Family Outpatient Center of Unified Services (FOCUS)
Children Deserve a chance to CHANGE
Focus is a day treatment program operated jointly by the Des Moines Public Schools and Broadlawns Medical Center. The program serves children in grades three through eight. At FOCUS, a team of educators, psychologists, social workers and a recreational therapist provide a highly structured environment for learning and growth in a therapeutic/school setting. FOCUS operates under the medical supervision of a psychiatrist to ensure proper clinical treatment and care.
Children Who Are Best Served by the FOCUS Program:
Children with unresolved history of behavioral and/or emotional problems.
Children who have active and consistent family support.
Children who do not engage in significant patterns of aggressive behavior that endangers themselves or others.
Children whose families actively participate in all areas of the program, therapeutically and educationally.
Low student/teacher ratio
Intensive social skills training
Individualized academic assessment upon entering the program
Individualized academic instruction
Individual Therapy: one-on-one sessions with child and primary therapist
Family Therapy: sessions include the child, primary therapist, parents and any other significant people the family chooses to participate
Group Therapy: small group sessions with other chldren in the program and one or two therapists
Recreational Therapy: small group sessions with other children in the program and the recreational therapist working on improving motor and leisure skills
Step 1: A referral is made by the parent or any other professional working with the child. Contact the Educational Unit Leader at 515.242.7795
Step 2: An intake interview is scheduled iwth the Educational Leader to further inform parents about the program and for FOCUS coordinators to obtain more specific information about the child’s needs.
Step 3: Families need to meet financial criteria established by Broadlawns to pay for therapy services (Title 19 coverage).
Step 4: A psychiatric evaluation may be recommended to assess further clinical needs of the child.
Step 5: The child is evaluated and staffed for special education services, if needed.
Beth Walling – Unit leader
Middle School Staff