A New Approach to Complex Problems
Catholic Family Center serves many families who are living with the impact of a myriad of issues including poverty, homelessness, addiction, and mental health, educational, and behavioral challenges. These problems do not exist independently--in fact, each of these problems feeds another.
For this reason, we have launched the Family Investment Initiative, a new way of doing business that weaves our services together to create a comprehensive, integrated, and family-centered system of care including collaborative case management across our service departments.
Our ultimate goal is to help each individual and family to overcome their own unique set of issues and to achieve both financial and social independence.
CFC has learned that it is not possible to truly stabilize and strengthen families by providing isolated services, no matter how effective they may be at addressing immediate crises. Instead, these complex issues require us to take a holistic view of the many challenges these families face, identify the underlying causes, and reach out to the entire family with comprehensive solutions that will make a lasting difference. This is the purpose of the Family Investment Initiative.
The Family Investment Initiative has been developed using the evidence-based practices of the National Wraparound Initiative, as well as the Child and Family Team Process also being used by the Monroe County Access project for children with mental health issues. We are among the first in the nation to expand on these models to address multiple problems brought forth by multiple generations within a family.
The Family Investment Initiative is collecting data on both short and longer-term client outcomes.
Some of the items we are measuring or will measure include:
- Improvement in status of family’s immediate physical and emotional needs, using the evidence-based Family Resource Scale, administered at 3-month intervals for at least 12 months.
- Reduction in total family cost for public assistance
- Reduction in number and or frequency of formal services, and/or
- Elimination of redundant/overlapping services
- Increased financial sufficiency, as evidenced by level of employment or enrollment in an education program
- Degree to which interdepartmental collaboration within CFC is increasing and becoming routine
A New Model of Care Coordination
The creation of a Family Care Coordinator is a key element of the Family Investment Initiative. Following a set of simple protocols, any CFC department or program can refer a complex case to the Family Care Coordinator. These cases often involve multiple family members with multiple problems. The Family Care Coordinator assesses the situation and is able to rapidly connect the family with services they need within CFC or from other agencies. She works with the clients to track their progress towards their goals, helping them to connect with the departments and services that can best help them down the path to self-sufficiency. In addition, the availability of a person charged with making the linkages and connections across departments and to outside agencies allows us to dramatically cut back on the waiting time for services.
The Family Care Coordinator works closely with the FII Resource Coordinator. The Resource Coordinator keeps CFC staff informed about the myriad of resources for our clients that exist both internally and in the community at large. She notifies staff about special events and offerings in the community that would benefit our clients or provide a learning opportunity for CFC personnel.
Catholic Family Center has moved to a whole new way of addressing complex problems through the Family Investment Initiative. Our new direction has great potential to restore hope and bring self-sufficiency to many of Rochester’s struggling families, and we are already beginning to see results. If you would like further information about FII, please call (585) 546-2440.