Supportive Services for Families

These services are part of our efforts to rebuild families and are specifically for children and families that are active/involved with DCFS. If you think you may need any of the services for your family, please let your caseworker/child protection specialist know.

Father and sonHelp Me Grow

Children/Families Served:
Age Range: birth to age 3

Qualifiers

  • Children under 3 with substantiated abuse/neglect
  • Children under 3 in Alternative Response and HMG is recommended
  • Children under 3 with suspected delays/diagnosis
  • Children under 3 placed with a relative caregiver
  • Children under 3 in agency custody being reunified

Exclusionary Criteria

  •  Children over three years old

Services Provided:

  • Services dedicated for prenatal to age three. The services offered by Help Me Grow equip parents with the means to help their child acquire the early building blocks necessary for long term success.
  • Early Intervention and Home visiting services are available.

 

Mother holding son

Early Childhood Mental Health Services

Children/Families Served:
Age Range: Birth to age 6

Qualifiers

  • Child/ren displaying signs of anxiety, depression, behavioral problems or other difficulties that caregiver is concerned about.
  • Disruption from school or daycare or agency placement.
  • Family does not have to be open with DCFS.

Exclusionary Criteria

  • All services rely on active participation of parent or caregiver.

Services Provided:

  • Mental Health Assessment
  • Consultation services
  • Therapy
  • Linkages to community resources

Parent- Child Interactive Therapy

Children/Families Served:
Age Range: 2-6

Qualifiers

  • Youth with a history of trauma exposure and disruptive behaviors: property destruction, physical aggression, are not responding to discipline that works for other children

Exclusionary Criteria

  • Child is in another form of counseling
  • Living situation is unsafe/unstable and/or child still resides with the perpetrator
  • Caregiver has untreated mental health concerns
  • Youth has untreated, severe ADHD

Services Provided:

  • Individual Counseling; parents are provided with ‘coaching’ while a therapist observes their play/interacting with their children
  • 12-18 weeks with homework in between sessions

Attachment Biobehavioral Catch-up (ABC)

Children/Families Served:
Age Range: 6-48 months

Qualifiers

  • Family is involved with DCFS at any level
  • Child has experienced early adversity including: abuse, neglect, DV, drug exposure, etc.
  • Can be completed in multiple placements to aid in transitions
  • Model implemented with residential caregiver and child (can be foster parent, bio-parent, kinship, adoptive, etc.)

Exclusionary Criteria

  • Caregiver participating in ABC must spend more than half of the week with the child
  • English as a second language

Services Provided:

  • 10 in home, videotaped, one hour sessions
  • Understand and practice how to respond to child’s cues
  • Video montage presented upon completion of ABC

 


 

Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Children/Families Served:
Age Range: 5-17

Qualifiers

  • Youth with a history and symptoms of trauma exposure

Exclusionary Criteria

  • If presenting problem is not trauma related
  • Child is actively suicidal or abusing substances
  • Living situation is unsafe/unstable and/or child still resides with the perpetrator of the abuse/trauma

Services Provided:

  • Individual sessions with the child & parent as well as joint parent-child sessions. The goal of TF-CBT is to help address the biopsychosocial needs of children, with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or other problems related to traumatic life experiences, and their parents or primary caregivers
  • 12 – 20 sessions

Mother and son

Alternatives for Families Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Children/Families Served:
Age Range: 5-17

Qualifiers

  • Frequent family conflicts
  • Behavior problems, including physical aggression
  • Anger and verbal aggression, including emotional abuse
  • Harsh physical discipline, physical aggression, or child physical abuse
  • Child trauma-related symptoms secondary to any of the above

Exclusionary Criteria

  • AF-CBT is an evidence-based treatment designed to improve the relationships between children and caregivers in families involved in arguments, frequent conflict, physical force/discipline, or child physical abuse
  • Service length is approximately 4-12 months

Services Provided:

  • Individual sessions with the child & parent as well as joint parent-child sessions. The goal of TF-CBT is to help address the biopsychosocial needs of children, with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or other problems related to traumatic life experiences, and their parents or primary caregivers
  • 12 – 20 sessions

Nurturing Parenting

Children/Families Served:
Children ages 0-19 (service is geared toward caregiver)

Qualifiers

  • Family is involved with DCFS at any level
  • Individualized program areas for parents with infants, school age children, teens, and young parents

Exclusionary Criteria

  • Currently none.

