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Child Program Check-In: We’re All on the Children’s Team

Cardinal Innovations Healthcare — May 12, 2021
As we shared in our last check-in, we aligned all our DSS liaisons and expanded two of our child welfare services. We also discussed some of the ways we track our progress.

This month, we’re sharing how we’re working toward the Child Program’s goals together. Our liaisons are fully engaged with DSS. We’re training our employees in child welfare-related topics. And we’re working with new and current providers to further expand our child welfare services.

Read below for the full details.

DSS Liaisons

Our Department of Social Services (DSS) liaisons have been busy since aligning with our counties’ DSS agencies.

Working With Children in Custody, Striving for Prevention

We’re working to tailor every liaison role to meet each county’s unique needs. And we’re continuing our efforts to focus on prevention work. Our liaisons are committed to working further “upstream” to keep children in their homes and communities.

Promoting Permanency

Liaisons are linking DSS to critical resources that can help promote permanency. These resources help members maintain their current DSS placements. And, during necessary transitions, the resources help ensure continuity of care.

Liaisons also attend permanency planning review meetings with DSS to offer support on all custody cases.

Child Program Core Trainings for Employees

Cardinal Innovations team members will take three core trainings related to child welfare, including Introduction to Trauma-Informed Care. These trainings will raise our organization’s collective understanding of the Child Program and help us better serve impacted families.

Service Development and Expansion

We’re constantly working to better our available services.

Enhanced Crisis Response

Enhanced Crisis Response is designed to support members aged three to 21 years who are:
  • At-risk for abandonment, crisis episodes, or higher levels of care that present to an emergency department or facility-based crisis
  • Admitted to an inpatient facility with a lack of parent involvement in the discharge planning process
  • In a non-therapeutic home such as a DSS foster home, DSS shelter, or kinship placement and are at risk of admission to an emergency room or inpatient facility
SPARC Services & Programs LLC (SPARC) is the current enhanced crisis response provider supporting Mecklenburg County members. We’re collaborating with SPARC to expand this service and partner with local hospitals in other counties.  

High Fidelity Wraparound

High Fidelity Wraparound is a team-based approach for children who are involved with multiple systems and facing behavioral health challenges. This service is intended to:
  • Intervene before these challenges lead to therapeutic residential levels of care or other institutional settings
  • Stabilize the family system after multiple crisis events
Our providers Youth Villages, Thompson Child & Family Focus, and Carolina Therapeutic Services, Inc. currently offer this service in 11 counties. We’re actively working with providers like SPARC to expand High Fidelity Wraparound to more members who need it.  

Coming Soon: Level IV Program

We’re partnering with Thompson Child & Family Focus to develop new model of Short-Term Crisis Stabilization Residential Program for youth aged 10 to 17 in DSS custody. This 45-day treatment is intended for youth who:
  • Are in custody of NC DSS
  • Are experiencing behavioral health challenges that led to the unplanned loss of placement within the child welfare system
  • Do not require an inpatient level of care
This includes, but is not limited to, children who have disrupted a residential setting and cannot return to that setting.  

Our teams meet weekly to develop and plan the implementation of this service. Our goal is to begin referring a small number of youths to the pilot program this summer.

To Summarize

The Child Program team is so excited to finally put some of our plans into action.
In summary:
  • Our DSS Liaisons are continuing to promote permanency for children in custody while also focusing our efforts on prevention work with children and families.
  • We’re training our employees to better understand the Child Program and how to support our members impacted by the child welfare system.
  • We’re working on expanding two services and creating a new one to support our members and families involved in child welfare.
We also have several upcoming projects that we can’t wait to share with you soon. Stay tuned.

Child Program

Find more information and resources on our Child Program.

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