Behavioral Health

Everything at System 1-2-3 revolves around the significance of relationships, and our relationships with these partners are significant.

Kate and the small groups

A Story of Growth


System 1-2-3 and Merakey partnered as a result of an initiative in Westmoreland County to invest in the professional development of Behavioral Health clinicians and the staff who support families in the county. A year-long development series was created to fit the needs and strengths of the participants and the systemic themes that emerged during discussion.


After key concepts were introduced and discussed in large groups, Kate met with small groups that were divided by role to further explore some of the concepts. The groups met as Supervisors, Behavioral Specialists, and Therapeutic Support Staff (TSS) with Kate so that she could facilitate by presenting conversational topics and guiding dynamic activities. Hailey was a participant in the TSS group and collaborated with her peers to examine the concepts through her role. Kate also visited Hailey in a family home and school setting to explore how to expand her skills as a professional in each setting. Finally, we met as a team with the child’s BSC to review the in-setting observation and talk more freely about the visits.

What a participant has to say
about Kate

“Working with Kate was an experience that I will take with me throughout the rest of my career and life. The knowledge and the guidance Kate provided was better than any other training or class I have ever been in or will be in. Kate was able to model and teach what all providers should exemplify in the community.”

Westmoreland County

What Kate has to say
about her

“Working with Hailey, along with the team that supports her, has been very rewarding and a learning opportunity for myself as well. She was collaborative, open to new ideas, contributed a great deal to her team, and was thoughtful in how ideas or suggestions could improve her practice. Her professional growth through the year’s time was noticeable and will serve her well as she continues in the behavioral field in the future and in more advanced roles as her career develops.”

Kate Koontz
Facilitator for System 1-2-3


During our in-home and school visits, Hailey demonstrated a great deal of understanding of behavioral principles and techniques. We discussed some difficult areas, and how to support that child in the most natural way. Hailey was always open to new ideas in challenging situations, but more importantly, she asked for feedback so that she could grow her skills. Working together was always a collaborative process, and we were able to learn from each other a great deal.


Throughout the project, we were able to provide opportunities for staff to examine and reflect on their own confidence and competence and build skills toward professional growth. Staff surveys were given at the start of the year and then again at the end. Growth in all the areas surveyed ranged from 26-54%. Staff also reported feeling better equipped in their work to support the families of Westmoreland County. One year after the project, Hailey has now nearly finished her master’s degree and has expressed interest in continuing in the behavioral health field in an advanced role.

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