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University of South Florida · College of Behavioral & Community Sciences · Mental Health Law & Policy


Key Personnel:
Svetlana Yampolskaya, Ph.D.
Norin Dollard, Ph.D.
Annette Christy, Ph.D.

Evaluation of Florida's Behavioral Health Overlay Services 2009-10

Publication Date: 6/1/2010

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Behavioral Health Overlay Service (BHOS) were developed under the Medicaid Community Mental Health Services Program in the State of Florida to allow providers to address medically necessary mental health and substance abuse treatment needs of children who are placed in group shelters, residential group care settings, or low to moderate risk Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) commitment programs. BHOS providers have served children from DJJ since 1997 and children from the Department of Children and Families Office of Child Welfare and Community Based Care (DCF) since 2000. The array of covered services was designed to "overlay" contracted services such as room, board, supervision, and delinquency programming.

BHOS is widely used through Florida and accounts for a substantial proportion of Medicaid funds for children and youth served in the community. Given the high costs, program innovation, and the substantial number of children receiving BHOS, it is important to examine outcomes for youth who did not receive BHOS. Therefore, the goals of this study were to examine the effect of BHOS on youth outcomes and factors associated with (a) placement in SIPP, (b) Baker Act examinations, and (c) involvement with the juvenile justice system.