The cornerstone to delivering Intensive Behavioral Health Services (IBHS) to all children, youth and young adults is an individualized treatment plan designed to meet the needs of the child or adolescent. Using a Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA) to determine the treatment approach and ultimately develop a treatment plan is currently the standard of care for treating children, youth and young adults with behavioral health needs compounded by developmental disorders, such as autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disorders, who present with challenging behaviors.
Effective January 1, 2009, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) requires that Functional Behavioral Assessments (FBAs) conducted by credentialed (certified) IBHS clinicians will be available for children, youth and young adults with behavioral health needs compounded by developmental disorders in both the fee-for-service delivery system and in HealthChoices.
In order to qualify for credentialing, a clinician must complete FBA training and demonstrate competence in conducting the FBA or complete one of the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) credential programs offered by a university.
An FBA should be conducted as early in the treatment planning process as possible, at the beginning of service delivery or before the current authorization period expires if there is significant change in behavior, or deterioration in behavior that may indicate the need for a different level of care. The interventions and hours of ongoing treatment recommended from the FBA form the basis for developing the ongoing treatment plan and in formulating a crisis intervention plan.
Please refer to OMHSAS Bulletin number OMHSAS-09-01 issued January 9, 2009 and effective January 1, 2009 for information. Title “Guidance for Conducting Functional Behavioral Assessments in the Development of Treatment Plans for Services Delivered to Children with Behavioral Health Needs Compounded by Developmental Disorders.”