DMH Receives Grant for ‘Crossover XPand’ Program

Young people at risk for involvement in the juvenile justice and child welfare systems are the focus of a grant the Department of Mental Health recently received that will allow expansion of the current System of Care (SOC) programs in two jurisdictions served by Pine Belt Mental Healthcare Resources and Weems Community Mental Health.

Current SOC programs, such as XPand and NFusion, are in place in community-based providers throughout Mississippi. Crossover XPand, as this new program will be known, will prioritize children and youth who are involved in the juvenile justice system and/or the child welfare/advocacy system. These children and youth will have a mental illness or behavioral health diagnosis, be between the ages of 3 and 21, reside in Forrest, Jones, Lauderdale, or Marion Counties, and be involved or at risk for involvement with child protection services or the juvenile justice system.

“One of the highlights of this proposal is to redesign service systems at the local level to identify and intercede at strategic intercept points within the systems of care,” said Jackie Chatmon, XPand and System of Care Project Director with the Department of Mental Health. “Targeted case managers will be integrated within primary care, child welfare and advocacy centers, the juvenile justice system, and schools. They will be able to provide universal screening and assessments, help people understand and navigate the service system, and provide trauma-informed care.”

The SOC principles and frameworks involve collaboration across agencies, families, and youth to improve access to and expand community-based services and supports that help children, youth, and families function better in their communities. Core values of a system of care philosophy specify that services and supports should be family-driven and youth-guided, community-based, culturally and linguistically competent, and evidence-informed.

The goals of Crossover XPand are to expand Mississippi’s System of Care by increasing awareness of and community commitment to the mental health issues of crossover youth – those young people involved in or at risk of involvement in the juvenile justice or child welfare systems.

As with other SOC programs, Crossover XPand will also expand youth and family roles as full and equal partners in their care and use quality improvement to continue to improve service delivery.

“Our hope is to create a paradigm shift by redesigning the service approach to incorporate the system of care philosophy and use wraparound principles,” Chatmon said. “These are coordinated, community-based, trauma-informed, comprehensive services that are youth-guided and family-driven.”