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Community Assessment and Response to Expedite Services

The Easterseals UCP Community Assessment and Response to Expedite Services (CARES) was formed to reduce barriers for children and families experiencing frequent crisis events and to help create an innovate, effective and supportive intervention. Experienced staff link youth and families quickly to clinically appropriate services following a crisis by offering community-based after-hours assessments and referrals to services. 

After having successful outcomes during a pilot program in 2017 with access to care, engagement in community services and positive client outcomes Easterseals UCP expanded the program and created a new partnership with Alliance’s School Based Care Coordination (SBCC) team in November 2018. These children often have a high level of needs as well as the priority to match them with Comprehensive Clinical Assessment and services.

The SBCC and CARES teams continue to work collaboratively to help address barriers and help link families to services. This unique team approach provides seamless continuity of care to support families in accessing the appropriate level of care with a focus on a whole centered care approach. This key partnership connects the family with Easterseals UCP, WCPSS and SBCC to improve services, address safe schools and the School Based Mental Health strategic planning while creating positive outcomes in our communities. The CARES program is a prestigious 2019 i2i Innovation Award Winner from the Center for Integrative Health.


CARES project has demonstrated positive outcomes in the first year through (1) increased show rates for the assessment, 96% show rate, (2) increased access to care with 86% of assessments scheduled within 72 hours and average of 1.11 days scheduled and 1.46 days CCA completed, (3) decrease the time in between assessment and linking with services with the average time for enhanced services in 7.5 calendar days and (4) 100% of the participants successfully engaged in enhanced services and 70% engagement with basic outpatient services, (5) No youth referred had a hospitalization within 90 days of initiation of enhanced services, and  (6) For youth engaged in enhanced services, 87.5% remained stable in the home throughout treatment and did not have any episodes of hospitalization. Additionally, the partnership with the SBCC team has increased the number of youth being linked with a service provider within 45 days from 39% in 2017-2018 to 74% in 2018-2019.

Community Impact

“I met an angel that day and can’t thank you enough. I didn’t know how I was going to get through it. I don’t know how you were able get youth to buy in and we were able to figure it out and it was the best outcome given the circumstances.” –Parent of 16-year-old that connected to CARES during a stressful event.


Easterseals UCP is proud to be a recipient of the 2019 i2i Innovation Award for Quality Commitment!
Presented by the Center for Integrative Health

Get in touch with CARES
Marcie Boyes, Intake Coordinator

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