Family-Based Mental Health Services

Families frequently possess the strengths and abilities to cope with life’s challenges. However, when difficulties occur, families may sometimes require assistance from others or outside services. Diakon’s Family-Based Mental Health Services program provides counseling services to individuals and their families, with services primarily occurring in the home, although they can be extended to the school or community setting.

The goal of the program is to provide families with the skills and resources necessary to prevent their child or adolescent, who is experiencing significant emotional problems, from requiring out-of-home placement. The program’s approach is to empower families while treating them with dignity, respect, and encouragement.


Children and adolescents eligible for the Family-Based Mental Health Services program must meet certain criteria, including …

  • Be under the age of 21
  • Have a psychological diagnosis relating to a serious emotional disturbance
  • Be at risk for out-of-home placement—the result of severe behaviors—that could warrant psychiatric hospitalization, residential treatment, or foster care
  • Have one family member agree to treatment
  • Have an evaluation recommending Family-Based Mental Health Services. This evaluation can be completed by a psychologist or psychiatrist with Diakon Family Life Services, another provider, or a physician.

This process will be completed after the doctor or agency sends the evaluation and the recommendation for Family-Based Services to the managed care organization, or MCO, overseeing the client's care. If MCO staff approves the recommendation for family-based treatment for the child and family, the managed care organization will provide appropriate information to the family-based provider agency chosen by the caregiver; that program will then contact the caregiver to arrange the first appointment in the home.


Family-Based Mental Health Services are intensive, in-home services lasting approximately 32 weeks, with families receiving both individual and family therapy in their home. A team of mental health professionals provides multiple weekly contacts.

Throughout the course of treatment, the team assists families in such areas as …

  • Individual and family therapy
  • Case-management services
  • Advocacy
  • 24-hour crisis management
  • Treatment team meetings
  • Family support services
  • Support with community activities
  • Transition planning prior to discharge.

Individualized plans will be created for families based on their strengths, abilities, and needs.

For more information on this program, please e-mail Suzanne Dell in our Mechanicsburg office or telephone her at (717) 503-1520. To establish an appointment for an evaluator to recommend Family-Based Mental Health treatment services, please email Gloria Cudicio-Haydena, also located in our Mechanicsburg outpatient office, or contact her by telephone at (717) 795-0330.


Diakon Family Life Services - Capital Region
960 Century Drive, Mechanicsburg, PA 17055
Phone: (717) 795-0330 | Toll-free: 1-866-700-6868 | Fax: (717) 795-0407

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