The Role of Intensive Home Based Treatment (IHBT) in Ohio’s System of Care

Innovative Conversations Session 17 – Recorded  May 9, 2024

Host Patrick Kanary discusses Ohio’s expansion of Intensive Home-Based Treatment (IHBT), a mental health service designed to meet the needs of youth with serious emotional disturbances who are at risk of out-of-home placement or who are returning home from placement. Guests are Heather Distin and Richard Shepler of the Center for Innovative Practices (CIP) and the Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health Center of Excellence (CABH COE) at Case Western University’s Begun Center.

The Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health Center of Excellence (CABH COE), in partnership with the Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM) is excited to share the list of organizations who were awarded funding to support building capacity and access to Intensive Home-Based Treatment programs that meet Ohio’s IHBT Service Delivery Model. Awardees were selected through a competitive RFP process released in January 2024. Through this funding opportunity, the noted organizations will provide new and expanded access to Intensive Home-Based Treatment Programs in over 32 counties across the State.

Click here to learn more and view award recipients.

The goal of IHBT is to provide the necessary mental health services and supports to enable youth to live in their homes in the least restrictive, most normative setting possible. IHBT services are provided in the home, school and community where youth live and function. These services focus on the mental health issues that put the youth at risk, while promoting positive development and health family functioning. IHBT integrates core mental health services (community psychiatric supportive treatment, behavioral health counseling and therapy, mental health assessment and crisis response) into one seamless service. Service is flexibly delivered at a time that is convenient for the entire family and is available around the clock.

View session below.

This session provides a brief background on OhioRISE and the role of CABHCOE along with a description of IHBT and  how IHBT fits in within a System of Care and  why it is key in behavioral health for kids and families. It also identifies where IHBT  fits in within the context of OhipRISE and a description of the recent funding opportunity. Finally, it explores the challenges ahead regarding implementation and what support or technical assistance will providers need in order to successfully launch their programs.

From the Innovative Conversation Series

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Innovative Conversations Session 1 – Evolution of the System of Care Approach
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Innovative Conversations Session 5 – Solution Focused Family Therapy for IHBT
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Innovative Conversations Session 11 – Treatment at a Distance and Intensive Home-Based Treatment during a Pandemic
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Manuscript: Defining Quality Standards for Intensive Home Based Treatment Programs for Youth with Serious Emotional Disorder
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Richard Shepler, PhD, PCC-S  is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor with Supervising Counselor designation and is the external project lead for the Ohio Department of Mental Health’s Intensive Home-Based Treatment initiative, for which he facilitated a team of statewide experts in the development of the state’s first Intensive Home-Based Treatment rule.

Dr. Shepler is also the co-developer of the Integrated Co-Occurring Treatment (ICT) model, one of the first treatment models designed specifically for youth with the co-occurring disorders of substance abuse and mental illness. The ICT program has received the SAMHSA’s Science and Service award and the NIATx iAward while also being included in the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s (OJJDP) “Blueprint for Change: A Comprehensive Model for the Identification and Treatment of Youth with Mental Health Needs in Contact with the Juvenile Justice Network”.

In partnership with youth and families, Rick co-led the Ohio Department of Mental Health’s Resiliency Leadership Ohio initiative and was awarded the Resiliency Leadership Award for his work. In partnership with youth and families, he has developed mental health promotional videos on resiliency and children’s mental health, youth and family stories of resiliency, and resiliency and suicide prevention, which can be found at

Heather Distin, PCC-S  is the COE Project Director with the Center for Innovative Practices at the  Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences. Heather joined the Center for Innovative Practices as the Project Director of the Children’s Behavioral Health Center of Excellence. Heather has over 17 years of experience in various community based and inpatient behavioral health settings serving families, children, adolescents, and transitional age youth. Heather has a special interest in and experience working with youth who have complex needs that cross multiple systems. In her work with multi-system youth, Heather has been a change leader, promoting inter-agency collaboration and best practices across the various child-serving systems. Heather most recently served as a county board behavioral health administrator monitoring the fitness of the children’s behavioral health continuum of care, ensuring access to high quality care while also leveraging resources to promote system sustainability. In that role, Heather spearheaded several county-wide, multi-discipline system of care initiatives and county-wide quality assurance efforts specific to intensive home-based programs, youth crisis services, transitional age youth services and juvenile justice involved youth with behavioral health needs. Heather holds a master’s degree from John Carroll University and is an independently licensed counselor. is presented by The Center for Innovative Practices (CIP)
and the Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health Center of Excellence (CABH COE)
Part of the Begun Center for Violence Prevention
at Case Western Reserve University’s Mandel School of Applied Social Services
Campus Location: 11235 Bellflower Road Room 375  | Cleveland, OH 44106
Mailing Address: 10900 Euclid Avenue | Cleveland, OH 44106-7164
Telephone: 216-368-6293 | email:
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