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Our Children Succeed Initiative (OCS). Northwest Minnesota Council of Collaboratives Annual Meeting -- October 31 st , 2007 Brenda Anderson, Project Director Maureen Hams, Parent, Governance Board Member Colleen MacRae, Social Marketing/TA/ Communications Director

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our children succeed initiative ocs
Our Children Succeed Initiative (OCS)

Northwest Minnesota Council of Collaboratives

Annual Meeting -- October 31st, 2007

  • Brenda Anderson, Project Director
  • Maureen Hams, Parent, Governance Board Member
  • Colleen MacRae, Social Marketing/TA/
  • Communications Director
  • Tim Denny, Evaluation Specialist
  • System of Care Parents, Partners and Staff


A Children’s Mental Health System of Careserving Kittson, Mahnomen, Marshall, Norman, Polk and Red Lake Counties

603 Bruce Street  P.O. Box 603 Crookston, MN 56716  (218) 281-0265 Fax: (218) 281-6261  www.ourchildrensucceedinitiative.org

Our Children Succeed Initiative is a partnership of children, youth, parents and caregivers who promote competent and coordinated services designed to enhance access to, and the effectiveness of, services for children and youth with social, emotional and behavioral concerns and their families in Northwestern Minnesota.

We believe that services need to reflect the culturally and linguistically diverse needs of families served including respect for heritage, customs, beliefs, and values of racial, ethnic, religious and social groups in a family-driven, youth-guided process to identify and carry out needed services.


Northwest – Oct. 2006

  • Kittson, Polk, Marshall, Red Lake, Norman, Mahnomen and the White Earth Indian Reservation
  • STARS for Children’s Mental Health – Oct. 2005
  • Benton, Sherburne, Stearns and Wright
  • PACT4 – Oct. 1999
  • Yellow Medicine, Renville, Kandiyohi, Meeker, and the Upper Sioux Community
our children succeed initiative
Our Children Succeed Initiative
  • Application submitted via the Northwest Minnesota Council of Collaboratives
  • Polk County Social Services is the fiscal host
  • Funded through: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) -- Comprehensive Community Mental Health Services Program for Children and their Familiesand administered by Children’s Mental Health Services Division of SAMHSA
  • Funded from October 2006 – September 2012, $7.5 Million Dollars
grants or cooperative agreements awarded to provide
Grants or Cooperative Agreements awarded to provide:
  • A broad array of comprehensive community based services for children with serious emotional, behavioral or mental health disorders
  • To enable communities to develop local systems of care consisting of mental health, child welfare, education, juvenile justice and other child serving agencies
system of care value base
System of Care Value Base
  • System of Care is a philosophy of how care should be delivered
  • One family: one plan
  • Community-based responsiveness
  • Increased parent choice
  • Increased family independence
  • Care for children in context of families
  • Care for families in context of community
  • Never give up
  • Build on strengths to meet needs
  • An ideal System of Care model includes a comprehensive spectrum of mental health and other necessary services which are organized into a coordinated network to meet the multiple and changing needs of children and their families
  • Agencies compliment each another, staff work as part of a child’s care team
target population
Target Population:
  • Children and Adolescents who have a diagnosable mental health disorder; and specifically:
  • Children with mental health issues in out-of-home placements
  • Youth who meet the above criteria involved in 1) the juvenile justice system 2) the child welfare system
  • Youth with co-occurring mental health and substance use/abuse issues
  • Infants and young children with mental health issues
  • Young adults (18-21) with mental health issues
  • It is estimated that 1,783 children over the age of 9 and young adults struggle with a serious emotional disturbance in our region
overarching goal of our initiative
Overarching Goal of Our Initiative:
  • To bring our current System of Care to full scale by:
  • Including parents and youth as partners and co-decision makers
  • Reaching un-served, under-served at-risk children, youth and young adults and culturally distinct populations
  • Applying Evidenced Based Models of Intervention
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of the system of care and it’s component services
governance committee
Governance Committee
  • Reports to the Council of Collaboratives and is responsible for project oversight, program design & development, monitoring and evaluation, appointment of other committee and team members, development of a grievance policy and procedures, periodic review of sustainability plan and meets monthly
  • 51% of members parents, 49% CEO’s and Superintendents
planning team
Planning Team
  • Appointed by the Governance Board and works to ensure all activities of the project reflect preferred practices related to:
    • strategy and implementation development
    • social marketing (overseeing the development and implementation of a social marketing plan of action to increase awareness of children's mental health issues and to provide communication support linking all partners under a shared vision of the Our Children Succeed Initiative)
    • cultural and linguistic competency (ensuring all activities of the project reflect preferred practices related to cultural and linguistic competence)
    • interagency training/workforce development (continuously review all aspects of service delivery, assessing workforce issues and training needs to realize Initiative goals)
    • youth and parent involvement
    • training and technical assistance
    • evaluation

