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New Family Care Model Aids At-Risk Families

31 August 2009 Wiley

Many families struggle on a day-to-day basis with insufficient in-home care or problematic out-of-home care for their emotionally or behaviorally troubled children and adolescents. Researchers have recently shown that an integrative family care model, which incorporates the strengths of external agencies and care providers, may be the answer. The latest issue of Family Process features this new model.

The I-FAST system was developed specifically to assist families dealing with a diversity of ongoing, severe, emotional and behavioral issues. Its foundational techniques are based on evidence-based practices found within the mental health and psychotherapy communities.

I-FAST allows clinicians, therapists, case managers, and agencies working with at-risk children, adolescents, and families to modify and creatively tailor their approach to meet the needs of their clients. These measures can not only improve the child's and family's situation and overall functioning level, but can also reduce frequent out-of-home placements and train parents to directly care for their children's problems at the home with less difficulty. .

The model empowers agencies such as community mental health centers to further utilize their therapists' strengths, skills and expertise. This practice in turn leads to a less costly operation. It encourages agencies to develop and cater their own home-based treatment and protocol rather than continually depend on external clinical support and monitoring. It also reduces the need for families to rely on out-of-home support at psychiatric hospitals or residential treatment facilities to handle the problems in their children.

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