Act 264, a law on behalf of children and adolescents experiencing severe emotional disturbance and their families, created a State Interagency Team (SIT) to function as a backup to the Local Interagency Teams.
The group's core consists of the Agency of Human Services' (AHS) Department of Mental Health (DMH) and the Department for Children and Families (DCF), the Agency of Education (AOE), and a parent of a child or adolescent experiencing a severe emotional disturbance.
If a local team cannot implement a coordinated service plan, the SIT works to resolve issues and overcome obstacles. The cases brought before SIT alert state policymakers to problems in three broad areas: unmet service needs, policy difficulties, and funding issues.
Act 264, passed in 1988, requires that human services and public education work together, involve parents and coordinate services for better outcomes for children and families. The act developed a coordinated system of care so that children and adolescents with a severe emotional disturbance and their families receive appropriate educational, mental health, child welfare, juvenile justice, residential, and other treatment services in accordance with an individual plan.
While Act 264 was enacted on behalf of children and adolescents experiencing severe emotional disturbance and their families, the 2005 Interagency Agreement between the AOE and AHS expands the target population beyond those eligible under Act 264 to include children and adolescents with disabilities who are eligible for both special education and disability-related services, including service coordination, provided by AHS.