information sheet with the youth and family to ensure they are interested in the service.

For more information about BHH visit the Office of MaineCare Services website

Crisis Services

Purpose: Crisis Services provides immediate response in person or over the phone to all Maine children, youth, and families who are experiencing a mental health in crisis, in order to keep everyone safe. Crisis services can provide up to 6 visits to the family after the initial crisis is over.

Population Served: Any Maine child or youth who is experiencing a mental health crisis, including dangerous behaviors or thinking.

How to Access: Contact the Maine Crisis Line at 1-888-568-1112 to access this service, available 24-hours a day, 7-days a week.

Information Sheet: Information sheets are a helpful tool to ensure youth and parents/guardians are fully informed about behavioral health services.  Prior to referring a family for a particular children’s behavioral health service, please review the information sheet with the youth and family to ensure they are interested in the service.

Emergency Department Data Reporting: The Emergency Department Data Reporting document is a downloadable, Excel form, that can be saved to the user’s computer and should utilize a unique identifier for each youth entered. The completed form should be emailed to CBHS.EDData@maine.gov by the 15th of each calendar month.

Should you have any questions please feel free to reach out to Ellie Larrabee at ellie.larrabee@maine.gov or Jessica Wood at jessica.wood@maine.gov

Outpatient Mental Health Treatment

Purpose: Outpatient Treatment services may include individual counseling and/or family therapy to address symptoms and promote emotional and behavioral stability and wellbeing for youth and families

Population Served: Outpatient services are for a child or youth up to the age of 21 who demonstrates a need for mental health assessment and treatment.

How to Access: Refer directly to an agency providing Outpatient Mental Health Treatment services. Visit our Find a Provider page for more information about Outpatient providers in Maine.

Information Sheet: Information sheets are a helpful tool to ensure youth and parents/guardians are fully informed about behavioral health services.  Prior to referring a family for a particular children’s behavioral health service, please review the information sheet with the youth and family to ensure they are interested in the service.

Medication Management

Purpose: Medication Management offers youth and families coordination and support with prescribing, administration, and/or monitoring of medications intended for treatment and management of behavioral and emotional health.

Population Served: Medication Management services are for children and youth up to the age of 21 who receive medication for behavioral or emotional health needs.

How to Access: Refer directly to an agency providing Medication Management services. Visit our Find a Provider page for more information about Medication Management providers in Maine.

Information Sheet: Information sheets are a helpful tool to ensure youth and parents/guardians are fully informed about behavioral health services.  Prior to referring a family for a particular children’s behavioral health service, please review the information sheet with the youth and family to ensure they are interested in the service.

Rehabilitative and Community Support (RCS)

Purpose: RCS is an in-home skill building service that helps youth and their families develop prosocial, safe behaviors and activities of daily living to support functioning in their home and community.

Population Served: A child or youth aged 0–21 with MaineCare or Katie Beckett waiver and Autism, cognitive impairments or developmental and intellectual disabilites who has a need for assistance in developing everday functioning skills. Youth and caregivers participate in treatment.

How to Access: To find out if your child is eligible for this service, submit a referral application to KEPRO. The application and application process can be found at www.qualitycareforme.com. It may be helpful to work with a Targeted Case Manager or other provider on this application process. Visit our Find a Provider page for more information about RCS providers in Maine.

Information Sheet: Information sheets are a helpful tool to ensure youth and parents/guardians are fully informed about behavioral health services.  Prior to referring a family for a particular children’s behavioral health service, please review the information sheet with the youth and family to ensure they are interested in the service.

Training: Visit our Training Page to view a web based training that focus on Rehabilitative and Community Support (RCS) services.  These trainings are available to youth, families, community members and providers.  Each training can improve awareness, understanding, and enhance knowledge on how to access behavioral health services available to youth in Maine.

Specialized, Rehabilitative and Community Support (Specialized RCS)

Purpose: Specialized RCS is an in-home skill building service that utilizes Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA), an evidence-based intervention, to help youth and families in areas of daily living and behavioral management to support functioning in the home and community.

