A qualitative examination of a state-wide initiative to empower families containing children and adolescents with behavioral health care needs
Qualitative data were generated from an evaluation of the Families and Systems Teams (FAST$) Initiative, a funding stream that involved over 5000 families in Ohio containing children and adolescents with behavioral health care concerns. The FAST$ evaluation addressed three program areas - family empowerment, service enhancement, and systems collaboration - that were hypothesized to be associated with positive youth well-being outcomes. Twelve focus groups (nÂ =Â 75) were conducted throughout the state of Ohio with family caregivers (nÂ =Â 20), parent advocates (nÂ =Â 21), and service providers/program administrators (nÂ =Â 34). Data analyses documented that the three program areas promoted family caregiver empowerment through greater family "voice and choice" about their children's behavioral health care needs. These positive gains existed alongside evidence of collaboration amongst representatives of the behavioral health care system and enhanced service offerings to families, both of which also impacted youth well-being. In addition, several aspects for improving the FAST$ initiative were evident from the data and are discussed for improvements to family empowerment efforts.
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- S. Illeris & G. Akehurst, 2002. "Introduction," The Service Industries Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(1), pages 1-3, January.
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