Families and Communities Together (FACT) Project
The goal of FACT is to create a comprehensive, coordinated spectrum of behavioral and other services for children who are now served, or are at risk of being served, through the State’s ICT and who 1) have mental, emotional, and/or behavioral problems, 2) are not functioning well in school, home and/or community, and 3) require the services of multiple state agencies. Specific objectives to achieve this goal include establishing the system-of-care philosophy; establishing a full family–professional partnership; providing a complete array of services that are community based, family focused, culturally competent, and in the least restrictive environment; ensuring individualized assessment, service planning, clinically appropriate services, and ongoing care management by applying a validated clinical services management model and creating Individualized Child Service Teams (ICSTs); and sustaining the system of care after the grant ends by reducing utilization of more restrictive and out-of-state services, creating less intensive and less restrictive services in Delaware, utilizing care management practices, and optimizing Federal cost recovery to support the service system.
FACT serves children and families in all three counties of the State. The project’s main office is in New Castle County, which is the most metropolitan of the three counties and includes Wilmington and Newark. Kent County contains the capitol city, Dover. Sussex County is the most rural. According to 2003 population estimates from the United States Census Bureau, 63 percent of Delaware’s population resides in New Castle County, 16 percent in Kent County, and 21percent in Sussex County, which represents a slight decrease of about 2 percent in population in New Castle County and a 2 percent increase in Sussex County since 2000. The FACT project focuses on serving school-aged children between 3 and 18 years of age and youth referred through the ICT because, according to the project proposal, “due to service gaps, agency resource constraints, no clinical management, and tendency to place youth out of State in 24-hour settings, there is no system of care.” Eligible children usually have long histories of educational difficulties and problems functioning at school, at home, or in the community; developmental delays or mental retardation; neurological problems; mental or emotional disturbance; and frequent involvement with the child welfare and juvenile justice agencies. FACT originally had a statewide capacity to serve 50 children at any one time, but by 2004 the project increased its capacity to 65 through the addition of a new contracted case manager in New Castle County. Respondents reported that the capacity has increased to up to 75 children and families with the addition of a case manager who serves children and youth who are transitioning out of the program. Thirty-five additional children and families have been served between the 2004 and 2005 assessment, bringing the total number served since the beginning of the program up to 141. As of May 05, 68 children and their families were being served by FACT.