Family HOPE (Helping Organize Partnerships for Empowerment)
West Palm Beach, Florida
Family HOPE’s overarching goal is: To establish a seamless system of care for children with serious emotional disturbance and their families that is based on a network of sustainable community-based services and governed by a set of core values and principles, resulting in a reduced number of children moving into deep end placements, a reduction in service duplication, improved student functioning in school and in the community, and family satisfaction with services. Family HOPE’s program objectives are as follows: To expand forums for family voice and choice where they participate in planning, receipt, and evaluation of unconditional care; To continue to develop a traditional and nontraditional provider network of integrated sustainable community-based services that embrace the core values and principles of the Family HOPE system of care; To empower a governing board composed of families and youth, public and private service agencies, and funders that provide oversight for the integration of the core values and principles of this system of care as it transitions in the year ahead; To develop an accountability system that provides a continuous improvement model that implements effective evidenced-based practice, evaluates performance, and measures specified local and national outcomes; To provide culturally diverse family education and support centers within the target community; To celebrate our successes.
Family HOPE expanded the system-of care to a county-wide catchment area which includes all of Palm Beach County. In previous years, the grant program served children and families who resided in or attended school within District 9, Administrative Area 3 of the School District of Palm Beach County. Administrative Area 3 is a geographical area comprised of nine contiguous zip codes in the central urban core of West Palm Beach; two of the nine zip codes have had service utilization rates that are significantly higher than surrounding neighborhoods in that part of the county. The target population for Family HOPE continues to consist of children with serious emotional disturbance and their families as determined by criteria established by either the school district or the Substance Abuse and Mental Health (SAMH) Program Office. Enrollment in Family HOPE should demonstrate families’ need and desire for highly intensive, community-based wraparound care. Specific criteria for enrollment remain unchanged and include the following: Primary DSM–IV/ICD 9 Axis I or II diagnosis; Functional impairment for at least 1 year duration or anticipated to last 1 year or more; Family agreement and mutual consent for services; Significant family stress as defined on Axis IV; Significant level of functioning impairment in one or more life domains on Axis V; Children and adolescents under 22 years of age. In addition to the above mentioned criteria for enrollment, respondents reported that priority for enrollment is given to children and families who have involvement with multiple systems of care; are in out-of-home placements or are at risk of out-of-home placement; have a significant history of need for crisis stabilization services; represent varied cultural groupings that reflect the composition of the grant community; and/or, reside in zip code areas that have a high volume of referrals to community services. At the time of the 2004 assessment, 104 children were enrolled. Over the next year, Family HOPE has served 200 families.