Organization Name: Children’s Center Early Intervention & Family Support

Program Name: Skowhegan Behavioral Support Program

Program Contact: Erin Sevey, Site Supervisor
Email: esevey@childrensctr.org     Phone: (207) 626-3497

UWMM has funded this program for 0 years.

Amount Requested: $5000
Is this an increase from what your program received for the current funding cycle? 
No

Twenty-five word summary of this program’s purpose:

Serve children ages three to five with an autism or mental health diagnosis in a highly structured setting with a high child to staff ratio.

How your program is uniquely important to the community:

The Skowhegan Behavioral Support Program is uniquely important to the community’s well-being because no other programs offer the same kind of support to young children with an autism or mental health diagnosis. The program has filled a void in the community that allows children with disabilities the opportunity to start addressing their needs at an earlier age and in conjunction with their other less intensive support services.

 

Overseen by licensed clinical social workers, children with special needs can access half day to full day programming designed to specifically meet their individual needs. These providers can access support from board certified behavioral analysts, speech and language pathologists, occupational therapists, and special educators from the center or other providers in the community.

 

Child Development Services (CDS), a division of the Department of Education (DOE), has been tasked with identifying children with disabilities at an early age with the support of local pediatricians and other providers in the community. They hire their own educators and therapists to work with these children in their home on a limited basis before the age of three. For children three to five years old with special needs, they refer them to head start, prekindergarten, or specialized, center-based programming depending on the need.

 

The Skowhegan and surrounding communities offer special education through the public school setting. However, these programs do not begin until children reach the age of four for prekindergarten or even five for kindergarten in some cases. If overlooked by their pediatrician, these children might not be identified with a special need, evaluated by a qualified provider, and/or referred to individualized services until they reach the age of five. Once identified through the public school setting, they still might not have access to the same team of qualified professionals from various disciplines that are available to them at the Center.

 

Other providers in the community, such as Redington Fairview Hospital or Kennebec Behavioral Health, offer services such as speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and mental health therapy services. These services can be extremely beneficial for children with special needs in the community but even more helpful in conjunction with half or full day programming specifically addressing their needs related to an autism or mental health diagnosis.

Program Updates

Since last report (or in past two years):

The Children’s Center has undergone some changes over the past two years, specifically related to program revenue and key personnel.

 

The agency has experienced some changes in revenue, largely in relation to the recent MaineCare reimbursement rate increases. The majority of this particular influx went directly into salary increases per regulations.

 

The organization has made changes in key personnel, including the addition of Amber Stubbs, Licensed Master Social Worker – Clinical Conditional (LMSW-CC) in Skowhegan; Jenna Johnston, Targeted Case Manager, for Skowhegan and Farmington locations; and Jamie Pare, Occupational Therapist, in Augusta.

 

The Skowhegan Behavioral Health Program has recently had a major change in location. The program moved from an old farm house on 21 Bigelow Hill Road to a more traditional classroom setting at 188 Madison Avenue. The move created a change in the atmosphere for children and visibility for the program in general. The Center has found that the new setting has been preparing students better for transition into the public school system. Despite the move, the program has not had any other major changes in program delivery, service delivery capacity, or service population.

Expected in the coming year:

The agency does not anticipate any major changes in the coming year related to program revenue, key personnel, program delivery, service delivery capacity, or service population.

Outcome your program most contributes to:
Health: All individuals in Mid-Maine are in safe and healthy environments with access to health supports and services.

How program contributes:
Provides a direct service in behavioral and/or physical health areas, Increases access/reduces barriers to direct services, Increases capacity/resources for direct services, Advocates for behavioral and/or physical health, Collaborates with other programs/services in behavioral and/or physical health

Define your year: The Children’s Center follows a fiscal year from July 1st to June 30th.

How much did we do? 36 (Total number served)

How well did we do it?

Performance measure: Percent of clients who complete a skills-based program on goal setting, self-management, and/or problem-solving skills
Most recent year’s data: 100%
Previous year’s data: 100%

What was the difference made?

Performance measure: Percent of clients who made progress on their program/service goals
Most recent year’s data: 100%
Previous year’s data: 100%

Action Plan

Objectives for current year:

The programs planned objectives are to serve 40 children (unduplicated) in the upcoming year, for each of those children to make progress towards goals related to communication and behavioral regulation, and for parents/guardians and caregivers to remain involved in treatment.

