Children’s Mobile Response & Stabilization System (CMRSS)


Children’s Mobile Response and Stabilization System (CMRSS) services are aimed at ensuring the safety and well being of children, youth and their families/caregivers facing crisis situations as a result of escalating behaviors that may risk disruption of a child or youth’s current living arrangements. CMRSS provides immediate crisis response on-site and coordinates subsequent stabilization services to children, youth, their families, and caregivers.


The target groups are children ages 5-18 located in Essex and Middlesex County who exhibit emotional or behavioral disturbance and youth up to age 21 in Essex and Middlesex Counties County who are/have been involved with the child welfare, mental health, and/or the juvenile justice systems. Particular effort is made to serve children with difficulties in foster care placement, children deemed not appropriate for inpatient care upon psychiatric screening, and children with histories of mental health/behavioral problems that are currently encountering exacerbation of symptoms.


Referrals are made to and through the Division of Child Behavioral Health Services’ (DCBHS) Contracted Systems Administrator (CSA) at 877-652-7624. CSA Care Coordinators triage the calls and forward them to the program’s mobile response workers 24/7.


Assessment of the crisis occurs using the DCBHS Crisis Assessment Tool (CAT) along key parameters including risk behaviors, behavioral/emotional symptoms, functioning, involvement with juvenile justice, child protection, caregiver needs and strengths. An Individualized Crisis Plan (ICP) is developed based on the findings of the CAT which then directs the strategies/interventions and services engaged on the client/family’s behalf.


Initial CMRSS services are provided over a 72-hour period with the immediate and direct clinical interventions of mobile response staff. Continued services to de-escalate the crisis as required for up to an additional eight weeks beyond the initial response period are coordinated by the CMRSS as part of stabilization management. During that time, affiliated community-based providers of Intensive In-Community and/or Behavioral Assistance Services engage in targeted interventions with the child/family to stabilize the situation as directed by the CMRSS ICP’s. As part of its service, CMRSS may access and utilize crisis beds for 1-7 days, in order to provide necessary respite for child/family as part of crisis de-escalation.


Referral to address ongoing service needs beyond the crisis may be made at any point during CMRSS service, and are incorporated in the discharge At-Risk Crisis Plan (ARCP) in order to ensure continuity of care and prevent reoccurrence of future crisis events or behavioral problems. Determination of the appropriate post crisis disposition may involve: referral and transition to stabilization services; referral and connection to community resources; termination of service when the situation is stabilized by crisis response and additional services are not required.