The membership includes the Initiative staff, direct care providers, parents, representatives from culturally diverse groups, advocacy organizations and representatives from the Council of Collaboratives.

  • Objective #1: Reduce out-of-home and out-of- region placement of children with severe emotional disturbance by at least 50% by Year 6, from 237 children to 118 children.
  • Objective #2: Reduce hospitalization, involvement in the juvenile justice system, homelessness and chemical abuse, while increasing employment, successful transition to higher education programs, and independent housing for youth and young adults ages 18 – 21 who experience severe emotional disturbance or co-occurring disorders.
  • Objective #3: Reduce by 40% by Year 6, the rates of school truancy, school drop outs, chemical abuse and homelessness, with a focus on youth in the juvenile justice system, youth experiencing co-occurring disorders, and youth and young adults from diverse cultures with severe emotional disturbance.
  • Objective #4: Reduce the number of young children at risk for developing a severe emotional disturbance.
benefits to children and families enrolling in our system of care
Benefits to Children and Families “enrolling” in our System of Care
  • Family has access to a family mentor, with an initial phone call occurring within 48 hours
  • Child and Family will have a formal family and child team meeting scheduled within the first 72 hours of referral, first meeting can be facilitated either by the wrap coordinator/facilitator, county case manager or other individual involved with the family trained in the wrap process and approved by the family
benefits to children and families enrolling in our system of care1
Benefits to Children and Families “enrolling” in our System of Care
  • Families choosing to participate in a universal intake process will see less duplication and reduced burden of paperwork
  • If children and their families are referred for enrollment in the System of Care and do not meet eligibility criteria, a referral to existing community supports and services will be offered
specific ocs initiative activities include
Specific OCS Initiative Activities Include:
  • Diagnostic and evaluation services
  • School-based mental health assessments, consultation, training and crisis intervention
  • Child and Family Care Team meetings via fidelity wrap around process
  • Early childhood mental health prevention and intervention activities
  • Expansion of Evidenced Based Interventions, including Functional Family Therapy, Family Group Decision Making
specific ocs initiative activities include1
Specific OCS InitiativeActivities Include:
  • Family mentors and youth leaders to help children and their families with questions, concerns and unmet needs
  • Implementation of Transition to Independence Process (TIP)
  • Intensive Care Management Services assisting children and families
specific ocs initiative activities include2
Specific OCS Initiative Activities Include:
  • System Enhancement Activities (training opportunities on excelling in our System of Care; training/consultation on cultural diversity; training on Evidenced Based Practices)
  • Social marketing: providing factual information to schools and child-serving agencies and the public about mental health issues – de-stigmatizing mental health
other benefits
Other benefits:
  • Liaison from the MN Dept of Human Services assigned to our project
  • Linking with the state to utilize MN Practice Wise an evidenced based practices data base
  • Small amount of “Flexible funding” to help children and families meet treatment goals
  • For our Native American population, including Native Healing Traditions related to our System of Care goals
  • Tele-Mental Health Services
  • Education/Training/Outreach/Information Dissemination to Physicians, Law Enforcement, Judges, Respite Providers on general and specific children’s mental health issues
year 1 accomplishments
Year 1 Accomplishments:
  • Formation of our Governance Board, comprised 51% parents and 49% Agency Executive Directors and a Superintendent
  • Formation of an Administrative Committee
  • Formation of a Planning Committee, responsible to the Governance Board to address Systems Issues regarding Cultural and Linguistic Competence, Evaluation, Training and Workforce Development and Social Marketing
year 1 accomplishments1
Year 1 Accomplishments
  • Completed the following work plans: Family Involvement, Clinical Services, Early Childhood
  • Following work plans in process:
  • Cultural Competence
  • Enrollment
  • Dual Diagnosis
  • School-Based Services
  • Youth in Transition
  • Youth Involvement
  • Juvenile Justice
  • Evaluation

