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Overview Choices

No single entity can respond to the complex needs of youth with serious emotional and behavioral challenges and needs of their families. The youth and families are often involved with multiple agencies and may also be at high risk for out-of-home care.  As a result, youth and families often experience a fragmented system that is not adaptive or individualized to the families’ strengths and needs. Choices creates a single locus of accountability to serve youth and families in the community. Choices delivers intensive care coordination using a High Fidelity Wraparound Model of care. Some of the key elements of Choices are:

  • Child and Family Teams, responsible for development, coordination, and monitoring of individualized plans developed in a family-driven model;
  • Intensive Coordination of formal, informal and natural supports;
  • Quality Assurance to assess and improve the implementation of wraparound and adherence to values;
  • Utilization Management to support real time analysis of services and the cost and effectiveness of services;
  • Provider Network Management, with responsibility for network recruitment, organization and support;
  • Evaluation, including outcomes for youth and families served across life domains

What is Wraparound?

Wraparound is a family driven, strengths-based team approach in which all children and youth are connected to caring adults and have access to appropriate services and supports so they can be healthy, experience positive development, and live and thrive in their homes and communities. Wraparound assists families in building a team made up of people relevant to the life of the child or youth and family (e.g. family members, natural supports, service providers, community leaders, educators, etc…).  Based on the family’s strengths, needs, and culture, an individualized plan of care is developed, implemented, and monitored to meet the identified goals of the family.  The guiding principle of wraparound is family voice and choice or “Nothing about us without us!”-  requiring that the process is driven by the perspective of the family and the child or youth. The family’s team focuses on finding services unique to the child and family’s needs.

The 10 principles of Wraparound:

  • Family Voice and Choice 
  • Natural Supports
  • Team Based
  • Collaboration
  • Community Based
  • Persistence
  • Outcomes Based
  • Culturally Competent
  • Individualized
  • Strengths Based

 

Community Based Alternatives for Youth (CBAY)

Community Based Alternatives for Youth is a Medicaid waiver- a federal designation allowing states to “waive” certain portions of Medicaid law in order to provide home and community based services to individuals who otherwise require institutional care. CBAY is a funding source to support additional services and supports not covered by the Georgia Medicaid State plan.  The purpose of CBAY is to allow youth to “waive” institutional care at the Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility (PRTF) level and be served in the community by CORE and specialty providers, supplemented with waiver services. CBAY is available statewide to those children and youth who meet eligibility requirements detailed below. Through the wraparound process detailed in the Choices Overview and based on family voice and choice, Choices does the following:

  • Provides care coordination
  • Arranges for respite
  • Assists with transportation
  • Connects your family to community resources
  • Provides family support using Family Support Partners
  • Arranges for Behavioral Aide supports
  • Creatively fill gaps through access to financial support
  • Advocates in school, court, juvenile justice and child welfare systems
  • Links to traditional and non-traditional treatment services
  • Assists with transition between community systems
  • Presents opportunities for leadership and personal growth

Eligibility: Families with children and youth, ages 5-21, who are either in or at risk to be in a PRTF. The child or youth must have a primary mental health diagnosis and meet Medicaid eligibility.

Referrals: Referrals for CBAY must be made through the child/youth’s CORE provider or current Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility.


Non-Waiver

Not all children, youth, and families need the intensive level of support that is provided under the Community Based Alternatives for Youth (CBAY) Waiver while other families don’t meet eligibility requirements. However, these youth and families have the same ability to meet their family goal by participating in the same High fidelity wraparound process. The purpose of providing support at this level is to maintain the child/youth in their community and as a preventative measure to needing a higher level of care. Unlike CBAY, there are no insurance eligibility requirements. Choices currently provides Non-waiver wraparound in metro-Atlanta counties. Through the Wraparound process detailed in the Choices Overview and based on family voice and choice, Choices:

  • Provides care coordination
  • Arranges for respite
  • Connects your family to community resources
  • Provides family support using Family Support Partners
  • Advocates in school, court, juvenile justice and child welfare systems
  • Links to traditional and non-traditional treatment services
  • Assists with transition between community systems
  • Presents opportunities for leadership and personal growth

Eligibility: Families with children and youth, ages 5-21, diagnosed with a persistent mental health disorder, living in the metro-Atlanta areas. Youth with any type of insurance of lack thereof. This process is at NO cost to the family. 

Referrals: Contact Choices office by phone, email or fax.


Youth Matters

Youth Matters helps children and youth in DeKalb County with serious emotional and behavioral disturbances who have a primary diagnosis of mental illness and who are placed in/at risk of placement in a Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facilities (PRTFs) or other residential programs. The ultimate goal of Youth Matters is assisting youth in reaching a goal of permanency and finding a “Forever Family." Youth Matters provides intensive care coordination and through the wraparound process detailed in the Choices overview will:

  • Arrange for respite
  • Assist with transportation
  • Connect families to community resources
  • Provide family support using Family Support Partners
  • Arrange for Behavioral Aide supports
  • Creatively fill gaps through access to financial support
  • Advocate in school, court, juvenile justice and child welfare systems
  • Link to traditional and non-traditional treatment services
  • Assist with transition between community systems
  • Present opportunities for leadership and personal growthArrange for respite

Eligibility: Families with children and youth located in DeKalb County, ages 5-21, with a primary mental health diagnosis. Eligibility is determined by DeKalb County Department of Family and Children Services or the Department of Juvenile Justice’s DeKalb County office.

Referrals: Contact DeKalb County DFCS or Department of Juvenile Justice’s DeKalb Multi-Service Center office. For more information, contact the CHRIS Kids Choices office by phone, email or fax.

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