FosterAdopt Connect's Behavioral Interventionist Program™ (BI) is an innovative new service designed to keep children who have behavioral or mental health challenges stable in their current home.
FosterAdopt Connect's Behavioral Interventionist Program™ (BI) is an innovative new service designed to keep children who have behavioral or mental health challenges stable in their current home, and limit the need for placing these children in residential treatment facilities. Behavioral Interventionists work directly with parents and children in the home setting to help children develop coping mechanisms, de-escalation techniques, and attain life skills in a way that is comparable to that achieved in a residential treatment setting – but at a fraction of the cost.
The BI program began in 2012 as a collaboration between FosterAdopt Connect's President, Lori Ross, and Lifeworks, Inc. – a regional leader in behavioral treatment and therapy for foster youth. Lori, who has been a foster parent to hundreds of children, and adoptive mother of 23, observed the limited impact and astronomical costs of in-patient residential treatment while seeking treatment for several of her special needs children. As a result of these observations, Lori decided to create a program specifically designed to be conducive to the needs of foster/adoptive parents, and provide significant, sustainable behavioral outcomes for foster/adoptive children in their home setting. Incorporated fully into FosterAdopt Connect's greater milieu of programs and services in late 2014, the BI program currently serves dozens of foster and adoptive children in Missouri and Kansas.
Children and youth served by the BI program typically have several co-occurring behavioral or mental health diagnoses, and have experienced multiple foster care and residential treatment placements. Essentially, the program serves families who have exhausted every other resource, and are on the path that eventually leads to placement and adoption disruption – a horrible situation that leaves psychological scars on both children and parents.
Since its inception, the BI program has proven highly successful at helping dedicated families meet the needs of their children, and has significantly reduced the instances where participating children needed to be placed in residential treatment. Most importantly, none of the families who received BI services moved to disrupt their placement, or asked that their children be placed in another home – which is a massive accomplishment for these families, and directly benefits all the children currently in their care. By reducing disruption, we impact the child's educational, interpersonal and psychological development, greatly increasing the chances that they successfully transition to adulthood and have otherwise happy lives.
The following points illustrate the impact the BI program has on participating children and families:
- 100% of participating children experienced reductions in time spent in residential treatment facilities.
- 89% of children showed improvements in global functioning, skill attainment, and interpersonal relationship building.
- 90% of families said they were highly satisfied with the services provided through the BI program.
- 2% of children experienced placement disruptions during their participation in the program.