Cardinal Innovations Expands In-Home Parenting Skills Program to All Counties It Serves

Cardinal Innovations Healthcare — March 25, 2021
Charlotte, N.C. – As part of ongoing efforts to support the mental and behavioral health needs of children and youth, Cardinal Innovations announced today that it is expanding Youth Villages’ Intercept program to all twenty counties that the managed care organization serves. By teaching parents essential skills that help keep families together, Intercept by Youth Villages – a national leader in children’s behavioral health – takes a proactive approach to safely prevent children from having to enter the custody of social service agencies.

Intercept is an integrated, intensive in-home parenting skills program used to safely prevent children from entering out-of-home care or to reunify them with family as quickly as possible if a period of out-of-home care is necessary. This includes, but is not limited to, foster care, residential treatment, or group home settings. Intercept is appropriate for children ranging in age from birth to 18.

“Cardinal’s expansion of the Intercept program is part of our ongoing efforts to strengthen the support resources that are available to youth and families in all of the counties that we serve. Our goal is to have children and youth thrive in safe homes, schools and communities. By supporting a healthy home environment, the Intercept program can help safely keep family units intact,” said Trey Sutten, CEO of Cardinal Innovations.

“Youth Villages' Intercept can step in to change a family's trajectory with intensive support, new parenting and communication skills, and evidence- and strength-based intervention services,” said Annie Smith, Youth Villages’ State Director of Community Based Programs.

Researchers found that Intercept reduces the chances of out-of-home placement by 53 percent following an abuse or neglect investigation. The effect of Intercept is sustained at six and 12 months after services end. Additionally, data show the likelihood of achieving permanency were approximately 24 percent higher for Intercept than a comparison group.

This expansion comes as North Carolina prepares for implementation of the Family First Prevention Services Act. This law reforms federal child welfare financing streams (Title IV-E and Title IV-B of the Social Security Act) to provide services to families who are at risk of entering the child welfare system. The statute aims to prevent children from entering foster care by allowing federal reimbursement for mental health services, substance use treatment, and in-home parenting skill training. It also seeks to improve the well-being of children already in foster care by incentivizing states to reduce placement of children in congregate care.

Cardinal Innovations is contracted by the state to serve Medicaid recipients and the under-insured and uninsured, including coordinating behavioral healthcare for Medicaid-eligible foster children.

About Cardinal Innovations: Cardinal Innovations Healthcare is a specialized health plan and care coordinator for Medicaid recipients and the under- and uninsured in North Carolina with complex behavioral and special needs. Cardinal Innovations connects people with treatment and support for mental health, intellectual and developmental disabilities, and substance use disorders through a network of providers in their communities. The organization serves this important role in 20 counties. In 2020, Cardinal Innovations administered nearly $850 million for the care of 825,000 people in the region and invested more than $50 million to improve support systems and to respond to the pandemic. Cardinal Innovations also works with local governments to address public health concerns such as homelessness, suicide prevention, child welfare and domestic violence through education, engagement and outreach.

About Youth Villages: Youth Villages is a national leader in children’s mental and behavioral health committed to building strong families, delivering effective services, and significantly improving outcomes for children, families and young people involved in child welfare and juvenile justice systems across the country. Founded in 1986, the organization’s 3,000 employees help more than 30,000 children annually in 23 states and the District of Columbia. Youth Villages has been recognized by the Harvard Business School and U.S. News & World Report and was identified by The White House as one of the nation’s most promising resultsoriented nonprofit organizations. Learn more at 

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