Introducing Intensive Behavioral Health Services (IBHS)

Beginning in January 2021, the mental health support commonly known as wraparound or BHRS (Behavioral Health Rehabilitation Services) was replaced across Pennsylvania by a new program called Intensive Behavioral Health Services (IBHS). Through IBHS, the Watson Institute and other IBHS providers are able to make mental and behavioral health supports for children and their families who need them more easily accessible. 

IBHS is often recommended for children or adolescents who need a higher level of care or those with significant developmental and behavioral issues. Children who have not benefitted from outpatient individual psychotherapy or counseling, or group therapy in an office setting may also be referred for IBHs.

What is the difference between IBHS and BHRS?

There are two main components of the new behavioral health support program that differentiate IBHS from its predecessor, wraparound services (BHRS).

  1. Traditionally, at the Watson Institute, we only treated children with Autism Spectrum Disorder through IBHS. However, we’re now able to offer services to children with a broader scope of diagnoses, including: Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), or behavior disorders such as Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD). A greater number of children will now be eligible to receive the critical IBHS support they need in the community, at home, and in their school setting, enabling providers to support a greater number of families.
  2. A psychological evaluation performed strictly by a psychologist or psychiatrist is not required for IBHS as it was for BHRS. In order to qualify for IBHS, any professional with a qualifying license, such as a licensed clinical social worker, mental health therapist, physician/pediatrician, or certified registered nurse practitioner can provide your child with a written order to receive IBHS. Broadening the requirements for certifying officials enables families to gain access to IBHS in a timely manner.

One other minor difference between BHRS and IBHS are the titles of the staff providing support to the individuals in the program. Therapeutic Staff Support (TSS) are now Behavioral Health Technicians (BHT) and a Behavioral Support Consultant (BSC) is now a Behavior Consultant (BC). Their roles and responsibilities in supporting individuals through IBHS are unchanged, they simply updated their titles.

How can IBHS help my child?

If you’re wondering whether Intensive Behavioral Health Services (IBHS) could be beneficial for your child, consider if they are exhibiting any common behaviors that could signify that support is needed:

  • Inattention
  • Impulsivity
  • Inability to focus or stop fidgeting
  • Lack of patience, inability to wait
  • Difficulty interacting with peers or making friends
  • Difficulty handling frustration

If you think Intensive Behavioral Health Services could be beneficial for your child, learn more about the IBHS program and contact us today!