We have been concerned as mental health professionals working with children about the quality of mental health services provided to children in our area by Team Builders Inc. These concerns have included:
1. There is frequent turnover of Team Builder mental health providers and this has significantly impacted the continuity of care and mental health of the children serviced by this agency. We do want to note that most of these providers have provided good services. (Some of them have indicated that they are not compensated for their services unless or until the agency is paid by Medicaid.)
2. There is a lack of case management services and supervision provided for children on medication and for children with medical health needs in general.
3. There is a (systemic) unawareness, insensitivity or lack of respect for the mental health cultural and poverty needs of some of Team Builders’ mental health clients. We believe this is an agency problem and out of the control of the direct line staff. Some of their staff has provided excellent services.
4. It is our understanding that Team Builders cannot provide services for children who are not on Medicaid, and/or continue services if Medicaid compensation has been disrupted. We know this is contradictory to mental health ethical standards and not best practice.
And, some of the news coverage concerning the investigation of this agency has stated other funds are provided to this agency by the state. If this is the case, then what is this additional funding for?
We had incorrectly assumed and/or were led to believe that these deficiencies were due to the lack of Medicaid compensation. We were saddened and angry to learn that this did not affect the compensation paid to the CEOs of this agency.
As mental health advocates and providers we hope the investigation of this agency will continue and that as a result of this investigation better mental health services will be provided for the children of this community.