Many New Hampshire children, youth, and families who experience difficulties in day-to-day life due to serious emotional disturbances end up being moved out of their homes. They are often put into residential treatment facilities, psychiatric hospitals, juvenile justice facilities, or daytime programs that take them out of their schools and communities. Despite the best intentions and hard work of families and providers, services are difficult to navigate and are fragmented into uncoordinated systems.
Families and Systems Together
New Hampshire has begun to make big strides to address these challenges with a new approach. The FAST Forward program – Families and Systems Together – is designed to serve youth with serious emotional disturbances and their families, whose needs aren’t met by traditional service streams and programs.
The FAST Forward program is...
- Working with a team using a wraparound process to coordinate care
- Providing unconditional support and individualized flexible programming with a “do what it takes” attitude
- Offering an enhanced array of services, including short-term respite care, and soon to include mobile crisis teams
- Using a “system of care” approach that is family driven, youth guided, community based, and culturally and linguistically competent
- Making sure our youth with the most difficult emotional and substance use issues are connected with the appropriate supports within their community
Family Driven, Youth Guided
Family is at the core of FAST Forward’s work. Family members have a voice in describing their needs and strengths, and a choice in identifying services and their supports. Families take a leadership role in their families’ care as well in policy, planning, and evaluation of the overall system.
Youth voice is needed and valued, as youth are full participants in planning their care.
Community Based & Culturally Competent
Services are home- and community-based: keeping youth in their homes and schools is a priority.
FAST Forward honors the culture and beliefs of each family served through this program.
FAST Forward is a 4-year federally-funded initiative to improve the lives of children and youth with serious emotional disturbances and their families by decreasing behavioral and emotional problems and improving functioning in home, school, and community for these youth.
After a successful start-up period focused on partner and infrastructure development, FAST Forward is pleased to have begun working with families in July 2014. In October of 2016, NFI North, Inc. (NFI), a subsidairy of North American Family Institute, Inc., assumed operations and expanded resources. NFI develops community-based services for children, youth, families, and adults. NFI's mission is to inspire and empower people to reach their full potential so they can live successfully within their home and community. NFI continues to provide the highest level of service to families and youth to ensure success.
Referrals are being accepted from families and providers for children and youth who...
- Are Medicaid eligible
- Are aged six or older or who are young adults transitioning out of school, foster care, or state placements
- Experience difficulties in day-to-day life due to a diagnosis of serious emotional disturbance
- Are at risk of multi-agency involvement (includes out of home placement in a residential treatment facility, psychiatric hospital, or juvenile justice facility)
Although FAST Forward staff can serve only a small cohort of youth in its first year of implementation, they will provide facilitated referrals and interim supports to youth waiting for FAST Forward services.
FAST Forward staff and partners have been trained in the nationally recognized and evidence-supported wraparound process and will be working to build up the network of wraparound partners.
Our vision: a comprehensive statewide system of care that supports children and youth in their homes, schools, and communities.
For more information please contact Daryll Tenney, or call 603-271-5075.