The Family Behavioral Health system provides an integrated and flexible array of strengths-based services and supports centered around one predominant belief: Children need their families and families need their children. Whenever possible, children should grow up within their own families or extended families, and in their own communities. If separation from a parent or parents is unavoidable, we continue to work toward preserving the family relationship, and whenever possible, continue to focus efforts on reunification. In an intervention, which is truly family-driven and strengths-based, the framework is fairly simple. Initially, we find out what families need in order to stabilize and remain together. Subsequently, we work together with the child and family members, using a team-based approach to meet those needs, and we never give up.
Family Behavioral Health therapists are well known for innovative therapeutic techniques and non-traditional interventions. Youth and families referred to us have generally experienced a number of traditional services without success. Our families tend to be those for whom nothing else has worked, and all other viable treatment alternatives have been exhausted. Many have all but given up on professional services, and our first task may be to help them see hope for change and growth. Rather than following a strict and prescriptive “model,” we offer individualized and tailored family-centered services, using a strengths-based and team-based collaborative approach. Natural supports are an integral component of every intervention.
Throughout all stages of the intervention, family voice and ownership (including family preferences) are emphasized. Active participation by those who care about and know the family best (the Child and Family Team) is essential. In order to engage the child and family so that they are comfortable with services, therapists, family partners, and care coordinators meet wherever the family wants to meet (generally the home, but sometimes in a friend’s or relative’s home).
Services are provided at times most convenient to the family, usually evenings and weekends. Our staff are mobile and spend most of their time in the home, school, and community locations. Therapists are on call to the families that they serve 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, through their home telephone number and/or pager number. Family Behavioral Health provides a comprehensive array of services and supports including clinical services using a variety of approaches offered in various locations in throughout the community. Most services are provided in the family’s own home. In most communities, numerous providers are available to offer more traditional facility-based services; for service provision utilizing a Family Behavioral Health or Wraparound approach, serving families in their own homes seems a more appropriate philosophical fit.