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  Local ACT Team Advisory Group (or Oversight Committee) Guidelines

ACT Team Advisory Group/Oversight Committee Guidelines

Advisory Group/Oversight Committee Mission:

  • (Please note: Assertive community treatment is the name of the model of community treatment, rehabilitation, and support developed by Mendota Mental Health Institute in Madison, Wisconsin in the early 1970's. Local names for ACT vary: in Florida it is called FACT, Florida Assertive Community Treatment; in Rhode Island it is MTT, Mobile Treatment Teams; in Wisconsin, most teams are called CSP, community support programs.)
  • To assist and guide the local assertive community treatment (ACT) team to implement and sustain a program of assertive community treatment; To assist and guide the ACT team's administering agency on assertive community treatment issues through consultation, monitoring of model fidelity, and problem solving;
  • To maintain fidelity to the assertive community treatment model, as described in the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Agency's (contract #97MO4766501D) National PACT Standards. The standards are in Appendix 8 of The PACT Model of Community-Based Treatment for Persons with Severe and Persistent Mental Illnesses: A Manual for PACT Start-UP. They are also on the NAMI Web site at www.nami.org in the PACT section, accessible from the NAMI Web site home page.
  • To maintain the collaborative, consumer empowerment vision and recovery values of assertive community treatment.
Advisory Group/Oversight Committee Membership:
  • Each ACT team should have an ACT Advisory/Oversight Committee whose members are at lease 51% consumers and family members.
  • The local NAMI affiliate, local consumer organizations, and the management of the agency sponsoring the team should collaborate to determine membership. At times, the NAMI Statewide ACT Steering Committee, and/or the state, regional, or county mental health authority may assist with membership determination.
  • The Advisory Group should pro-actively include members who are culturally representative of the people served by the team. Local, cultural knowledge is essential in serving people from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds.
  • The Advisory Group/Oversight Committee must have at lease three consumer members.
  • ACT Advisory Group/Oversight Committee members are community stakeholders with an interest in the success of the ACT team. These may include representatives of organizations that interact with the ACT team, such as homeless services, consumer peer support organizations, food shelf, faith based entities, criminal justice providers, housing authorities, landlords, employers, and community colleges.
  • The Advisory Group should have at least 10 members, but usually fewer than 15 members to facilitate discussion. Members typically serve for a staggered, two-year term.
Advisory Group/Oversight Committee Membership Qualifications:
  • Members should be knowledgeable about severe mental illnesses and the challenges that people with severe mental illnesses face in living in the community the team will serve, or already serves.
  • People recovering from mental illnesses, and their relatives, are very well qualified to identify problems and solutions that others overlook.
  • Members should be good problem solvers who have a positive attitude.
  • Members listen to and seek to understand the perspective of all stakeholders.
  • Members must make a commitment to regularly attend Advisory Group meetings.
Advisory Group/Oversight Committee Formation:
  • With a new ACT team, the Advisory Group may be formed in preparation for obtaining, or implementing, a contract to develop an ACT team. In other situations, the Advisory Group/Oversight Committee may form following award of an ACT contract, or when a provider decides to reorganize its services to establish an ACT team and form the team's advisory group.
  • In a competitive bid environment, the Advisory Group may form as part of developing a proposal to make a bid for a contract, or shortly after the contract is awarded.
  • With an assertive community treatment team that is already in place, an Advisory Group is formed to strengthen the team and increase the team's resources, and community understanding and support for assertive community treatment. The state, or county, mental health authority may contractually require that new and existing ACT teams form advisory groups.
Advisory Group/Oversight Committee Meetings:
  • The Advisory Group meets within 30 days of the award of a contract to develop an ACT team.
  • The Advisory Group meets as often as needed, frequently monthly.
  • The Advisory Group meets at least 4 times a year.
Advisory Group/Oversight Committee Relationship to Staff:
  • The Advisory Group is independent of, and communicates directly with, management level staff in the agency sponsoring the team.
  • The ACT team leader, and other team staff as requested by the Advisory Group, participate in Advisory Group meetings.
  • The ACT team, or its sponsoring agency, provides administrative support to the Advisory Group.
Advisory Group/Oversight Committee Member Role:
  • Become knowledgeable about assertive community treatment by participating in ACT training sessions and reading material on the model.
  • At the invitation of the team, to better understand the model spend at least one day, including the daily meeting, with the ACT team as it goes about its work.
  • Receive a copy of the ACT team's budget and understand the expenditure categories.
  • Understand where the PACT team fits into the community's overall system of mental illness treatment and support for recovery.
  • Be actively involved in implementation and on-going team development by providing input on team resources and policies. Although the Advisory Group does not make personnel decisions, encourage hiring staff who are truly interested in working with, and learning from, PACT team staff members (peer specialists and others) who are themselves recovering from a mental illness.
  • Participate in the advisory group as a forum for the review and resolution of issues that the team, or its consumers, face. With the Advisory Team members' varied and extensive local knowledge, do problem solving on issues of concern to the team, to consumers, to family members, to other stakeholders, to the community.
  • Establish a mechanism by which the PACT team staff, PACT consumers, and related family members, or significant others, can communicate with the Advisory Group/Oversight Committee as a problem-solving body.
  • Advise the PACT team on how to make services relevant, culturally respectful, collaborative and desirable (user-friendly) to PACT team consumers.
  • Promote community understanding of the model and its goals. Advisory Group members can give presentations to the public and to community organizations.
  • Monitor ongoing program evaluation data.
  • Participate in program assessment. Conduct surveys, interviews and/or focus groups of team consumers and focus groups of family members of team consumers.
  • Monitor consumer complaints.
  • Monitor consumer rights issues.
  • Examine areas needing improvement and make recommendations, review data in a continuous quality improvement effort.
  • Advocate for resources for the team and resources, such as affordable housing, for persons served by the team.
National PACT Center, July 2001

These guidelines were developed with support from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services, Community Support Branch, through grant #KD1 SM52579-03.  


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