CASSP is the Child and Adolescent Service System Program, a philosophy of collaboration and partnership among persons involved with the child/adolescent. CASSP was developed to provide comprehensive mental health care for children, adolescents and their families.


Six ideals guide CASSP and describe how mental health services for children and adolescents should be designed. The CASSP philosophy states that mental health services are:

  • Child-Centered. Services must fit the child, rather than trying to fit the child into an existing service. They should be based on the strengths of the child/family.
  • Family Focused. The family is the primary support system for the child and is an equal partner of the team that makes the decisions and plans treatment.
  • Community Based. Services ideally are delivered in the child's home community.
  • Multi-system. Family members and representatives from all the agencies involved in the child's life should plan the services together and carry out the recommendations.
  • Culturally Competent. Services are provided by persons who have the skills to recognize and respect the behavior, ideas, attitudes, values, beliefs, customs, language, rituals,  ceremonies and practices of a group of people.
  • Least Restrictive/Least Intrusive. Services need to be provided in a place and in a way that is most natural for the child and the family.


CASSP is a partnership between the public (tax-funded) agencies that serve children and adolescents. In Lancaster County, six agencies work together in CASSP:

  • Mental Health / Intellectual Disability / Early Intervention
  • Children and Youth Agency
  • Drug and Alcohol Commission
  • Juvenile Probation and Parole
  • Intermediate Unit 13, and
  • School Districts
The success of CASSP is dependent on the spirit of collaboration among agencies involved and their willingness to work together for the needs of children and adolescents.


  Mental Health Program


                            1120 Frances Avenue Lancaster, PA 17601



    Telephone: 717-393-0421  Fax: 717-399-7357

If you are experiencing a mental health emergency that requires immediate attention, 
please contact Crisis Intervention at 717-394-2631.