Screening, Assessment and Support Services (SASS)

The Screening, Assessment and Support Services (SASS) program for children and adolescents is a statewide program developed to provide improved coordination in the delivery of mental health services for youth experiencing a mental health crisis whose care will require public funding. The program has a single point of entry, Crisis and Referral Entry Service (CARES), and ensures that youth receive crisis services in the most appropriate setting.


The funding and age criterion is:

  • Youth ages 20 and under with public funding (Medicaid or Medicaid MCOs, or youth ages 17 and under with no funding).

The clinical criterion is:

  • The youth is presenting a mental health crisis and is in need of an evaluation to determine the most appropriate level of care.

How to Access Services

If you need SASS services, contact the CARES line at 800-345-9049. Review the SASS brochure (PDF), for additional information. En Español (PDF).

What to Expect When Calling CARES

When calling CARES, you will be asked to provide demographic information on the youth you are calling about, as well as information regarding the current mental health crisis.


  • Crisis Services/SASS will respond to the location of the crisis within 90 minutes to conduct the mobile crisis screening, which will result in a recommendation for level of care.
  • This screening may result in the recommendation for inpatient hospitalization or community-based services.
  • When youth are found eligible and are presenting in DuPage County, CARES will contact Crisis Services to provide the referral information.

Assessment and Support Services

Following the mobile crisis screening, services that are community-based and youth- and family-focused are available to provide ongoing crisis intervention and support. An integrated assessment and treatment plan will be completed with the youth and family to develop a plan for mental health treatment that meets the individual needs of the youth and family. Referrals to outpatient mental health treatment will be provided as appropriate.

Last Reviewed: 12/27/2023