STEP Update: Expanding Services for LGBTQI Communities and with NARCAN Training

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A few months ago, we featured our Supportive Transition Empowerment Program (STEP), a program of our Family & Children Services of Silicon Valley division, on this blog. STEP provides addiction and recovery treatment services for adults in recovery while they are incarcerated and as they transition back into the community following release. Clients receive continuing care on their recovery journeys.

Since that introduction, the team has been working hard and expanding their reach, especially in support of LGBTQI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex) communities.

The program has been providing well-received group services to individuals who are LGBTQI and housed in the men’s dorm at the Elmwood Correctional Facility. Given the success of the men’s program, the team is now exploring opportunities to start groups on the woman’s side at the Elmwood facility and to expand to the Main Jail.

Recently, representatives from the program visited New Haven Inn, an LGBTQ+ friendly temporary housing facility in San Jose. New Haven Inn is the only exclusive LGBTQ+ shelter in San Jose and the STEP team looks forward to working with New Haven Inn to direct clients to their specialized and culturally competent services, as well as to provide services directly to New Haven Inn’s population.

In addition to the expansion of important services specifically for LBGTQI communities, STEP will soon begin partnering with in-custody doctors at the Main Jail to provide training for Naloxone (NARCAN) distribution after a client’s release. Naxolone is a medication designed to reverse opioid overdose; proper use also requires careful monitoring after application. Training will instruct clients on how to administer NARCAN and will distribute the medication for the trained clients to have on hand in the event of an emergency in the community. This is an exciting move forward in the battle against opioid overdose.

The team is also expanding from a staffing perspective. A volunteer from the LGBTQI community will partner with the STEP group facilitator to provide support groups at New Haven Inn. The team also has welcomed two new Transition Counselors.

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Finally, STEP Manager Joseph Iacocca, LAADC/CADC-II, reported that the team was delighted to receive and screen 43 referrals last month. Six referrals were placed in treatment, 10 were placed in recovery residences, and the others are currently working with their Transition Counselors as they prepare to integrate back into the community.

We appreciate the dedication of the STEP team as they serve their clients and our community!


Santa Clara Region Substance Use Programs Career Fair this Month

Our Family & Children Services of Silicon Valley division just announced two career fairs for our Substance Abuse Programs in Santa Clara County.

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We are looking for substance use clinicians and professionals with CCAPP credentials to join our team.

Please join us!

Wednesday, March 20 or Friday, March 29
2202 N. 1st Street, San Jose, CA 95131
3:00 - 6:00 PM

Expect to:

  • Meet hiring managers

  • Find job opportunities

  • Interview on the spot

  • Learn more about our Substance Use programs

Please bring updated copies of your resume.

Available opportunities include Substance Use Clinician and Case Manager, Substance Use Services

RSVP or contact us with questions at jobs@caminar.org
Visit our website at www.caminar.org/careers
Download our event flyer here.

Meet Our STEP Team

From left to right: Tiffany Cordero (Admin), Joe Iacocca (Program Manager), Amy Brinks (QA), Robert Thomas (Clinician), Jessica Ruddle (Clinician), Eric Covotta (Clinician), Karen Reed (Clinician), and Lori Freitas (Clinical Lead).

From left to right: Tiffany Cordero (Admin), Joe Iacocca (Program Manager), Amy Brinks (QA), Robert Thomas (Clinician), Jessica Ruddle (Clinician), Eric Covotta (Clinician), Karen Reed (Clinician), and Lori Freitas (Clinical Lead).

Our Supportive Transition Empowerment Program (STEP), a program of our Family & Children Services of Silicon Valley (FCS) division, serves individuals in the Santa Clara County criminal justice system.

The STEP team provides addiction and recovery treatment services for adults who are incarcerated and in need of continuing care on their recovery journeys.

The team collaborates with clients, families, and systems to prepare for each client’s reentry into the community and then continues treatment upon release. This innovative and seamless coordination of care seeks to prevent relapse, promote well-being, and provide needed supports during the critical transition period following release. Some clients have been incarcerated for some years; the team helps to alleviate the disorientation and isolation clients can experience when adjusting to life outside.

The program has grown and expanded since it began two years ago, and now also offers culturally competent services for adults who are LGBTQI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex) at the Elmwood Correctional Facility.

Clients participating in the STEP program access four service components:

  1. Assessments: The assessment component identifies a client’s individual needs and strengths. The counselor uses the information from the assessment to develop a transition plan, identify resources to which to connect clients post-release, and place the client in outpatient treatment and a recovery residence. Ongoing assessments are conducted to monitor a client’s motivation for treatment and evolving treatment needs.

  2. In-custody psychoeducation: Our in-custody treatment team provides psychoeducational groups, process groups, and referrals with a transition plan.

  3. Treatment: Our transition team meets with the client two weeks prior to release to help arrange for post-custody treatment, medication, transportation, and housing.

  4. Post-release: Our team links clients to treatment and recovery residences and assists clients in navigating the reentry process.

Sasha Contreras, our clinician who provides outpatient treatment to the LGBTQI population as they are transitioned from in-custody to the community, and Roxanne Stone, who facilitates groups in the Main Jail and Elmwood.

Sasha Contreras, our clinician who provides outpatient treatment to the LGBTQI population as they are transitioned from in-custody to the community, and Roxanne Stone, who facilitates groups in the Main Jail and Elmwood.

In addition, the team has resources to provide each client with a gift card for a hot meal, new clothes from the clothes closet, bus tokens for transportation to appointments, and other items that make transitioning from custody to the community more manageable.

