Accessing Services

How does one access The Family Gateway System of Care in Elkhart and St. Joseph County?

There are a range of services and supports available within the System of Care. With many levels of care and support and a number of service providers, children and youth with significant mental health challenges have various pathways to access resources to improve their lives.

Within The Family Gateway System of Care we talk about a “voluntary network” of services and supports that are available to youth and families. An example of the Network of Services and Supports available Elkhart and St. Joseph can be found at the following link Family Gateway Network.

Within the System of Care the Wraparound process is utilized to support children with complex needs. Wraparound is the individualized planning process to help improve children’s lives and occurs in Four Phases:

•Phase One: Engagement and Team Preparation – Establishes a mission and sets a tone for teamwork
•Phase Two: Plan Development – Plan of care is developed through a high-quality planning process
•Phase Three: Implementation – Addresses needs through strategies developed in the plan
•Phase Four: Transition – A purposeful move from structured services to a mix of informal and natural supports

Four elements of the Wraparound process make it unique. It is:

•Grounded in a Strengths Perspective
•Driven by Underlying Needs
•Supported by an Effective Team Process
•Determined by Families

The 10 Principles of Wraparound guide all of our work in the System of Care:

•     Family voice and choice
•     Individualized
•     Strength-based
•     Natural Supports
•     Collaboration
•     Unconditional Care
•     Community-based
•     Culturally Competent
•     Team-based
•     Outcome-based

It is important to know that while Oaklawn, the Community Mental Health Center for Elkhart and St. Joseph counties, strives to provide all its mental health services for children and youth with System of Care (SOC) and Wraparound values, not every young person will qualify for intensive services. However, to be in the most formal part of the SOC a child/youth must:

  1. Be involved in multiple systems (mental health, juvenile justice, child welfare, special education or intensive PBIS)
  2. Have a diagnosis of severe emotional disturbance (SED)
  3. Have a high level of need (3-6) as indicated on the Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS) assessment
  4. Have a family willing to participate in the process

Within the System of Care, there are various opportunities for families to access Wraparound services for children and youth who have more extensive needs. That can be done by calling the Access Site for Elkhart and St. Joseph counties at 574.246.9102.

In Elkhart County, referrals to the System of Care will generally come through an Oaklawn Care Facilitator, or a partner from the other child serving systems, especially school partners. In St. Joseph County, a referral may come through those sources or through Oaklawn’s web based referral: St Joseph County Referral.

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