Services Provided:

  • Treatment focused on abusive and neglecting parent-child or parent-teen dysfunctional interactions through a process called "re-parenting."
  • 12- 16 sessions; some include home based services as well as group sessions

Supported Visits

Children/Families Served:
0-18

Qualifiers

  • Must be in agency custody and placed in an agency foster home or kinship placement

Exclusionary Criteria

  • Cases with no-contact orders
  • Parents are unavailable to participate
  • Permanent Custody filing in process

Services Provided:

  • Parenting program
  • Up to 17 sessions with a visit coach to provide hands-on parent coaching during family visits

Father and son

Multisystemic Therapy (MST)

Children/Families Served:
Children ages 12-17

Qualifiers

  • Child at risk of disrupting from the home due to chronic, severe, delinquent, violent, and/or antisocial behaviors
  • Reunification from a residential facility and/or foster care
  • Caregiver is primary recipient of service

Exclusionary Criteria

  • Cannot be open with other intensive services
  • Cannot be in foster care
  • Exclusionary characteristics: pervasive developmental disabilities, severe mental health issues, actively suicidal or homicidal youth

Services Provided:

  •  Community/Home-based service delivery with weekly sessions lasting 3-4 months
  • Family support/advocacy
  • Case management
  • Family therapy
  • Behavioral Interventions
  • Systemic Interventions- Strong collaboration with DCFS, School, Juvenile Court, Faith Community, Peer, Neighborhood and Natural Supports

Child and Family Focused (Family Preservation)

Children/Families Served:
None defined (can be caregiver or child)

Qualifiers

  • Options: Intensive In-Home (IIH); Parent-Teen Conflict; Resource Family Support (RFS); Reunification (REU), Family in Need of Services (FINS)

Exclusionary Criteria

  • Must be a Cuyahoga County resident
  • IIH: must rate as moderate to high risk on the CCDCFS assessment tool
  • REU: must have a finalization court date
  • RFS:services for foster, adoptive and kinship care

Services Provided:

  • Intensive, in-home, short-term crisis intervention, stabilization, parenting and communication skills, linkage to community resources
  • Service duration is approximately 3 months

Tapestry System of Care

Children/Families Served:
Children ages 6 - 17.5

Qualifiers

  • Potential custody or placement episode in family of origin
  • Disruption from kinship placement or agency foster home

Exclusionary Criteria

  • Cannot be open with PEP Connections

Services Provided:

  • Wraparound team planning rocess
  • Home and community based service delivery
  • Coordination of services for identified needs

Children smiling

Health Care

Children/Families Served:
All children in agency/DCFS custody

Qualifiers

  • Children/youth in agency custody

Exclusionary Criteria

  • None

Services Provided:

  • Process requests to administer/modify psychotropic medications
  • Process requests for surgical/invasive & non-routine procedures
  • 2nd opinions for psychotropic medications
  • Assist in coordination of MetroHealth Medical Home
  • Managed Care point of contact

 


 

Sobriety, Treatment and Recovery Teams (START)

START provides specialized interventions to families referred to the child welfare system who have confirmed chemical dependency problems. Participation in the program is based upon either a mother’s positive toxicology screen during the second or third trimester of pregnancy or at the time of delivery, or an infant’s positive toxicology at birth.

Substance abusing parents and families we are seeing require more expertise than can be found in any one person, system, or informal support system. Substance abuse can interfere with the caregiver’s mental functioning, judgment, inhibitions, and protective capacity. A caregiver significantly affected by the use of drugs or alcohol may neglect the needs their children, spend money on drugs instead of items needed to meet the basic needs of their child(ren), or get involved in criminal activities that jeopardize their children’s health and safety.

START advocates are a vital part of the success of the START Department. They bring “real life experiences” and firsthand knowledge to each case. Not only do they bring experience, but they bring hope to the situation and can “hold the parents’ hands” throughout the case process. The advocates have “been there”, they understand what the parents are going through and feeling, and just as important, parents realize this. The advocates don’t dictate to the parents, but rather let the parents have control. They explain to the parents that the decision is their own, and the outcome will be based on that decision. Parents tend to trust (at least initially) the advocates more than the regular CPS worker, this leads to eliminating the initial fear of CPS and the lack of progress that is often times seen during the initial stages of CPS involvement.

Due to the opiate epidemic and other serious substance abuse, Cuyahoga Department of Children and Families is seeing an increase in positive toxicology infant referrals. While the rate dropped slightly between 2009 and 2011, it has increased steadily over the last 4 years.

S.T.A.R.T. – 20 year anniversary