Short-Term Treatment and Evaluation Program

The Short-Term Treatment and Evaluation Program (STTEP) provides a thorough evaluation of clients in a residential setting over a 60-90 day period. This program serves 10 children, ages 6 through 12, who are often at risk of disrupting less restrictive placements or who have required multiple hospitalizations.

Children enrolled in the STTEP are taught the skills necessary for them to return to their homes and become active and responsible members of their families and communities. Skills taught include how to identify and communicate feelings effectively, how to manage anger, and how to improve social skills. Home visits are used to assist in the transition back to the home, and an integral part of the program is identifying and locating the services that will be instrumental to success when the child returns home.

Visit our FAQ for answers to common questions about our residential programs.

Use our intake appointment checklist to make sure you bring all required items, and follow our packing list as you prepare for your child’s stay at Brewer-Porch.

Contact Dane Cameron via phone (205) 348-9367 or email dcameron@ua.edu with any further questions.

All clients receive individual and group therapy weekly and see the psychiatrist every other week. On the weekends, clients do not attend school, but they continue to receive therapeutic education individually and as a group. Those who earn the privilege participate in off-campus outings on the weekends.


Detailed Description

STTEP accepts children from all over the state of Alabama for a variety of behavioral problems that could not be managed or resolved within their home communities. They range in age from 6 to 12, and most reside in the STTEP unit, a 10-bed unit comprised of both boys and girls, between 30 and 90 days. These children typically have received services from local mental health centers or private therapists/physicians, or have had DHR involvement (for example placement in foster care or therapeutic foster care), but have so far not shown the desired level of improvement, suggesting that a higher level of care may be warranted.

The mission of the STTEP Unit here at Brewer-Porch Children’s Center is to:

  1. Prevent the hospitalization of clients
  2. Provide a comprehensive assessment to facilitate the proper plans for discharge including input from the child and from their legal guardian
  3. Resolve the child’s mental, emotional, and behavioral problems so that the child may be moved to a less restrictive environment, ideally to their home community
  4. Support the child’s strengths and interests
  5. Support and enhance the child’s adaptive living skills, including coping skills
  6. Maintain the child’s academic achievements
  7. Provide quality services to the child, their caretakers, and all stakeholders who share the best interests of the child

Each child referred to the STTEP is closely examined by each member of the treatment team which includes a consulting psychiatrist, social worker, nurse, teacher, and other mental health professionals.  Most referrals have at least one Axis I diagnosis such as ADHD, ODD, depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, psychotic disorders, or other diagnoses defined by the DSM IV-R.

The STTEP is a jointly funded program by both the Department of Mental Health and the Department of Human Resources, so all referrals to the STTEP Unit have had contact with either agency.