The Middlesex County Educational Services Commission (MCESC) developed and implemented the first aftercare service in Middlesex County, N.J., for mentally ill youth completing treatment for substance abuse.
MCESC provides special services for the county's high-need, high-risk, and "dually-diagnosed" children. These children have co-existing mental illness and substance abuse problems that cannot be successfully managed by the special education faculty and counseling staffs in the county's 24 school districts.
Project staff designed the program and obtained the necessary approvals for expansion of MCESC's services to aftercare treatment.
The program, called the Adolescent Intensive Outpatient Program (AIOP), was administered by the Carrier Foundation (Carrier) under the sponsorship and direction of the MCESC.
Children attended the program after the school day. It was designed to be completed in about six months by most students. It featured:
- Individual, group, and family sessions.
- 12-step self-help group sessions.
- Group sessions among parents.
When the grant closed, 164 adolescents had been referred to the program, 132 had received treatment, and 58 had completed the program.