STEP Manager Joseph Iacocca, LAADC/CADC-II, and the team are focused on continually increasing the quality of care provided to clients, while also increasing support from the community to help clients stabilize as they are released from custody.

Over the past six months, STEP has placed an average of 14 clients each month in treatment programs and 17 clients in recovery residences. The program is expected to grow, increasing the number of clients they serve and helping them transition back into the community from incarceration.

You can find the STEP team at 2202 North First Street in San Jose. To learn more, please contact Joseph directly at jiacocca @ fcservices.org.


Highlights from the 4th Annual Behavioral Health Symposium

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Our annual Behavioral Health Symposium, held on May 24 at Filoli, recognized Mental Health Awareness Month and highlighted a timely and important behavioral health topic. This year, we focused on Marijuana to Opioids: Understanding Substance Use and Mental Health.

 

Experts in the field shared presentations on the topic, including 

Tara Beckman, LCSW - Executive Director, Caminar San Mateo County Region, and Christopher Kughn, MA, MFT  - Executive Director, Caminar Solano County Region
"Treating Co-Occurring Disorders at Caminar"

Mark McGovern, PhD
“Integrated Treatments for Co-occurring Conditions”

Douglas Noordsy, MD, and Adina Fischer, MD, PhD
“Understanding the Effects of Marijuana in Schizophrenia”

Please enjoy the photos, presentations, and video from the 4th Annual Behavioral Health Symposium, all available here

 

Caminar Announces Expansion of Behavioral Health Programs in Solano County

Caminar Announces Expansion of Behavioral Health Programs in Solano County
Healthy Partnerships Now a Division of Caminar

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Caminar has announced its acquisition of Healthy Partnerships’ behavioral health programs in Solano County. Through the arrangement, which took effect on May 1, Healthy Partnerships is operating as a division of Caminar. The move positions Caminar, which offers behavioral health and supportive services in Solano County and four other Northern California counties, and Healthy Partnerships to respond to the growing need for mental health and substance use treatment services in the county.

This acquisition further enhances Caminar’s continuum of care to address the complex behavioral health needs of individuals in Solano County. The combination of Caminar’s Medi-Cal Mental Health programs and Healthy Partnership’s Drug Medi-Cal Substance Use Treatment programs creates a powerful synergy of capacity and expertise.
 
The boards of directors of both entities approved the acquisition. Healthy Partnerships programs are continuing under the leadership of executive director Charles Anderson, now as part of Caminar’s operations in Solano County. Healthy Partnership’s owners, Sharon Loveseth, Steve Loveseth and Rosa Thomason, have moved on to personal projects.

“We have collaborated with the staff at Healthy Partnerships for many years, and we are thrilled to have this opportunity to welcome them to Caminar,” said Charles “Chip” Huggins, CEO of Caminar. “The combination of Caminar’s and Healthy Partnerships’ programs and expertise will allow us to offer optimal care for individuals throughout Solano County today and as the behavioral health field continues to evolve.” 

“When we began looking for a home for Healthy Partnerships’ programs, Caminar was the obvious choice,” said Sharon Loveseth. “We have worked with Caminar for decades to address local needs and felt the organization would continue the important work of Healthy Partnerships here in Solano County.”

Under the leadership of Solano Region Executive Director Christopher Kughn, Caminar serves close to 500 individuals annually in Solano County through intensive mental health services, homeless outreach programs and supportive employment services. In 2016, Caminar was selected to manage the Coordinated Entry System for the county. Known as Resource Connect Solano, the new program is helping to ensure the most vulnerable people in the community are connected with limited housing resources.

Healthy Partnerships offers outpatient substance use treatment, Driving Under the Influence (DUI) programs and mental health programs. The company has been a provider of substance use treatment services for Solano County for 21 years.

“This is an exciting time in the behavioral health field as we move toward integrated care that serves the whole person,” said Christopher Kughn, executive director of Caminar’s Solano Region. “We see tremendous possibilities by bringing together Caminar’s and Healthy Partnerships’ programs, expertise, and commitment to benefit the health and well-being of this community.”

Both Caminar and Healthy Partnerships offer CARF-accredited programs and operate client-serving locations in Fairfield and Vacaville. More information about Caminar’s programs is available at www.caminar.org.

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About Caminar
Founded in San Mateo, California, in 1964, Caminar serves more than 14,000 individuals annually in San Mateo, Solano, Santa Clara, San Francisco and Butte counties. The nonprofit organization’s portfolio of behavioral health and supportive services empowers and supports individuals and families to move toward resilience, wellness, and independence. In Solano County, Caminar operates intensive mental health services for adults with severe mental illness, homeless outreach and engagement services for adults with mental health conditions, supported employment (Jobs Plus), crisis residential treatment and supportive housing programs. Caminar also is the provider of coordinated entry services for Solano County, helping to ensure the most vulnerable individuals and families experiencing homelessness are connected with housing resources. More information at www.caminar.org and www.caminar.org/solano

About Healthy Partnerships
Since its founding in 1997, Healthy Partnerships has provided high-quality behavioral healthcare in an atmosphere of compassion, respect, and cultural competence. We operate within the Bay Area and offer services to Central Valley residents. Outpatient prevention, intervention and treatment services offered at Healthy Partnerships reflect a deep and abiding belief in the value of treatment; and a strong commitment to promoting recovery on an individual, family and community level. The primary goal of Healthy Partnerships programs is to provide individuals and families the education, support and skills necessary to live productive and healthy lives at their optimum levels. As of May 1, 2018, Healthy Partnerships is operating as a division of Caminar. More information about services at www.healthypartnerships.com.