Most experts concur that positively impacting mental health and substance abuse problems requires comprehensive treatment planning tailored to the complex and varied needs of youth and their families. The Integrated Comprehensive Client Assessment and Planning model, or I-CCAP, provides an integrated framework for assessing, planning and working effectively with a range of troubled youth. The I-CCAP approach synthesizes over 30 years of research related to the causes of and solutions to problem behaviors in adolescents; every aspect of I-CCAP is thoroughly grounded in research on effective practices. I-CCAP is an evidence-based model that calls for coordinating and targeting specific types of service interventions to at-risk youth based on their individually assessed needs, using a case management approach. These service interventions encompass activities that the research indicates are likely to be most effective in addressing a range of behavioral problems, including substance abuse behavior: teaching skills, providing opportunities to practice and apply skills, developing understanding and insight to support/reinforce behavioral change and involving parents/caregivers in multiple ways. In other words, the service plan creates a blueprint for change by identifying an individual youth's critical areas of need and then engaging the youth and their family in activities related to that need, using methods that have shown promise in supporting positive change.
I-CCAP is an essential support to effective community-based case management and service provider collaboration. The I-CCAP toolset helps communities to implement a single, integrated process for identifying at-risk youth in a variety of settings (school, service provider, court), carefully assessing their needs and referring them to appropriate services. The I-CCAP process flags youth with potential substance abuse or mental health issues for further screening and assessment. It utilizes the results of a risk/protective factor profile, along with other information in the development of a comprehensive service (or treatment) plan. Since I-CCAP is an individualized service planning and case management system, addressing substance use and mental health issues is seamlessly integrated into the case management process.