Fairbanks Native Association (FNA), a tribal organization, proposes the “Hope for Our Children Project” (Hope Project) in response to “Grants for Expansion and Sustainability of Comprehensive Mental Health Service for Children with Serious Emotional Disturbance.” The project’s Purpose/Overarching Goal is to improve mental health outcomes for children and youth at risk for or with serious emotional disturbance (SED) and their families.
The Hope Project will serve American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) children and youth (birth-age 21), at risk for or with serious emotional disturbance (SED) and their families. Although an Alaska Native corporation, by mutual agreement we also serve American Indians and we do not refuse service to other race/ethnicity.
Far too many AI/AN children and youth are an at-risk group with little hope for the future. They are heavily impacted by negative indicators of well-being. The Hope Project, through its comprehensive and early intervention approach, will bring new hope. While not specifically focused on clients with SED, 98.3% of youth in our co-occurring substance abuse and mental health residential treatment unit have a SED diagnosis.
To provide the full complement of Required Services, the Hope Project is a collaboration of four existing Behavioral Health Service (BHS) service units and a 22 member community behavioral health coalition, the Interagency Transition Council (ITC). The service units include Early Childhood; Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT); Assessment; and Suicide Prevention. Due to the complex nature of this collaboration, the Hope Project includes an Intra-Unit Service Coordinator who will streamline the intra/inter unit process and meet with Hope Project staff and allied service units monthly to ensure smooth service delivery.
The Hope Project is a service expansion and will implement new treatment services, including Outpatient, Day Treatment and Home-Based Treatment, and Recovery Support. It uses an Athabascan Recovery Model that integrates culturally specific principles and groups into treatment. The Hope Project also provides 1) comprehensive outreach to reach individuals who typically fall through the cracks, 2) screening, assessment, diagnostic, and evaluation services, 3) crisis emergency services, 4) family services, 5) respite care, 6) medication administration and management, 7) therapeutic foster care, 8) training for service providers, and 8) suicide prevention services. All services will be culturally appropriate, trauma-informed and guided by evidence-based practices.