Changing the Odds by Increasing ‘Voice & Choice’ in Foster Care

Changing the Odds by Increasing ‘Voice & Choice’ in Foster Care: Whole-Person Care & Well-Being

A Step Towards Increasing Positive Outcomes-Importance of Voices

Just like the siloed electronic health records (EHRs), the ‘voice & choice’ of a youth in foster-care can become siloed often not heard or seen as important while being served within a system of care (SOC). This statement is not meant in any way to disparage systems partners, such as child-welfare, juvenile justice, behavioral/mental health. Instead, it is meant to draw attention to fact often systems are overwhelmed with large workloads and often deadlines. However, it is essential to respect not only the values & principles of systems of care but to embody them in our day-to-day work with those being served.

According to Georgetown University’s National Technical Assistance for Children’s Mental Health, the first core-value of SOC is “Family driven and youth guided, with the strengths and needs of the child and family determining the types and mix of services and supports provided.” It is when this value is put into practice that ‘voice & choice’ becomes the guiding principle in how the work gets done. This partnership is even more important when a youth is in foster care. In the United States there are almost a half of million children/youth in foster care.

When a child/youth has be removed from their home the reason often revolves around abuse and/or neglect which has been substantiated through an investigation. The removal itself can be as traumatizing as the adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), which can include verbal/physical/sexual abuse, household mental illness, household substance abuse, domestic violence. It has been found that 25% of those in foster-care  experience Post-traumatic stress disorder  (PTSD), which equates to twice the rate of U.S. war veterans.

Opeeka’s Person-Centered Intelligence Solution (P-CIS) was created ensuring that everyone’s voice, especially those in care, were being actively heard throughout time in care. When young people share their experiences and perspectives on what makes a difference for them, they are more engaged in treatment process.

Families, youth and professionals have different sets of knowledge, experience and beliefs. Therefore, each of them brings their unique expertise to the treatment team, without which the clinical decision-making process would be less productive. Youth perspective is based on the youth’s lived experience and priorities. Mutual respect for each perspective promotes decision-making in the best interest of the youth.

We know that youth involvement is essential at each phase of the treatment process, including assessment, treatment planning, implementation, monitoring, and outcome evaluation. Youth partnership, especially those in foster, means that they must:

  • have the right to be involved in making decisions regarding providers and others involved in the treatment team
  • be encouraged to express preferences, needs, priorities, and disagreements
  • collaborate actively in treatment plan development & in identifying desired goals and outcomes
  • be given the best knowledge & information to make decisions
  • make joint decisions with their treatment team
  • participate actively in monitoring treatment outcomes & modifying treatment

Focus on Person-Center & Whole-Person Care: Empower for Overall Wellbeing

Person-Centered Care is defined by the World Health Organization as: “empowering people to take charge of their own health rather than being passive recipients of services.

System of Care’s guiding principles actively support person-centered & whole-person care: ensuring cross-system collaboration, with linkages between child-serving agencies & programs across administrative and funding boundaries/mechanisms for system-level management, coordination, and integrated care management; providing care management or similar mechanisms to ensure that multiple services are delivered in a coordinated and therapeutic manner, and that children and their families can move through the system of services in accordance with their changing needs; providing developmentally appropriate mental health services and supports that promote optimal social & emotional outcomes; incorporate or link with mental health promotion, prevention, and early identification and intervention to improve long-term outcomes; and protecting the rights of youth and promote effective advocacy efforts.

Alexis & Justin Black share their ‘real-life story’* of beating the odds, having experienced trauma and growing-up in foster care. They will share how they managed to defy the odds, get healthy, and build a new life together.

Whole-Person Care & Well-Being

In addition, they will offer innovative solutions, including focusing on how sharing ‘real-time data’ in care-planning can support better outcomes & increased systems collaborations from their unique lived-perspective. *Alexis & Justin will be sharing their real-life story, which contains factual depictions of domestic violence, trauma, sexual assault, and other difficult issues faced on the road to healing. Their goal in sharing was to be “Honest and vulnerable, this story is raw, wrenching, and necessary.”

Innovative Technology-Putting the Pieces Together for Successful Outcomes

The challenge is when children, youth, and families are served by multiple public programs it is often difficult to navigate and coordinated care. Those within Foster-Care move and often experience several placements, attend different schools, changes in child-welfare workers as well as having a variety of healthcare professionals throughout care. Youth must tell and re-tell their stories to many different people, multiple programs collecting duplicative information, sometimes developing competing care plans which with opposing schedules. Children, youth, and families could achieve better outcomes through a better coordinated system of care.

Opeeka’s innovative technology, Person-Centered Intelligence Solutions (pronounced pieces) always keeps the ‘person’ at the center of care. In support of our mission P-CIS effective health-care strategy-valuing the ‘Voices’ of those we serve…their views, input, and experiences which can help improve overall health outcomes.

P-CIS provides:

  • The ability to capture family circumstances in meaningful ways resulting in reliable, valid, and consistently administered outcome measures for all persons receiving services
  • Real-time monitoring features to ensure that care results in positive outcomes relative to practices, services, programs, populations, and agencies
  • Insights features to help to monitor level of care algorithms, placement decisions, program fidelity indicators, population needs, population outcomes, costs and more…

P-CIS can quantify reductions in need for foster care and improvements in child well-being related to each service component, so that agencies can put more resources toward service components that work, while dialing back efforts towards those with little impact. This results in a more efficient system of care providing increased quality of care with improved outcomes.

At Opeeka, our mission is to promote well-being for ALL. If wellbeing was a ladder, then our goal is to help empower every person to take upward steps. Opeeka’s Person-Centered Intelligence Solution (P-CIS) is a revolutionary new cloud-based assessment software that tracks progress toward well-being over time. Opeeka’s Person-Centered Intelligence Solution Enables Coordinated Care Across a System of Care, which will change the odds for everyone!

To Learn More About How Opeeka’s P-CIS Can Support Child-Welfare, Especially Aligning with Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) Visit Us at: www.Opeeka.com

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