Population Served: A child or youth aged 0–21 with MaineCare or Katie Beckett waiver and an Autism Spectrum Disorder or other clinically relevant diagnosis who has a need for assistance with significant impairments in communication, life skills, and self-regulation. This service requires that youth and their caregivers participate in treatment.

How to Access: To find out if your child is eligible for this service, submit a referral application to KEPRO. The application and application process can be found at www.qualitycareforme.com. It may be helpful to work with a Targeted Case Manager or other provider on this application. Visit our Find a Provider page for more information about Specialized RCS providers in Maine.

Information Sheet: Information sheets are a helpful tool to ensure youth and parents/guardians are fully informed about behavioral health services.  Prior to referring a family for a particular children’s behavioral health service, please review the information sheet with the youth and family to ensure they are interested in the service.

Training: Visit our Training Page to view a web based training that focus on Specialized, Rehabilitative and Community Support (RCS) services.  These trainings are available to youth, families, community members and providers.  Each training can improve awareness, understanding, and enhance knowledge on how to access behavioral health services available to youth in Maine.
Home and Community Treatment Services (HCT)

Purpose: HCT is an in-home clinical service that offers strategies to help the child/youth and family manage mental health symptoms that impact daily life. The goal of HCT is to improve functioning at home, in school, and in the community in order to prevent the need for more intensive levels of service, including hospitalization.

Population Served: A child or youth aged 0 – 21 with MaineCare or Katie Beckett waiver and a mental health diagnosis who has a need for intensive treatment beyond outpatient therapy. This service requires that youth and their caregivers participate in treatment

How to Access: To find out if your child is eligible for this service, submit a referral application to KEPRO. The application and application process can be found at www.qualitycareforme.com. It may be helpful to work with a Targeted Case Manager or other provider on this application process. Visit our Find a Provider page for more information about HCT providers in Maine.

Information Sheet: Information sheets are a helpful tool to ensure youth and parents/guardians are fully informed about behavioral health services.  Prior to referring a family for a particular children’s behavioral health service, please review the information sheet with the family and ask them to sign the youth/parent/guardian acknowledgement form.

Training: Visit our Training Page to view a web based training that focus on Home and Community Treatment (HCT) services.  These trainings are available to youth, families, community members and providers.  Each training can improve awareness, understanding, and enhance knowledge on how to access behavioral health services available to youth in Maine.
Functional Family Therapy (FFT)

Purpose: FFT is a short-term evidence-based model that works with the youth and family to improve family functioning, address youth’s high-risk behaviors and increase protective factors both within and outside the family. FFT works to decrease negativity and dysfunctional patterns of behavior.

Population Served Youth aged 11–18 with MaineCare or Katie Beckett waiver, a mental health diagnosis, and a need for treatment to help with challenging behaviors that could lead to serious consequences. Both youth and their caregivers participate in all treatment sessions.

How to Access: How to Access: Refer directly to an agency providing FFT services. Visit our Find a Provider page for more information about Medication Management providers in Maine.

Information Sheet: Information sheets are a helpful tool to ensure youth and parents/guardians are fully informed about behavioral health services.  Prior to referring a family for a particular children’s behavioral health service, please review the information sheet with the youth and family to ensure they are interested in the service.

Training: Visit our Training Page to view a web based training that focus on Functional Family Therapy (FFT) services.  These trainings are available to youth, families, community members and providers.  Each training can improve awareness, understanding, and enhance knowledge on how to access behavioral health services available to youth in Maine.

Multi Systemic Therapy (MST)

Purpose: MST is an evidence-based program that provides intensive family-based treatment to address serious disruptive behavior by focusing across the youth’s environment.

Population Served:. Youth aged 12 – 17 with MaineCare or Katie Beckett waiver, a mental health diagnosis, and a need for treatment to help with serious behaviors as mentioned above. Both youth and their caregivers participate in all treatment sessions

How to Access: Refer directly to an agency providing MST services. Visit our Find a Provider page for more information about Medication Management providers in Maine.

