WINGS for Children and Families
Hancock, Penobscot, Piscataquis, and Washington Counties, Maine
At conception, a clear vision for the SOC did not exist. The original mission statement included a vision for the establishment of an independent organization that would address the myriad of problems facing the CMH community. Members of the CAAB felt that once this organization was funded and functional, there would no longer be a need for CAAB. The CAAB has come to realize that they must continue and that there is a functional role for the CAAB in the SOC. The overall goal of the SOC is to establish and implement the SOC and family involvement, and develop interagency agreements to expand services. WINGS is designed to provide an accessible, single point of entry to a system where children and families of children with emotional, behavioral, and mental health needs define their strengths and needs. WINGS collaborates with other agencies and providers to coordinate care and to devise creative and flexible solutions that respond to families’ needs while building on their strengths in a supportive and comprehensive fashion.
The target population for Wings has remained the same over the course of the grant. To be eligible for services a child must either have a DSM-IV diagnosis or a condition that indicates a DSM-IV diagnosis; be 18 years or younger (20 if still in school); reside in the five county catchment area; be at risk of out-of-home placement; be involved with at least two child-serving public agencies; and have difficulty maintaining stability at school, at home, or in the community. Currently Wings serves about 150 children and their families at any one time. This is an increase over the 250 children served through the first 3 years of the grant. In addition, Wings’ parent resource coordinators estimate that they have provided support and referral services to an additional 200 families during 98. Many children served reside in the Bangor area, although some families in other parts of the large catchment area receive services. The majority of the population in the five-county area is Caucasian (97%) and Wings staff and clients reflect that makeup.