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.
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 and Youth Driven
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.