Information Sheet: Information sheets are a helpful tool to ensure youth and parents/guardians are fully informed about behavioral health services.  Prior to referring a family for a particular children’s behavioral health service, please review the information sheet with the youth and family to ensure they are interested in the service.

Multi Systemic Therapy Problem Sexual Behavior (MST-PSB)

Purpose: MST-PSB is a clinical adaptation of MST specifically designed and developed to treat youth (and their families) for problematic sexual behavior.

Population Served: Youth aged 10–17.5 with MaineCare or Katie Beckett waiver, a mental health diagnosis, and a need for treatment to help with sexual behaviors that are aggressive, forced, and may cause harm. Both youth and their caregivers participate in treatment all sessions. Caregivers and families also participate in treatment.

How to Access: Refer directly to an agency providing MST-PSB services. Visit our Find a Provider page for more information about Medication Management providers in Maine.

Information Sheet: Information sheets are a helpful tool to ensure youth and parents/guardians are fully informed about behavioral health services.  Prior to referring a family for a particular children’s behavioral health service, please review the information sheet with the youth and family to ensure they are interested in the service.

Assertive Community Treatment (ACT)

Purpose: ACT is an intensive 24/7 symptom management and supports in home, school, and community settings to prevent the need for hospitalization.

Population Served: Youth aged 0-21 with MaineCare or Katie Beckett waiver, a mental health diagnosis that has a need for intensive treatment to help with challenging behaviors that impact the youth’s ability to stay out of residential or in-patient settings. Both youth and their caregivers participate in treatment.

How to Access: Refer directly to an agency providing ACT services. Visit our Find a Provider page for more information about Medication Management providers in Maine.

Information Sheet: Information sheets are a helpful tool to ensure youth and parents/guardians are fully informed about behavioral health services.  Prior to referring a family for a particular children’s behavioral health service, please review the information sheet with the youth and family to ensure they are interested in the service.

Children's Residential Care Facility (CRCF) Services

Purpose: A short-term (3-6 months), out of home (24 hours a day, 7 days a week) intensive treatment for youth whose symptoms put them at high risk for psychiatric hospitalization and/or harming themselves or others. Behaviors may include frequent and harmful physical aggression (that causes injury or is likely to cause injury) toward self, others or property, chronic thoughts of and/or threats of suicide, or harmful sexual behavior with sexual behaviors that are aggressive, intrusive, coercive, and may cause harm.

Population Served: A child or youth aged 5–21 with MaineCare or Katie Beckett waiver and a mental health diagnosis and/or autism or a developmental disability who has a need for intensive treatment to address behaviors that cannot be treated safely in the home and community due to the frequency, intensity and duration of the symptoms. This service requires that caregivers participate in all aspects of treatment.

How to Access: To find out if your child is eligible for this service, submit a referral application to KEPRO. It may be helpful to work with a Targeted Case Manager or other provider on this application process. If you have a case manager or another provider they can help you apply for CRCF services through statewide referral process or you can find the application here

Information Sheet: Information sheets are a helpful tool to ensure youth and parents/guardians are fully informed about behavioral health services.  Prior to referring a family for a particular children’s behavioral health service, please review the information sheet with the family and ask them to sign the youth/parent/guardian acknowledgement form.

Training: Visit our Training Page to view a web based training that focus on Children's Residential Care Facility Services.  These trainings are available to youth, families, community members and providers.  Each training can improve awareness, understanding, and enhance knowledge on how to access behavioral health services available to youth in Maine.

Provider Guide:  This Provider Reference Guide is a tool that was created to assist Children’s Residential Care Facilities (CRCF’s) with the implementation of the Qualified Residential Treatment Program (QRTP) standards as outlined in the Federal Family First Prevention Services Act. This tool is designed to complement the specific MaineCare and Licensing rules governing the operation and service delivery of CRCF’s in relationship to these QRTP standards.

Other Services

The following services do not require MaineCare eligibility.

Additional coverage for children who do not meet regular MaineCare eligibility requirements are available. See our Apply for Health Coverage Assistance page for more information.