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Welcome to the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disabilities Services

Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services

Student Assistance Program (SAP) Services

  • All youth are eligible to participate
  • The Student Assistance Program (SAP) is a mandated K-12 program, as stated in the public school code
  • An SAP team is made up of school and agency staff who are available to assist parents in accessing school and community services for your child
  • SAP teams do not diagnose or treat
  • In Pennsylvania, every school district is required to have a plan for identifying and assisting students who experience barriers to learning
  • Prevention and Screening Referrals provided for BH and Substance Abuse
  • Require consent from legal guardian
  • All schools are assigned a specific SAP provider based upon School District Learning Network
  • DBHIDS contracts with four agencies ( CORA, Einstein, Northwest Human Services, and Shalom Inc.), with a total of 11 SAP assessors available for the entire city
  • SAP assessment services are available within all Philadelphia public schools, including some charter, private and parochial schools
  • During the past year, over 1000 students received SAP services

The SAP Process

  • A teacher or other school personnel referral initiates the SAP process, ( the child can also self-refer)
  • Parent is notified and consent is obtained
  • SAP Assessor meets with parents and student
  • Behavioral health assessment (mental health & drug/ alcohol) is completed with the student.
  • Recommendations are shared with parents and SAP team, if consent is given by student.
  • The Assessor works with parents to make linkages to the appropriate services in the community.

Does your child exhibit any of these behaviors?

  • Withdrawing from family and friends/ activities
  • Changing friends
  • Unexplained physical injuries
  • Feeling sad
  • Talks about suicide
  • Defies authority, both at home and school
  • Acts aggressively
  • Hitting
  • Lying
  • Needs money without explanation
  • Declining grades
  • Experimenting with drugs/ alcohol