The City of Manchester Health Department (MHD) has identified Manchester, NH as the geographic catchment area for the proposed Manchester System of Care (MSOC) initiative. Manchester is the largest city in NH and the most populous city in northern New England with a total population of 111,196 ; more than 12,000 Manchester residents are children ages 0-8 . MHD will target children 0-8 with a serious emotional disturbance, and their families. MSOC will adapt the NH Wraparound Practice Model to fidelity to address the unmet mental health needs among young children requiring additional services and supports. MSOC will build an infrastructure to screen for, assess, and address the growing needs of infants, toddlers, and younger children experiencing socio-emotional, behavioral, or mental health disorders. MSOC will partner with the NH Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Bureau for Children’s Behavioral Health to ensure alignment with statewide strategies previously funded by a System of Care grant, with modifications for the population of focus.Given that Manchester is home to a sizeable and growing group of traumatized and highly vulnerable young children and families, there is a need for more coordinated interventions geared for this young age group such as that proposed through MSOC.
MSOC aims to improve mental health outcomes for infants, toddlers, and children birth through age 8 with serious emotional disturbances, and their families, by adapting the NH Wraparound Practice Model for this age cohort, enhancing the framework and the service delivery system to ensure the youngest children are cared for, and their families are supported. In particular, MSOC will adapt and expand the age continuum currently served by the state’s System of Care model by ensuring community-based supports meet the growing mental health needs of infants, toddlers, and young children. Given the disparate number of children in Manchester impacted by the opioid crisis and, in turn, involved in the child welfare system, MSOC will ensure its coordinated network considers these unique and growing challenges presented by traumatized children and their families. By breaking down silos and braiding services and funding sources, MSOC will result in at least 20 children being identified early and served more effectively and efficiently, and with enhanced services.
To achieve the necessary systems-change required, the Manchester-based partnership will 1) Develop the MSOC infrastructure and capacity; 2) Implement high-fidelity wraparound care coordination for young children and their families; and 3) Improve MSOC functioning, efficiency, and sustainability. MSOC will transform the current system of care that includes fragmented service delivery and categorical programs and funding into a care management model that provides a locus of accountability to better coordinate services and supports across child-serving systems and ensure a family-driven approach at every level. Within a coordinated service array, MSOC will address the clinical and functional needs of young children and families by creating a family-driven plan that draws upon a community-based team to help the family AND by developing and monitoring a plan of care that builds on family strengths and addresses their identified priorities.