COMPASS (Children of Mississippi and Their Parents Accessing Strength-Based Services)
Hinds County, Mississippi
COMPASS’s primary goal is to develop a collaborative service delivery system for children with serious emotional disturbance and their families in Hinds County. Additional goals are (a) to add and enhance services in a manner that allows the greatest flexibility in practicing wraparound principles; (b) to increase interagency cohesiveness and collaboration, paying particular attention to the relationship between Education and Mental Health; (c) to strengthen the parent–professional partnerships by expanding the role of families in program conceptualization, implementation, service delivery, and evaluation; and (d) to develop and implement a social marketing plan that insures the needs of the target population are met in a family-friendly, culturally competent manner.
The original catchment area for the COMPASS project was Hinds County in central Mississippi. According to Census 2000 data, Hinds County has a population of 250,800. The demographic composition of the county is 61.1 percent African-American, 37.3 percent White, 0.6 percent Asian, 0.3 percent American Indian or Other race, and 0.6 percent from two or more races. Approximately 0.8 percent of the population is of Hispanic origin. In December 2003, COMPASS expanded to include Region 8 Community Mental Health Center in adjacent Rankin County. As a whole, Rankin County has a population of 115,327 people, of whom 81 percent are White, 17 percent African-American, 0.7 percent Asian, 0.6 percent from Other races, 0.6 percent from two or more races, and 1.3 percent reporting Hispanic origins. The specific target population for the COMPASS project is children who meet the following criteria: Are 0–22 years of age and Hinds County or Rankin County residents; Have a DSM–IV diagnosis with the exception of V codes, substance use disorders, or developmental disorders, unless they co-occur with another diagnosable serious emotional disturbance; Experience impaired functioning as compared to same-age peers, in family, school, or community settings; Are involved with two or more child-serving agencies; Have a disability that has been present for at least 1 year or, on the basis of diagnosis and intensity, expected to last more than 1 year. A total of 498 children have been served (42 from Rankin County and 456 from Hinds County) since the beginning of the grant program.