B.C.’s Integrated Child & Youth Teams

The Integrated Child and Youth (ICY) teams are part of B.C.'s strategy for mental health and substance use care. The ICY teams bring service providers together in a multidisciplinary team setting.

The teams make it easier for children and youth to connect to the care they need, where and when they need it – at school and in the community.

Each team supports children and youth within a school district area from early years to age 19 (potentially up to age 21 if they already receive services through an ICY team, based on best fit).

There will be teams in five regions to start, one in each health authority: Maple Ridge–Pitt Meadows, Comox Valley, Coast Mountains, Okanagan-Similkameen and Richmond. The first two regions will be Maple Ridge–Pitt Meadows and the Comox Valley. By 2024, there will be teams in 20 regions.

ICY team members include:

  • Child & Youth Mental Health Clinicians
  • ICY Clinical Counsellors
  • Substance Use Workers
  • ICY Program Leader
  • Youth Peer Support
  • Family/caregiver Peer Support
  • Indigenous Positions
  • Administrative Support Roles

Team members work as a structured, integrated team, delivering wraparound services and supports. Additional team members may be added, such as family physicians, social workers, coaches, support people, Elders, other counsellors or professionals, based on the child or youth's needs.

Services are provided through an outbound model where children, youth and families choose where they receive service: in schools, community settings such as Foundry or Friendship Centres, professional offices, their homes or in nature.

ICY teams provide levels of support that can change to match the needs of children, youth and families. The most effective, straightforward services are delivered first, and increases in intensity as needed.

Multicultural and culturally safe supports may be available, as applicable in each community, including through Indigenous positions.

 

ICY teams help children, youth and families find the care they need.

Referrals can be made by other service providers, such as early years services, school staff, primary care, mental health and substance use services, Foundry centres, Indigenous-led organizations or Friendship Centres. Children, youth and families can also self-refer. Referrals to ICY teams will begin in the fall.

Access to care that upholds traditional relational structures in Indigenous communities are also important for improved wellness and could include a referral from a Hereditary Chief or the child / youth’s Nation.

The teams work towards culturally safer, distinctions-based, and child-, youth-, family- and community/Nation-centred approaches, by continually engaging and communicating with Indigenous partners and Nations. Approaches are gender, diversity and trauma informed. Wherever possible, services for Indigenous children and youth are offered by Indigenous providers or Indigenous positions and additional team members can be invited.

In addition, some children, youth and families may feel safer, more welcome and more likely to ask for help in a community-based setting. ICY teams can provide services through community-based Indigenous service settings such as Friendship Centres, drop-in centres, recreational programs or meal programs, where available. This is especially important for some who may feel unsafe accessing child & youth services provided directly by government or contracted agencies that also provide child protection services.

Teams operate in school districts’ boundaries and maintain close ties with groupings of schools. Teams serve all children, youth and families within a school district, including those attending First Nations operated schools, independent schools, alternative education programs or those not in school.

If children and youth currently receive mental health or substance use services, they may remain with their current service provider, even if not in the same geographical area to continue relationships and attachments.

 

 

BC Child and Youth Mental Health Services in Schools

B.C. youth weigh in on the need for mental health services in schools.