Frequently Asked Questions
(click here to watch a video on some FAQs)
What age children does the Center serve? Do you serve teens?
We provide in-house mental health services for children who have not yet reached their twelfth birthday. Once a treatment relationship is established, we continue as long as necessary even if children turn twelve. We do not begin services with children twelve or older.
Our three school-based programs serve children ages 2 - 6 with a range of social and behavioral concerns.
Our SecurePath program, in partnership with Wake County SmartStart, serves low-income children up to age 5 in their home or school setting.
Do you offer medication management?
We do not provide medication management as a stand-alone service. However, we manage medication for children who are under our general care for whom we recommend medication as part of a comprehensive approach. Many children come to us already receiving medication. In those situations, we arrive at a treatment plan after our assessment, and we decide with parents about how best to proceed with management of the medication. We often assume the management although sometimes the physician who has been prescribing the medication continues.
What insurances do you accept?
We accept all common insurance plans, including BCBS, Magellan, United Behavioral Health, Cigna, Aetna, Medicaid and Carolina HealthChoice. As a courtesy for our clients, we file insurance claims.
How long does it take to get an appointment?
Arranging rapidly for a first appointment is a point of emphasis for us. Most of the time, we are able to offer a first appointment that takes place within two weeks of when we receive the Request for Consultation (form can be found under Services/Family Guidance Service/Request for Consultation). There are occasions when our waiting lists are longer and it takes more time to arrange that first appointment. We inform families as soon as possible if we anticipate a wait beyond two weeks. We generally meet for the first appointment within one week if the child is 5 years of age or younger, and within a day or two if the situation is urgent.
Do you have evening or weekend hours?
We have very limited early evening hours. We do not have weekend hours.
Do you provide educational testing or testing for ADHD?
We are an appropriate resource when a family wants educational or ADHD testing and is concerned that there may be an emotional component to their child's challenges. Our approach with ADHD is to understand the reasons for the symptoms, not just to determine whether a child meets criteria for the diagnosis. We are not an appropriate resource if a family wishes to determine if their child qualifies for an ADHD diagnosis for purposes of school planning or medication, or is seeking an assessment of school readiness testing or possible learning disorder.
Do you provide services for children with learning disabilities?
We do not provide these services.
Do you work with autistic children?
We frequently work with children that have mild autistic features, such as children with Asperger's Syndrome. We also frequently work with children who have some features that fit in the autistic spectrum but do not meet full diagnostic criteria. We do not offer the specialized programs needed by children with moderate to severe autism.
How does the Center work with parents?
We are always working with parents as part of our help to any child. We develop close partnerships with parents of children in our Child Enrichment Program and First Friends social skills development program, offering guidance and support well beyond what is typical of most early childhood education programs. Parents can expect to receive counseling and guidance and to be a very active participant in the mental health care that we provide in our preschool/kindergarten Early Intervention Program, Family Guidance Service, or SecurePath. As an illustration, parents in our Early Intervention Program work with a parent therapist for an hour each week as well as communicating closely with teachers, often on a daily basis.
What type of curriculum do you have in the school?
Our preschool classrooms in the Child Enrichment Program and Early Intervention Program are NAEYC-accredited and follow or exceed current guidelines for early childhood education. We use an emergent approach, which involves our creatively building upon the interests of an individual child, or group of children, and integrating the curricular elements into these areas of particular interest. This approach takes more time than it does to use a structured curriculum, but the benefits of this flexibility have been well researched. Our Early Intervention Program kindergarten is a licensed Wake County private kindergarten. We use the Wake County kindergarten curriculum as a guide and integrate it into our approach.
What is the student/teacher ratio in the school?
The student/teacher ratio in the Early Intervention Program varies from year to year between 1:2 to a maximum of 1:4. Our student/teacher ratio in the Child Enrichment Program 3's classroom ranges between 1:5 to 1:8, and in the 4's classroom between 1:6 to 1:9.
Is it expensive to get help at the Center?
Services from our SecurePath Program are free to families who qualify.
Services in our Family Guidance Service are either determined by the insurance plan, in which case families are responsible for deductibles and co-insurance (except for families covered by Medicaid who do not have any out-of-pocket expense.) Families without health insurance are eligible for fee reductions according to an income-based scale.
Services in our Early Intervention Program are all offered with need-based scholarships for which around 90% of families qualify.