 

The agency will track the number of children receiving programming in the upcoming year. Each of these children will receive an individualized treatment plan with goals associated with communication and behavioral regulation. The licensed clinical social worker and site supervisor will create and review the treatment plan with parents/guardians and caregivers on a quarterly basis as well as update the plan based on the child’s progress.

 

The organization will be able to track the progress of these objectives by reviewing the numbers of children receiving services through programming and checking their quarterly reviews for progress towards communication and behavioral regulation goals as well as parent/guardian and caregiver involvement in the treatment plan.

Objectives and results from last year:Success Stories

Gabriel was born severely premature, with several medical needs in Bulgaria. She lived the first three years of her life in an orphanage where she only left the grounds a handful of times and saw some pretty unspeakable things. She was one of the most severely neglected children I’ve ever met in my entire healthcare career.

 

Gabriel is my second child to attend programs at the Children’s Center. I am really impressed by how custom and individual the programs are for each child and how knowledgeable everyone is in their field.

 

The professionals there were not only willing to listen to my concerns ahead of time, but they took the time to sit down and brainstorm why our situation might be unique and what steps we all needed to take to address my concerns. She has flourished at the Children’s Center.

 

In short, Gabriel is a person now. She understands that we are family, not just the next shift of caretakers, which has led to significant healing from her time in the orphanage. She has grown physically and developmentally as a result of the care and attention she receives each day.

Previous Year Actual Income and Expenditures

Government Funding UWMM Funding Other UWs Funding Fees/Dues Funding Other Sources Funding Total Income
295230.17 0 0 0 0 295230.17

Total Actual Expenditures: $341889.22

Current Year Budgeted Income and Expenditures

Government Funding UWMM Funding Other UWs Funding Fees/Dues Funding Other Sources Funding Total Income
269649.00 5000 0 0 0 274649

Total Budgeted Expenditures: $277509.00

Anything remarkable about your program’s budget:

As mentioned previously, the program receives support from board certified behavioral analysts, special educators, speech and language therapists, and occupational therapists despite the service requiring and only being reimbursed for the oversight of the licensed clinical social worker. Therefore, the program accrues additional expenses due to their consultation and support.

 

Also discussed earlier in the application, the organization functions with the expectation of a financial loss for this program. The business model for these types of services can only operate on a larger scale in more populated areas despite the fact that children need these types of programs in rural communities throughout the state. Therefore, the Center will continue to provide services in communities, such as Skowhegan, as long as the need exists there.

 

The agency does not receive funding from any other United Ways for the Skowhegan Behavioral Health Program specifically. They are designated specifically for their catchment area, specifically the Kennebec Valley or Tri-Valley Area. The budget does not include any unconfirmed funding.

 

The budgets reveal a large discrepancy between the previous year actual and current year budget amounts due to two major factors: the loss of revenue during the move between locations and the drop in enrollment after graduation. Although the organization generally has a waitlist for services, the enrollment process takes time, especially after the loss of many students graduating to the public school system. Therefore, the Center usually expects and witnesses a drop in numbers in September and October.

 
What else you’d like reviewers to know:

Funding had been previously rescinded and then denied when the agency sought funding for a caregiver education program. Past programs faced challenges associated with attendance despite efforts to eliminate barriers by offering dinner, child care, travel stipends and a participation stipend. The lack of attendance ultimately led to the canceling of the most recent series and rescinding funding to the UWMM. These challenges in combination with the presence other similar initiatives in the community led to the denial of funding from the last cycle.

 

The organization decided to take a different approach and request support directly for our center-based programming for multiple reasons. First, the Skowhegan Behavioral Support Program was fairly new in comparison to the relationship between the Children’s Center and the UWMM. The agency had always sought funding for caregiver or child care provider trainings because the organization had not previously offered center-based programming for children. Second, the program provides a much needed service for Skowhegan and the surrounding communities in Somerset County. Third, the program operates at a loss for the organization. Finally, the service addresses the direct needs of children with disabilities through a variety of modalities as well as includes parent involvement directly into the children’s behavioral health day treatment model. Therefore, the program has the ability to address the caregiver education piece along with the direct programming for the child.

 

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