SAN BERNARDINO, CA October 23, 2012 â€“ EMQ FamiliesFirst, Californiaâ€™s largest childrenâ€™s services agency, announced that its Wraparound Program designed for youth with developmental disabilities is a success having served more than 100 families to date. This specialized Wraparound program is the first of its kind in California. The program provides services that work to keep families and their children with severe autism disorder out of group homes and safe in their homes, schools and communities.
For one family it meant they would keep their son at home with his family. Â Kenny is a 10-year-old with severe autism who was unable to control his aggressive behavior or to toilet train. His parents were beyond hope. He damaged property, hit and kicked others and bit himself. It was difficult to take him out of the home because he would run away.
Often parents with a special-needs child require additional skills and a network of resources to support their child and family. But for Kennyâ€™s family, living in poverty meant resources were scarce and the answers seemed unattainable which posed a greater risk of out-of-home placement.
Kenny and his family were referred to the Wraparound program at EMQ FamiliesFirst that serves children with developmental disabilities and their families. When Kennyâ€™s parents first met with their EMQ FamiliesFirst team, they worked together to put a plan in place and confronted how challenging it might be. His parents said, â€śWe know. We understand, and we love him, so we will do whatever it takes.â€ť
Wraparound for children with developmental disabilities is like the agencyâ€™s other successful Wraparound programs which bring services to the family and into homes and schools.
The team provided resources to help obtain medical services (internal medicine, neurology and psychiatry) and therapy (individual, family and marriage). Treatment was family-driven: the team met with the family weekly to develop treatment and safety plans and pitched in with the initial myriad of phone calls to obtain services. The teamâ€™s family specialist provided coaching as well as modeling interventions and techniques for the parents, meeting in the home four to six hours, two to three times a week. There were moments of setback, but the team and family persisted.
After several months, Kenny follows instructions and has mastered toilet training, with one verbal prompt and minimal assistance. The family at last is able to enjoy outings together knowing he will not run off. Â Kenny is doing well, and is living safely at home with his family.
About EMQ FamiliesFirst
EMQ FamiliesFirst takes a state-of-the-art approach to children and youth with complex behavioral health challenges: the agency combines research-based behavioral health services (including evidence-based therapies and psychiatric services) with a family-centered effort to identify and address the social and other needs of the family.