SOUTH CAROLINA DEPARTMENT OF MENTAL HEALTH
Columbia, South Carolina

OFFICE OF THE STATE DIRECTOR OF MENTAL HEALTH

TO:                  All Organizational Components

SUBJECT:       Client Advisory Boards

I. PURPOSE:
This directive establishes the SCDMH policy for convening and conducting Client Advisory Boards (CAB’s). CAB’s provide mechanisms for positive collaboration and communication among clients, family members and service providers at the Center, Facility and Departmental level. The CAB’s operate pursuant to, and under, the authority of the local Client Affairs Coordinators at each inpatient Facility and Community Mental Health Center. The statewide CAB operates pursuant to, and under, the authority of the Office of Client Affairs. The purpose of the boards is to empower clients at the Center, Facility and Departmental levels unique and independent opportunities to have broad input and involvement in the public mental health system in the areas of planning, policy-making, program evaluation and service provision. This directive provides procedures for the establishment, maintenance and support of local CMHC/Facility and statewide Client Advisory Boards.

II. POLICY:
It is the policy of the Department of Mental Health to continuously improve the quality of services provided to persons served. The Department is committed to providing mechanisms to provide for positive collaboration and communication among clients/patients and service providers.

III. DEFINITIONS

  1. CAB: Client Advisory Board - a committee comprised of clients and/or family members that provides a mechanism for input, feedback and recommendations for service improvement.
  2. SCDMH-CAB: A CAB conducted at the state level and comprised of CMHC/Facility Client Affairs Coordinators, clients and/or family members who participate on CMHC/ Facility CABs.  
  3. Facility-CAB: A CAB conducted at the inpatient Facility level.
  4. CMHC-CAB: A CAB conducted at the Community Mental Health Center level.
  5. CAC: Client Affairs Coordinator (CMHC/Facility level)
  6. OCA: Office of Client Affairs (state level)

IV. RESPONSIBILITES:

  1. State Office of Client Affairs Responsibilities - Collaborate with key CMHC/Facility staff and committees by asking for and providing client input as requested through local CAB’s.
  2. Facility and Center Responsibilities - The CAB’s will collaborate with key departmental staff and committees by providing client input as requested.

V. PROCEDURES: 
A. The SCDMH Office of Client Affairs/Medical Directors Office will take responsibility for the establishment, maintenance, and support of the statewide SCDMH Client Advisory Board.

  1. The OCA Director will ask for input from CAC’s and local CAB’s when key departmental staff and committees request client input.
  2. Information will be exchanged about services, policies and practices with opportunity provided for client/family input and advice concerning the topics discussed. 
  3. The statewide SCDMH CAB will be comprised of CMHC and Facility Client Affairs Coordinators. Clients and family members who participate on CMHC/Facility CABs are welcome to attend and participate.
  4. The statewide SCDMH CAB will meet every other month as part of the routine statewide CAC meeting.
  5. Meetings will be conducted in an egalitarian participatory manner. Minutes will be recorded and distributed to the committee members, Medical Director, State Director other relevant participants.

B. The CMHC/Facility Client Affairs Coordinator will take responsibility for the establishment, maintenance, and support of the CMHC/Facility Client Advisory Board. 

  1. The CAC will ask for input from clients and family members when requested by CMHC/Facility staff and committees.
  2. Board membership can be comprised of clients either served by the entire center or made of clients and family members representing a county.
  3. Information will be exchanged about services, policies and practices with opportunity provided for client/family input and advice concerning the topics discussed.
  4. There will be an educational component which will promote understanding of the service delivery system, client rights, recovery and self help principles, peer support and cultural competence.
  5. In the event that a Client Affairs Coordinator is unable to initiate or sustain a CAB, client input should be sought in the form of focus groups with clients and/or family members receiving CMHC/Facility services.
  6. The CAB will meet at least quarterly. Meetings will be staffed and coordinated by the Client Affairs Coordinator. Should the CMHC/Facility be without a CAC, the CMHC/Facility should make every effort to establish and support an independent CAB chaired by a client or family member and/or seek input from focus groups with held clients and/or family members receiving CMHC/Facility services by clients and/or family members receiving CMHC/Facility services.
  7. Meetings will be conducted in an egalitarian participatory manner. Minutes will be recorded and distributed to the committee members, CMHC/Facility Directors, Client Affairs Director and other relevant participants.

C. In the event that a center or a facility does not have a CAC the CMHC/Facility should make every effort to establish and support an independent CAB.

  1. The Chair will ask for input from clients and family members when requested by CMHC/Facility staff and committees.
  2. Board membership can be comprised of clients either served by the entire center or made of clients and family members representing a county.
  3. Information will be exchanged about services, policies and practices with opportunity provided for client/family input and advice concerning the topics discussed.
  4. There will be an educational component which will promote understanding of the service delivery system, client rights, recovery and self help principles, peer support and cultural competence.
  5. In the event that a CMHC/Facility is unable to initiate or sustain a CAB, client input should be sought in the form of focus groups with clients and/or family members receiving CMHC/Facility services.
  6. The CAB will meet at least quarterly. Meetings will be staffed and coordinated by the Chair. 
  7.  Meetings will be conducted in an egalitarian participatory manner. Minutes will be recorded and distributed to the committee members, CMHC/Facility Directors, Client Affairs Director and other relevant participants.

This policy rescinds and supersedes SCDMH Directive number 840-03 entitled “SCDMH Consumer Advisory Board.”        

 

John Connery's signature

John H. Magill, State Director 

November 21, 2007