Designed to serve youth (ages 3 – 18) with emotional or behavioral issues, Family Focus provides community based mental health services to work with children in their home, school and community. Family Focus services are available at our Mission and Olathe locations.
The program can help a family in situations where a child:
- Frequently does not follow household rules
- Has a dramatic change in personality or behaviors
- Is verbally or physically assaultive
- Seems withdrawn or isolated
- Expresses suicidal/self-harm tendencies
- Runs away or threatens to run away
- Performs below their ability at school
- Avoids school
- Struggles in peer relationships
- Has contact with the legal system due to their behavior
- Is at risk of removal from the home due to hospitalization or placement
When a child and family participates in Family Focus, an individualized plan of care is developed. Services could include any of the following:
Case Management- A core service of Family Focus is to conduct an assessment that focuses on the strengths and needs of the child. Based on this assessment, case managers work one-on-one with the youth and family to provide the services needed. Some examples of what a case manager might do are:
- Help the family develop behavior management strategies for the home
- Explore recreational and socialization opportunities available in the community
- Teach the youth skills necessary for successful relationships
- Identify and implement strategies with the youth and family for school success
- Work on developing independent living skills.
Psychosocial Groups- Groups are offered on a variety of topics including: problem solving, social skills, leisure time training, health and personal relationships. A ratio of one staff to every four youth allows program participants to have support while they engage in a variety of activities. Different from “therapy groups”, psychosocial groups help children learn by doing.
Home-Based Family Therapy- Developed to assist families in crisis, home-based family therapists have the same qualifications as outpatient therapists along with increased availability. This intensive service is short-term and designed to target issues that disrupt the family. Home-based therapists have helped families:
- Improve communication skills
- Develop strategies to address emotionally charged problems
- Restore balance to family relationships.
Individual Community Support- This service offers one-on-one support to a youth. Attendant Care is a time-limited, goal focused service provided in the home, school and community settings.
Parent Support- Targeted to caregivers, this service assists parents so they can better handle the stresses inherent in managing a child with emotional and behavioral challenges. Those staff are uniquely qualified through training as well as their own experience of having raised a child with mental health needs. Parent support is provided as a one-on-one service and through groups. Educational presentations address a variety of topics such as community resources, medications, effective advocacy, treatment, and diagnosis.
Emergency Services- Case managers help families anticipate and plan for crises. In addition, there is a 24-hour telephone line that gives families access to a trained mental health professional. Family Focus also partners with the Mobile Crisis Response Team of Johnson County Mental Health Center so there can be face to face contact with staff when indicated.
Psychiatric Services- A staff of psychiatrists and nurses provide medication management services for youth requiring psychotropic medication as well as monitoring other health care needs.
Eligibility for services is determined on a case by case basis. Families can contact the program directly for further information. Many referrals come from outpatient therapists when they feel more intensive services are needed. School personnel and other professionals often facilitate families making contact with Family Focus.