Families play key role in addressing children’s needs
Helping youth with mental health and behavioral challenges thrive in home and community settings is one of the most challenging issues in our mental health system today. In the past, a child might have been removed from their home simply because few better alternatives were available. Now, however, New Directions Youth and Family Services is participating in a new program that integrates evidence-based High Fidelity Wraparound with the state’s Medicaid Health Homes Serving Children program, to better serve young people ages 12 to 21 with serious emotional disturbances.
The new program, New York State Systems of Care, is supported through a federal grant and is being implemented by the New York State Office of Mental Health, as part of the state’s health care reform efforts. Locally, the Erie County Department of Mental Health is collaborating with various agencies, including New Directions Youth and Family Services, to serve these at-risk children. Erie County was selected in part based on past successes in implementing systems of care initiatives for at risk children, including incorporating youth and family voices into policies and practices.
The program is intended to better serve youth and young adults with the highest and most complex needs in home and community settings. and is based on the evidence-based High Fidelity Wraparound model. National data supports the effectiveness of this model in which families work with a team facilitator to establish their own individual child and family team.