October 4, 2019 | Comments Off on Monitoring Success Post Alexander
How Our Aftercare Specialist Is Connecting With Families and Tracking Progress.
Since April, Aftercare Specialist, Fatima Lewis, has met with almost 100 families at Alexander Youth Network. In her role, she is reaching out to get to know the kids of Alexander, their families, and how Alexander can continue to support them in their path to healing.
Though she is not a new face at Alexander (she previously worked as a part of our Residential Program), her role is new to the agency. The goal of introducing this position is to better monitor the progress of children at Alexander post-discharge and to help identify the challenges parents may face with maintaining medication regimes, therapy schedules, as well as transitions home and to school. By better understanding the challenges families face post-treatment, Alexander is able to mediate them and provide better support and training during and immediately post-discharge.
“Parents tell me how a program or staff member at Alexander transformed their child. I want to be able to share that news with our team but also make sure those kids remain successful once they leave our network,” Fatima Lewis.
Currently, Fatima’s caseload includes families that have discharged and are no longer seeking services within the Alexander Service Array. This means that they could be provided care through another provider or in some instances completely transitioned out of consistent behavioral health treatment. She makes it a point to meet with parents prior to discharge and then through a series of touchpoints including a postcard and phone calls. Contacts prior to discharge are key for parents to understand that although their child may be discharging, there is a safety net for them if they do in fact need additional support.
“The most important aspect of my job is encouraging the parents to be an advocate for their children and for [their child’s] mental health,” Fatima Lewis
Lewis also mentioned that most families are aware of triggers or events that might heighten behavioral challenges. She has found that when reaching out to families, they [families] actively recognize the daily challenges their children face and understand that as children transition into different services it takes time for them to become comfortable again with their surroundings. During that transition period, Ms.Lewis does her best to provide parents with the tools needed to make an immediate referral and acts as a liaison through the process. Ultimately, her biggest goal is ensuring that parents are comfortable sharing their successes and struggles but also that they are advocates for their children and themselves. When parents advocate, Ms. Lewis is able to identify challenges and offer specific solutions to parents.
At the moment Fatima is working on the best ways to engage parents before and after discharge, including making visits to visit kids alongside their natural support systems. Along with family visits, another goal for the upcoming year is evaluating the resources we provide as a part of their transition plan at the end of treatment, specifically evaluating how we communicate and educate families about the transition plan. This includes offering families with more streamlined tools to re-engage with services at Alexander.
Fatima’s is considered a vital support system for over 100 families as a part of the Alexander network even after their child is no longer in our care. While her caseload will increase so will her innovation to meet the needs of parents and families post-treatment. We are excited to see how she will continue to support families and continue to exemplify the Alexander Model of Care beyond direct care.