Originally we were Southeast Kansas Foster Care Treatment, however, because we have become more focused on the family and our services are not restricted to children and youth in foster care, we’ve chosen to change our name to Southeast Kansas Family Care Treatment (FCT) – same acronym, different referent.
Our team remains the same. Peggy Gentry is our Program Assistant. Peggy telephones each family every day, keeps all of our demographic information up to date, maintains all of our consents, and coordinates the semi-annual consumer and teacher satisfaction survey process. Sara Major and Roger Stanley serve the families as Behavior Therapists. Sara and Roger serve about 5 families each. Their core responsibilities include weekly observations in the home and school, ongoing data analysis, and weekly in-home meetings with each family. Mambu Sherman works directly with the youth as a Skills Trainer and spends his time promoting activities in the community. As the Program Coordinator, Katie Hine provides technical and clinical support to the team and in conjunction with Jerry Rea (Primary Investigator) engineers and directs research efforts.
Although Family Care Treatment started providing services only three and a half years ago the outcomes have been overwhelmingly positive. We have evaluated four features of the program (a) participant demographics, (b) stability and restrictiveness of placements, (c) service type and duration, and (d) behavioral outcomes.
FCT has served 73 youth in 23 southeast Kansas communities, and has worked in cooperation with 26 different schools. Youth have ranged in age from 2 to 19 years, are primarily boys (71%), and often have a developmental disability (47%), a mental health diagnosis (79%) or both (40%). A number of the families we serve are low-income, many have a history of familial mental health and substance abuse issues, and are often single-parent households with multiple children. FCT has served youth in 28 biological family homes, 38 foster homes, and 1 adoptive home. We have also served youth in supported living and in the homes of relatives.
FCT promotes the family’s ability to support their children. Family members identify the behavioral goals; FCT consults with them to identify strategies that are realistic and target the function of youth challenging behavior. During FCT 79% of youth have demonstrated increased pro-social behavior with an average increase of 16%. While receiving FCT, 64% of youth did not move. Of those youth who did move 37% moved from one foster home to another, 37% moved into a less restrictive setting (i.e., back into the family home or the home of a relative), and only 7 youth moved to a more restrictive setting (i.e., from a grandparent’s home into a residential treatment facility). Of the youth who moved, those who moved to a less restrictive setting received FCT for an average of a little more than 8 months; youth who moved to a more restrictive setting received FCT an average of slightly more than 2 months.
A replication of FCT is underway now in Wichita, Kansas. In 2009 Youthville, a private agency providing child placement services in Sedgwick County, received a 1-year grant from the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services to fund the personnel needed to replicate FCT. The Youthville team has named their new program Behavior Emphasis for Successful Treatment or BEST. The BEST team consists of Carmel Poor, Therapist; Aaron Walker, Program Assistant, and two Skills Trainers. Lori Gonzales, an existing Youthville employee, will provide on-site program coordination. FCT and BEST personnel have travelled back and forth between Parsons and Wichita in an effort to promote a technically accurate replication of services that both builds on the strengths of the BEST team and meets the needs of the families and youth in Sedgwick County. BEST began serving their first family on January 5, 2010.