All plans include our SOC goals, objectives and strategies to guide service delivery.

year 1 accomplishments2
Year 1 Accomplishments
  • OCS staff hired (see handout)
  • Planning and coordination with each of the County Social Services Agencies who provide children’s mental health case management and referral services
  • Monthly planning meetings with White Earth Tribal Human and Mental Health Services
  • Participation in technical assistance federal site visits in June 2007 & October 2007
  • Active participation of State Liaison - Kathy Jefferson
year 2 objectives
Year 2 Objectives
  • Start serving children and families in Our Children Succeed by December 2007
  • Continue Governance Board, Administrative and Planning Committee Meetings
  • Continue to involve parents throughout the system as partners and co-decision makers
  • Enhance our youth involvement throughout the system
  • Continue to enhance relationships between child-serving agencies and school districts
  • Implement Early Childhood strategies including training, consulting and home-visits with children and families
year 2 objectives1
Year 2 Objectives
  • Fully utilize family mentors
  • Further develop roles and responsibilities for youth leaders and work on a hiring plan
  • Complete mental health screenings and diagnostic assessments on children who appear to be struggling with a mental health issue
  • Expand intensive care coordination and in-home family therapy services
  • Implement Youth in Transition (18-21) services via the Transition to Independence Process
year 2 objectives2
Year 2 Objectives
  • Provide crisis intervention and consultation
  • Provide school-based mental health assessments, training and consultation
  • Implement social marketing strategies to de-stigmatize children’s mental health issues
  • Continue to work closely with our State Liaison, linking our project to the MN Department of Human Services
  • Utilize ITV and Tele-mental health, when appropriate
year 2 objectives3
Year 2 Objectives
  • Conduct Professional, Parent and Youth Leadership training
  • Offer workforce development training
  • Implement specific children’s mental health trainings, based on requests and staff availability
  • Complete a systems-wide cultural and linguistic competence assessment
  • Engage in Evaluation to include data collection and feedback to partners, consumers and stakeholders
major strengths of our current system of care
Major Strengths of our Current System of Care
  • Our communities already offer quick access to services, many home and community based services and excellent collaboration, cooperation and communication amongst agencies and schools
  • Passionate and committed parents, youth, service providers and school personnel focused on the goals of this Initiative…
greatest potential for growth
Greatest Potential for Growth
  • Our greatest potential for growth is:
    • Establishing a well-coordinated Family-Driven System of Care
    • Enhancing our communication and information dissemination process so that parents, youth and partners are well informed regarding System of Care activities
    • Assuring that youth are involved in our System of Care through all aspects of services and outcomes
    • Utilizing Child and Family Care teams to develop a plan of care for the children served
    • Launching a community-based social marketing campaign
    • Assuring the best possible outcomes for children and families in Northwestern Minnesota
contact information
Contact Information

Brenda Anderson, MSW, LICSW, Project Director, Our Children Succeed Initiative, Northwestern Mental Health Center

banderson@nwmhc.org 218.281.3940

Terri Heggie, Lead Family Contact, Polk County Social Services terri.heggie@co.polk.mn.us 218.281.3127

Colleen MacRae, Social Marketing/Communications/Technical Assistance Director, c/o Northwestern Mental Health Center

colmacrae@nwmhc.org 218.281.3940