Healthy families provide children with the foundation they need to grow into happy and successful adults. And the goal of our Home-Based Services Program is to help biological families stay together.
We assist families experiencing parent/child conflicts that cannot be resolved without professional assistance. This may include situations in which the teen is at imminent risk of leaving or being removed from the home or is currently out of the home, with the goal of reunification.
Youth and Families
The families referred for these home-based services will include families that have come to the attention of Montgomery County Children Services Division as at risk for being unable to maintain the youth in the home. In a typical Parent/Teen Conflict referral, the child is nine to thirteen but may be older and is experiencing some difficulty in their lives. These youth may be unruly, delinquent, aggressive, violent, and gang-involved or a possible runaway. The child may be experiencing problems learning or under-achieving in school. They may have poor interpersonal skills and may display abusive behavior in family or peer relationships. The youth may be struggling with substance abuse issues but may not have reached the threshold for primary treatment. There may or may not be overt abuse present in the home; however, there will generally be a history of abuse or neglect.
The family has some motivation to try to stay together, but doesn’t know how to accomplish this. Parents/caregivers may be at the point of threatening to leave the child at the local public child welfare agency or may be refusing to pick them up from juvenile court.
Scope of Services
The goals of the program are to de-escalate the crisis in the family and increase the conflict resolution and problem solving skills of all family members, to confront and reduce the violence in the family, to empower the family through improved non-violent conflict resolution and to keep the family together consistent with child safety.
This is accomplished in part through collaborative work with the Children Services Division (CSD) worker. CHOICES staff are expected to maintain regular contact with the CSD worker and attend Semi-Annual Review, family team meetings as well as court hearings in an effort to effectively provide and coordinate services for the family.
Families receive five to ten hours of face-to-face contact per week, with services being delivered up to 12 weeks; but not exceeding eighty hours. Educational and skill building services provided are tailored for the individual needs of the family and may include instruction on various topics, such as:
- problem solving skills
- de-escalation techniques
- conflict resolution skills
- behavior modification and developmentally appropriate discipline approaches
- organizational skills
- goal setting skills
- household management skills
These activities would allow parents or caretakers the opportunity to learn concrete skills so that they might be able to more effectively manage behaviors and operate a functional household. Furthermore, families will be encouraged to use family meetings as a forum to address issues in a planned and non-crisis oriented setting, thus supporting the development of trusting, caring relationships.
In addition to teaching activities, CHOICES also facilitates linkage of the family with needed services in their community. Each family will be familiarized with services available to them, within fifteen miles of their family home whenever possible, and independent of CHOICES. They will also be instructed on how to access these resources. Additionally, crisis intervention services are available to each family twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
Scope of Services
The professionals at CHOICES, Inc. will assist youth in safely transitioning back into the community thereby reducing the number of youth placed in residential facilities and providing local placements for youth to allow for reunification as appropriate.
Counseling, mental health and crisis services are provided to youth and their families when appropriate. Placement resources and treatment are provided in the community where the youth resided prior to incarceration or placement. Providers ensure that caretakers in the placement setting receive the training and support necessary to meet the needs of the youth.
An initial assessment is provided along with an evaluation of progress to determine when reunification or a step down to a less restrictive placement is appropriate.
Youth receiving services through this program require traditional and nontraditional services. A continuum of care is needed to provide quality services to youth. This continuum of care includes safe, stable placement options that meet the specific needs of each youth. The goal is for delinquent behaviors and recidivism to decrease and pro-social behaviors to increase. Throughout the service provision, there is on-going communication and collaboration between the services provider, juvenile court and children services.
- Provide safe and stable placement options within the community for transitioning youth offenders
- Reduce delinquent behavior and recidivism Increase/improve pro-social behaviors
- Maintain youth in their community
- Assist families in developing skills needed to promote reunification, if appropriate
- Prevent residential placements of transitioning youth
- Provide a continuum of care to meet the needs of this difficult population to include counseling and sex offender treatment
- Provide crisis intervention services and supportive services to reduce placement disruption