GRAND Mental Health supports Safe Babies Court in Payne County.
STILLWATER, OK – GRAND Mental Health (GRAND) is forging partnerships in Payne County to keep children in safe homes. For the last several months, GRAND practitioners have been working with local leaders to bring Safe Babies Court to Stillwater families facing situations of child abuse and neglect.
Safe Babies Court is an evidence-based, nationally recognized program that aims to keep infants safe, change generational behavior, and establish permanency that is critical for the child. The Payne County program is one of two Safe Babies Court programs in the state of Oklahoma. Mental health practitioners from GRAND Mental Health are supporting with case management services as well as individual and group therapy for participating families.
To participate in the program, guardians must agree to family centered counseling services paired with guidelines from Department of Human Services (DHS) and legal entities. The program aims to minimize disruption and trauma to the child in critical early development years by either safely reunifying families or expediting the placement of the infant in a permanent home.
“Every child should feel safe and loved, and a key part of that is access to mental health resources for their family,” shared Josh Cantwell, Chief Operating Officer of GRAND. “With this program, we hope to reduce the rate of infant abuse in Payne County and increase permanency.”
GRAND Mental Health’s Stillwater providers are now working hard on their first few Safe Babies cases. In fact, GRAND Mental Health employs the only 2 licensed professional counselors (LPC) specializing in infant mental health in Stillwater. These counselors are working with parents individually and as a family unit to navigate successful parenting strategies.
“The time it takes to reconnect a child to their family can be a long, drawn-out process that often takes years. Safe Babies Court prioritizes finding a permanent home for a child as quickly as possible leaving all options on the table from the start,” shared Jordan Westbrook, Regional Clinical Officer of GRAND Mental Health in Stillwater.
“Safe Babies is the best plan for the families GRAND serves facing this unique challenge.”
The Safe Babies program is brought to Payne County in partnership with legal experts, DHS, and local nonprofit partner Wings of Hope.
About GRAND Mental Health
GRAND Mental Health provides services for adults, children, adolescents, and families struggling with behavioral health issues, substance use issues, and integrated/medical needs in northeastern and north central Oklahoma. In business since 1979, GRAND Mental Health is a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) providing evidence- based mental health and substance use services integrated with primary health care. Becoming a CCBHC has allowed GRAND Mental Health to hire wellness coaches, dieticians, occupational therapists, behavioral health coaches and peer recovery support specialists to provide a larger spectrum of services to clients. GRAND Mental Health operates 27 clinics and centers in 13 Oklahoma counties, employing more than 1,700 people. GRAND Mental Health strives to provide personalized care, anytime, anywhere. GRAND Mental Health works closely with and is partially funded by the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.