In their efforts to serve the mental and social-emotional wellbeing of children and youth in Jackson County, Children’s Services Fund (CSF) helps nearly 25 programs and organizations provide a variety of home and community based intervention services. The goal? To enable children and youth to remain in their homes and communities where they can learn, grow and receive the support they need to overcome social-emotional or mental health struggles.
The Need for Intervention Services
Many risk factors drive the need for home and community based intervention in Jackson County. From trauma (of any level) to the effects of substance abuse or homelessness, without these programs, kids would not be able to safely stay in their home or engage in community. Below are a few examples of the many ways partner organizations can (and do) help.
Trauma-Induced Mental & Behavioral Health Challenges
Kids can struggle, even when they are being raised in really good homes with really good parents. The assumption that behavioral challenges in children and youth are a result of bad parenting is simply not true. Even kids with the best parents and minimal risk factors can go through traumatic events leading to unhealthy ways of coping.
ReStart, Inc. together with Synergy Services and Drumm Farm Center for Children works to get homeless, runaway youth off the streets while providing case management services and crisis bags that include hygiene essentials and a burner cell phone for communicating with their staff or families.
Family Changes or Instability
When families move, parents change jobs, cohabitate, marry or divorce, kids can feel the instability, which can affect their ability to communicate, process thoughts, and function from day to day. Additionally, children who are subject to abuse, neglect, or maltreatment can face behavioral challenges that require intervention and mental health counseling.
Partners such as Children’s Mercy facilitates the TIES program, which helps families with infants exposed to substances during pregnancy in order to reduce drug use, improve family stability through education and overall promote healthier families.
Organizations like Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kansas City work to provide mentoring opportunities by matching children with a caring, adult mentor in a one-to-one friendship, while working to make sure that mentor better understands trauma and how it can impact children.
A Flexible Approach to Supporting Children’s Mental Health
Home and community based intervention services are a vital part of a holistic approach to helping Jackson County kids. Designed to allow children and adolescents to participate in a vast array of behavioral health services, organizations decide the structure of the services they offer, tailoring programs for each individual or family based on what they need most and how they need it.
Whether services are provided in the home, in the community, a family setting, a small group public setting, or virtually children are served in the least restrictive and most supportive environments. This flexibility comes with several benefits for home based intervention:
- Children feel safe, relaxed, and comfortable
- Families can meet in the location best for them, eliminating the need for transportation.
- Staff get to observe children and family interaction in the home
- Staff can identify the strengths or challenges children are facing when families are in the comfort of their own homes.
Community based services can also be planned around what is easiest and best for the individuals and families they are serving by meeting in a location closest to their home.
Multiple Delivery Approaches and Models
While some services may be prescriptive in nature, many are not. Home and community based intervention can take several different approaches, using one or a combination of models to best support every child and family. A few of these delivery methods include:
- Early intervention — assisting families at the onset of behavioral or other social-emotional or mental challenges
- Routine-based — scheduling a number of visits per week for a determined amount of with or without a curriculum
- Evidence-based — providing care based on assessment and observations, equipping parents to deal with behavioral challenges in the moment
- Applied Behavior Analysis — establishing care based on principles of learning theory that have been evaluated using reliable, objective measurements
- Prescriptive care — addressing behavioral struggles, abuse, neglect, or other trauma through a more intensive, individualized model
- Preventative care — Building coping skills and resilience through social-emotional learning and education
In any model, organizations can incorporate various roles at various points as needed for care. Some of these include:
- Parents and Caregivers
- Healthcare Professionals
- Other Partner Organizations
Affirming the Organizations We Fund
As one of the largest areas of need, we require additional information in order to affirm we’re funding the right organizations. For every application we consider, we ask organizations to provide an overview of their services, why they exist, how they compare to other organizations like them, stats and trends, timelines for awaited services, and an overview of what is happening in Jackson County as a whole. Although some organizations share overlap in services or how they provide them, there are also many who offer unique or specialized services.
Partners Offering Home and Community Based Intervention Services
In our efforts to support kids and adolescents in Jackson County with the tools and resources they need through home and community based intervention, we currently fund partner organizations including:
- Cornerstones of Care
- Child Abuse Prevention Association
- Jackson County CASA
- Rose Brooks Center
- YMCA of Greater Kansas City
- And many more.
Find out more about partner organizations like these and the other areas of service Children’s Services Fund supports. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of Jackson County kids and families.