Sunday, March 8, 2009

CSAs are coming: What are they supposed to do?

The contracts are out there:  the CSAs are going to be developing over the next 4 months.  What are they supposed to do, anyway?  According to the RFR, the CSA should lead the way in the development of a faithful adaptation of the "Wraparound" model.  The four "core" functions are:
  • Actively engaging youth and families seeking Intensive Care Coordination (ICC) services and Caregiver Peer to Peer Support Services using the Wraparound care planning process
  • Providing infrastructure support for ICC and Caregiver Peer to Peer Support services
  • Actively participating in a quality improvement process to identify the “lessons learned” from youth, families, providers, and others. These “lessons learned” will continually shape the vision and functions of the CSA.
  • Developing and supporting a local Systems of Care Committee that will be charged with supporting the service area’s efforts to create and sustain collaborative partnerships among families, parent/family organizations, traditional and non-traditional service providers, community organizations, state agencies, faith-based groups, local schools, and other stakeholders.
That is a tall over of business, and it gets even more complex as we break down some of these broad and well intentioned goals. The CSA should provide:
  • A comprehensive home-based assessment of the youth’s and family’s strengths and needs inclusive of the Massachusetts Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS) tool
  • Development and facilitation of a care planning team including a Family Partner if desired by the family
  • Creation of an individualized care plan
  • Monitoring and follow-up activities to ensure successful implementation of the individualized care plan]
So far, so good.  But who is going to provide all of this service?  The specifications of the Intensive Care Coordinator are 5 pages long,  but they suggest that "care coordinators who
have successfully completed skill- and competency-based training in the delivery of ICC consistent with Systems of Care philosophy and the Wraparound planning process
and have experience working with youth with SED and their families" are the ones that need to be in charge.  They might be  "bachelor’s level and master’s level care coordinators who work with a range of youth and their families who present with varying degrees of complexity and needs."  They could also be folks with "an associate’s degree or high school
diploma and a minimum of five (5) years of experience working with the target population; experience in navigating any of the child/family-serving systems; and experience advocating for family members who are involved with behavioral health systems."

Read the RFR.  This is going be hard to do, and, of course, that is what makes it worthwhile to try.

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