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Child Crisis Hospital Team

“Maria” was just 15 years old when she was referred to the Child Crisis Hospital Team (CCHT) as a result of an attempted suicide. At age 11, Maria was removed from her home by Child Protective Services and placed in foster care. By 15, she was involved in the drug culture and had a history of repeated suicide attempts.

When CCHT met Maria, she was living with her mother again, but she was extremely guarded and withdrawn. After a few weeks of interaction and trust-building, Maria began to open up and engage with the staff, who began working with Maria to develop her coping and communication skills. She also learned how to identify the cues which typically led her to engage in dangerous and self-destructive behaviors. Maria’s improved communication skills allowed her to open up to her family. CCHT worked with the entire family to help them rebuild healthy relationships.  One month after completion of crisis services, Maria’s mother called to report how happy she was with the services she received. She reported, “The CCHT staff was very attentive to my daughter’s needs, and I would recommend this service to other families in crisis.”

Since July of 2012, the Child Crisis Hospital Team has been providing help to children and their families who are experiencing acute emotional distress brought on by environmental, psychological or chemical factors. The Child Crisis Hospital Team provides a necessary behavioral health first response that fills the gap during the transition from hospitalization to long-term care and therapy. Think of us as Behavioral Health E.M.T.'s.

Crisis Management

The Child Crisis Hospital Team steps in as an ancillary service to assess children 17 and under who are in crisis and may be a danger to themselves or others, yet do not meet the criteria for mental health inpatient hospitalization. We provide a plan of action for crisis stabilization which may include behavioral education, skill building, treatment plan development and some counseling where needed.

Our Goal: Decrease Hospitalizations

It is quite common to see children cycle in and out of hospitalization simply because they or their family do not have the necessary tools to properly deal with a crisis situation. In an effort to help minimize the number of hospitalizations a child may experience, CCHT works closely with the child and the family or guardian to provide the services needed to maintain stability and ensure that ongoing services are in place. Services include:

Intake and Assessment
Behavioral Support
Risk Assessment
Parenting Assistance
Treatment Planning
Crisis and Safety Planning
Coordination of Care
Discharge Planning

Our skilled team members handle acute behavioral health issues including bipolar/mania, ADHD and ADD. They provide in-home visits during the crisis episode to perform brief, solution-focused therapy and to assist with developing a strategy that transitions the child back home and into continued therapy.

Qualifications for Program

• Child is 17 or younger
• Child is active with AHCCCS
• Child is NOT currently residing in a DES run group home

Referrals need to be completed and done so by a hospital staff member and/or ongoing treatment team member in efforts to identify the present crisis and needed assistance.


Daniel J. Bernhardt, MS, LPC
Daniel is the Director of the Child Crisis Hospital Program of JFCS. Daniel is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Arizona and provides both clinical and administrative oversight of this program. Daniel supervises both licensed clinicians and non-licensed youth and family specialists whom provide clinical services within this program. Daniel is extensively networking and marketing in efforts to expand services and create new partners. Daniel has more than 12 years of mental health experience.

Currently, the CCHT has 5 Licensed Clinicians and 7 Youth and Family Specialists.

If you are need of additional information about the program and related services you can contact the program
directly at 602-353-0718.


Click here to enroll in AHCCCS


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