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Category: Core

Pipeline: Community Based Supports

Provider: Nexus-PATH Family Healing 

Contact Information:
Heather Simonich, Operations Director
Nexus-PATH Family Healing

What it is:
Targeted Case Management (TCM) supports students, families, and school staff by placing a Nexus-PATH Case Manager within a school building to deliver case management services for referred students. The Case Manager aids schools in meeting the whole child’s needs by making home visits, meeting with the student and their family to gain greater understanding of their context and needs, and helping them access essential supports and services.

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As the only pipeline support designated as a Core Service, TCM is the heart of the Full-Service Community Schools model in North Dakota. Allison Rehling, Nexus-PATH Supervisor for TCM, explains that this program is intended not to serve the most students, but those students who are in the most need. In order to qualify, a student must have a mental health diagnosis, difficulty functioning well at school or home, and be eligible for Medicaid. 

“Whether that student is dealing with intensive behaviors, family changes, or the impact of trauma, our case managers can help schools better understand what is going on at home so that they can create a more supportive environment in school,” Rehling said. 

TCM is a truly collaborative process between Nexus-PATH and schools, beginning with the hiring process. While a case manager is hired by Nexus-PATH, representatives selected by the school–who could include superintendents, principals, school counselors, and more–are active participants in all interviews. 

“It takes trust and a willingness to take some risk on behalf of the school district to invest in an intensive partnership like this with a community agency. For best results, our staff are wrapped tightly into that school team which requires a high level of collaboration and communication.” said Heather Simonich, Operations Director at Nexus-PATH. “So finding someone who is the right fit for that particular school is incredibly important.” 

Once hired, case managers walk alongside students with significant challenges and serve as a bridge between home, school, and community resources. They meet regularly with students and families to identify their needs, then help them access mental health services such as family or individual therapy, as well as basic medical, dental, or optical care.

“It’s amazing how many kids have never seen an eye doctor,” Rehling said. “A student may be having chronic headaches that are making them act out, and it turns out those headaches are because they need glasses. When they get glasses, their school behavior improves because now they can see.”

The impact of TCM extends beyond the individual students who receive direct support; it creates a ripple effect that can impact the whole school or district.

“This intensive support is critical for some students to make academic gains and our schools are simply not funded nor resourced to provide it. School staff indicate this service helps them stay focused on teaching,” Simonich said. “We’ve also seen that when Nexus-PATH can provide this resource, it seems to leverage other community providers to also get those relationships established with the school. Our goal is that this service benefits students, families, and educators alike.”

TCM also has the potential to change the trajectory of entire families. Rehling recalls one particular student who is a young mother. Through their home visits, the case manager has been able to provide support not just for the student, but for her mother and her toddler, who she was able to register for Head Start programming.

“We’ve been able to impact three generations of a family just by working with one client,” she said. 


Schools interested in learning more about Targeted Case Management are encouraged to visit To bring Targeted Case Management to your school, please reach out to Heather Simonich at Nexus-PATH directly:

Heather Simonich, Operations Director
Nexus-PATH Family Healing


We are a Consortium representing a variety of ND schools and organizations who are passionate about helping ND students and families succeed.


We partner with local leaders to coordinate comprehensive supports in areas such as wellness , workforce readiness, and academic enrichment to help students, families, and communities thrive.


Students cannot learn when their basic needs are not met. Not all schools have the resources to meet all needs. NDFSCS supports schools and community partners in navigating these challenges together.