The Heart Matters FFA
Mental Health Center
The Heart Matters FFA also provides outpatient mental health services through The Heart Matters Foster Family Agency Mental Health Center. Our highly trained clinicians provide youth ages 0 to 20 years old, in our agency with immersive mental health treatment to assist with their healing from past trauma and mental health challenges. Therapy is provided onsite and when circumstances permit also within the community or in the home. Services are tailored to meet the needs of the youth through individual, family and group settings. Our mental health staff are sensitive to all cultural values, sexual orientations, and gender identities. Services are available in English and Spanish.
Youth and families involved in our mental health services are typically referred to the program by the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). Youths referred to the program receive an individualized assessment, after which a comprehensive treatment plan is developed to enhance client and family’s strengths while focusing on the issues that brought the family to the attention of their assigned clinician. Using Evidenced Based Practices (EBP), clinicians work with clients to address, depression, anxiety, adjustments to life events, behavioral challenges, and trauma.
Youth in this program are empowered to contribute to their treatment plan and encouraged to provide feedback and verbalize their needs during treatment. At the heart of the mental health program is the goal to provide client based positive supportive services and encourage emotional well-being. Our mental health center utilizes a holistic approach to healing, by addressing the mind, body, and spirit of each youth in the program.
Intensive Care Coordination (ICC)
Based on the needs of the person served, The Heart Matters Foster Family Agency Mental Health Center clinicians provide ICC services to youth on their caseload. ICC is linked to teaming/collaboration and provided through the Child and Family Team (CFT). ICC requires active, integrated, and collaborative participation by the clinician to ensure that the complex behavioral health needs of the client are being met. ICC is an intensive service that is used for the identification and coordination of ancillary supports and systems which assists with stabilization. ICC services are offered to clients with significant and complex functional impairment which call for a high level of care coordination.
Our clinicians are a fully engaged member of the Child and Family Team and utilize their experience as mental health professionals, experience working with the youth in care and their clinical judgment to advocate for the mental health needs of the youth on their caseload. They work collaboratively with members of the team individually and as a group through ICC.
Intensive Home-Based Services (IHBS)
Our IHBS program provides youth with specific rehabilitative services, which focus on empowering the youth to improve their current skillset which is currently interfering with their functioning within the Resource Family Home or in the community. These services are aimed at helping the youth build skills necessary for successful functioning and improving the youth’s overall wellbeing.
Resource Parents in need of additional assistance with managing the various needs of youth in the program are assigned a Parent Partner. This individual works specifically with the Resource Parent to ensure they are equipped with the knowledge, resources, skills, and support to successfully care for a youth in their care, who present with emotional, behavioral, or mental health disorders. The Parent Partner can conduct specialized training with the Resource Parent, assist with crisis management and provide additional emotional support for them as they work with youth in their home.
In an effort to enhance the therapeutic experience and provide clients with opportunities for alternative treatment options, The Heart Matters Foster Family Agency Mental Health Center has established partnerships with community organizations which assist with alternative therapy options. At this time, our agency has partnered with a local ranch, which provides Equine Assisted Therapy to clients serviced by our mental health center.
Equine-assisted therapy is treatment that incorporates equine activities and/or the equine environment. Rehabilitative goals are related to the patient’s needs and the medical professional’s standards of practice. Practitioners must be licensed in their field. Equine-assisted therapy includes physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech/language pathology and mental health professionals.
We are currently working on building additional relationships with organizations which may offer similar options to youth within our program. The goal of The Heart Matters Foster Family Agency Mental Health Center is to continuously strive to improve and grow our services to meet the needs of children and adolescents to the greatest extent possible.