When a child acts out, is it just a stage of development or something more serious? Many times, it takes a professional to figure that out. Behavioral and mental health issues in children disrupt their ability to learn, to develop attachments and to thrive in their homes. They put strains on families that can lead to school failure, violent behavior and mental health issues that continue into adulthood. Preventive and early intervention services can turn around the lives of both the children and their families and return all to normal functioning. Services are designed to meet the individual needs of each child and family.
Adding behavioral health services in 2014 brought Families First of Palm Beach County full circle in providing for the physical, developmental and emotional well-being of children and families. As with all our programming, Families First focuses on prevention and early intervention – discovering and intervening before small issues become large, life-long ones.
Children’s Behavioral Health Services consists of the provision of individualized care, comprehensive, family-driven services, and flexible treatment strategies for at-risk and high-risk children and their families across Palm Beach County. This allows the families to get the mental health services they need.
Continuing the collaboration with Boys Town and three additional agencies, Families First has also joined two additional collaboratives with Communities In Schools through the Y.E.S. (Youth: Empowered and Secure) program which serves teens in four schools; three in Belle Glade and Pahokee, and one in Riviera Beach, as well as Achievement Centers for Children and Families in Delray Beach, where we provide behavioral health services to the children who attend their aftercare programs and their families including children attending two Delray Beach Elementary Schools.
Most Children Showed Improvements
In 2020, Families First served a total of 296 children and 267 adults.
In September 2020, therapists who co-located in schools returned to the schools and provided therapeutic services in the school and telehealth to students who virtually received their education.
81.75% of the students had a reduction in mental health symptoms and maintained school and home stability. 85% met the outcome of improved social emotional functioning.
This program was reaccredited with the Council on Accreditation.