Information for Parents/Caregivers
SASS CARES for KIDS Crisis Mental Health Services
This program serves children experiencing a mental health crisis. Service is available by calling the CARES line.
What is CARES?
CARES stands for Crisis and Referral Entry Services
CARES is a service that handles mental health crisis calls for children and youth in Illinois.
When Should I Call CARES?
You should call CARES when a child is at risk to himself or others, and any time you or others think a child is having a mental health crisis.
What Is The Purpose of CARES?
CARES links parents, caregivers or callers to a special screening, assessment and support program known as SASS. CARES will ask questions about the child's behavior. Then CARES will either send the local SASS to see you and your child or refer you to mental health or other services.
What Is SASS?
SASS stands for Screening, Assessment and Support Services.
SASS provides intensive mental health services for children and youth who may need hospitalization for mental health care.
Who Can Get SASS Services?
Any child or youth in a mental health crisis who may need public funding may receive SASS services. If you are unsure if your child can receive SASS services, please call:
Who Provides SASS In My Area?
An agency that provides mental health services in your community is your SASS agency. Agency staff are mental health professionals trained to serve children and youth. You should call CARES if you think a child needs SASS services.
What Can I Expect From SASS?
- A SASS crisis worker will come to talk with you and your child.
- The crisis worker will help you make the best plan for your child and family.
- SASS will work with you and your child for at least 90 days.
- If your child goes into the hospital, SASS will join the hospital team to care for your child.
- SASS will help the hospital team plan for your child's return home and will provide services when your child is at home.
- If your child does not go into the hospital, SASS will provide mental health services and supports to help your child stay at home.
How Will I Be Involved In My Child's Care?
You play a major role in making a plan for your child's treatment. SASS will work closely with you to learn how you see your child's problems and your child's strengths.
What If I Have Questions?
It is important that you understand what is happening to your child. If you have questions you should ask:
- Your SASS worker
- A member of your Hospital Team
- Your Family Resource Developer
What Is A Family Resource Developer?
Each SASS agency has a Family Resource Developer (FRD). They are parents, caregivers or guardians who have gone through a crisis with their own child. The FRD can answer some of your questions and help you get the care your child needs.
If I Am A Young Adult and Hospitalized, What Will Happen When I Am Discharged From The Hospital?
SASS will work with you and the team at the hospital on your treatment plan. SASS will also work with you and the adult mental health provider in your community to help make a plan for your return home.
How Will I Know My Rights?
- The hospital will have patient rights posted in intake and emergency rooms. Upon admission, the hospital will give you a copy of your rights.
- The SASS agency will inform you of your rights and provide a copy of your rights.
- Your rights are outlined in The Illinois Department of Human Services Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Code and the Confidentiality Act.
Is My Information Confidential?
Information you share with CARES or SASS will be kept private and used only for your treatment and to assure quality in the services you get.