- Project Title: Families Plus
- Grant Period: 2015-2018
- Contact Name: Brenda K. Holland, Ph.D., Executive Director of Families Plus
- Location: Delta County, Colorado
Program Overview: This program consists of 4 agencies: a mental health specialty
clinic, a hospital network, a primary care facility, and a safety net provider. One of the
promising models used by this program is the Wrap Around model which assists
children with complex needs using a collaborative approach. Families Plus is a long-term program that
assists parents with obtaining preventive healthcare for their children and wraps community resources around
each child. A long-term mentoring family for the child is the signature protective factor. This is a person
and family-centered model that has been effective for this program by having patients identify their goals
and needs through motivational interviewing. Another
promising model promoted by this program is the Cool Kids platform which was
modeled after an Australian program. Some of the specific therapy strategies used by Families Plus include
behavioral therapy and trauma-focused
cognitive behavioral therapy. This is called the Families Plus Mental Health Mentoring Model.
Families Plus has been successful due to a variety of factors including the work of a volunteer consultant, Dr. John VanDenBerg. Its success can also be attributed to the strong relationships between the various agencies in this rural area. Some of the barriers this program encountered when implementing this program were financial constraints. A positive outcome of this program is that Families Plus now has the capability to serve 60 additional children weekly, and they are the first group in the area to integrate behavioral health into a medical clinic. Telehealth is not planned at this point. The program is also currently developing an online training manual for the Families Plus Mental Health Mentoring Model for mental health professionals, including peer specialists called parent partners.
Some of the evaluation obstacles of this program include confidentiality barriers due to HIPAA regulations regarding sharing healthcare records. However, the program has been able to measure a return on investment by highlighting that 2,400 individuals have now been screened for depression.