We know you care about families, especially those with very challenging kids. In order to really make a difference in helping children, you need a researched-based program that focuses on new skills for parents who are dealing with SED kids. The problem is, there are lots of services provided for kids, but few programs really focus on supporting parents and teaching new skills. And we're guessing you are already feeling frustrated with the inability to address this underlying issue.
At HF, we believe providing multiple services for kids has limited impact--until we can work directly with the parents and change the family environment as a whole. We understand the frustration of moving kids through a variety of services and seeing the family continue to struggle at home. That is why we offer a solution to agencies for a greater impact on kids' lives by teaching parents research-based skills and supporting them in implementing the skills in their own homes.
Here is how it works:
- Talk with Michelle about FFP at your agency
- Get trained
- Start helping families within a couple months
Your Special Unit Teams consist of 1 lead counselor and 1-3 paraprofessionals. Typically a lead counselor can handle 2-3 families at a time. Your lead counselors must be a master-level counselor, licensed professional counselor, or licensed clinical social worker with a background and knowledge in family therapy with a systemic family approach. We’ve also included a letter to the counselors to give you a better understanding of what kind of counselor will be the best fit for Family First. Feel free to forward it to anyone in your agency that might be interested or you feel would be a good fit. Every counselor brings his/her unique training to the team and we encourage them to draw from their experience to provide the best support possible for families. Obviously those that have great compassion for parents and the ability to encourage, while being direct, will be a great asset. Some agencies choose to hire counselors specifically for this program. Your lead counselor will be directly responsible to train and help the paraprofessionals working with the family.
Your paraprofessionals must have a bachelor’s degree in social work, psychology, juvenile justice or a related field. They can be CBRS workers, interns, family specialists, etc. We find that those who are the best fit are able to see beyond their focus on the kids, to what the parents need in all situations. Please see the Program Flow for a more detailed outline of services to be provided.
We believe agencies with low turnover and those that compensate their SUTs at a higher rate have the greatest potential for long-term success. The high level of commitment and dedication that is needed to provide support (and 24/7 access) for some of the most difficult and challenging kids should, in our opinion, be generously compensated.
In providing this new service, your agency will have a new income stream. We can talk with you individually about reimbursement codes that we have used in the past. Optum Idaho has also approved funding as part of their YES program as of January 1, 2020. You will find that just one family completing Family First (3-6 months) will cover your agency's start-up costs.
Please feel free to contact me directly with any questions you may have. We sincerely hope will join this movement and be known as an agency that focuses on parents to build strong families.
Michelle Williams-Alden, LPC