The Comprehensive Assessment and Response Training System (CARTS) was developed to improve the quality of psychiatric care provided to DCFS wards in residential and group home placements and to enhance placement permanence. Specific objectives included:
- Helping DCFS develop policies and procedures to guide the mental health care of foster children with severe emotional, behavioral, and psychiatric disturbances;
- Providing inpatient diagnostic services, psychiatric care and extensive treatment planning services to foster children with the most severe emotional disturbances; and
- Providing consultation and technical assistance to agencies that provide residential and group home services to these youth.
The CARTS Program consists of two components, the Comprehensive Assessment and Treatment Unit (CATU), a nine-bed psychiatric inpatient unit, and the Response Training System (RTS), a mobile consultation team that provides consultation and technical assistance to residential treatment centers and group homes.
Director, Elizabeth Charney, MD
The Comprehensive Assessment and Treatment Unit (CATU) is a 10-bed acute psychiatric unit housed at the University of Illinois Medical Center at Chicago. The CATU treats foster children between the ages of 12 and 17 years that the Department of Children and Family Services has identified as being the most at-risk. Youngsters admitted to the CATU:
- meet criteria for an acute psychiatric hospital admission,
- have had three or more psychiatric hospitalizations in the preceding 18 months,
- have emotional disturbance and behavioral problems that have not been successfully managed in less restrictive settings,
- have experienced multiple placement disruptions,
- are at risk for another placement disruption, and
- demonstrate severe, repetitive aggression directed toward others, self or property.
Fedra Najjar, M.D.
Emmanuel Olaifa, RN
Administrative Nurse - I
Kristina Erland, LCSW
Clinical Social Worker
Barbara Jean Washington, RN
Associate Director of Nursing, Medical Surgical Services
Customer Service Representative II
Director, Alan Morris, Psy. D.
The Response Training System (RTS) functions as the consultation arm of the CARTS Program. The primary goals of the RTS are to:
- Enhance the continuity of treatment between the hospital and the residential,
- Treatment center or group home by ‘exporting’ the treatment plan to the treatment facility,
- Assist the residential staff in implementing discharge recommendations,
- Provide technical assistance to the placement, and
- Act as client advocates with respect to DCFS and other involved agencies.
Deann Muehlbauer, MPH
Coordinator of Clinical and Research Program
Randall S. Carter, PhD
Assistant Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry
Julia Wenzlaff, LCSW
Tracy Pulliam, LCSW
Sharon Naylor, OTR/L