SASS: The people behind it

You come to trust that if there is an emergency you can rely on your local fire department, police department, and hospitals to be there when you need them. The Screening Assessment and Support Services (SASS) program is who you reach out to when a child is experiencing a mental health crisis and may be in need of hospitalization for mental health care. A group of highly trained crisis workers are available any time of day and night, year round, to respond to where the child is experiencing the mental health crisis.

This work is not easy by any means. Every case is unique and requires SASS workers to handle the challenges in a professional and supportive manner. In addition to linking the child to services at the time of crisis, the child is assigned a therapist or case manager to complete follow up care. Coordination with the child’s family, hospitals, school, and other mental health providers is done in order to stabilize the child in the community.

To be able to do this work takes a special kind of person who is not only hard working but passionate about helping children and families during their time of crisis. These qualities are representative of the workers in the SASS program here at Family Service Association of the Greater Elgin Area. SASS is a program with many moving parts and elements that all work together. From the first Crisis Worker who assessed the child, to the Case Manger linking them to follow up care, to the Family Resource Developer who helps them obtain resources and support, to the therapist that provides ongoing stabilization services, to the Individual Care Grant Coordinator who works with families needing higher levels of care, to the supervisors providing case consultation. These are all essential to the success of the program.

The workers of SASS have built the reputation of being able meet the mental health needs of children in the counties we serve. Day in and day out they go to homes, hospitals, schools, and other locations ready to take on the challenge ahead of them. They don’t wear special uniforms or superhero capes so you wouldn’t recognize them if you saw them. If you had the opportunity to work with them as a youth, parent, or other professional you would know they don’t need special garments to make you feel comfortable and in good hands. These are the everyday heroes you would want on your side.

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