Family Support Services shall be provided to Orange County families and individuals in families challenged with behavioral health conditions or other stressful conditions placing the family at risk. These may include but not be limited to, parents, partners, grandparents, single parents, teen parents, guardians or caregivers. Examples may include, families with a child with disabilities (cognitive, emotional, and/or physical), foster/adopted families, families experiencing a risk of homelessness or homelessness, reunification with family members, military/veteran families, families whom are victims of domestic/school violence, refugee families, families with deaf and hard of hearing family member and those with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, and intersex (LGBTQI) family members(s) and/or partners. Bidder(s) may propose additional target groups.
Family Support Services offer advocacy and ongoing support to families by building a network of contacts and mutual support. Bidders are strongly encouraged to collaborate with community providers especially those who serve diverse ethnic communities and serving monolingual participants. Services will include a broad range of personalized and peer to peer social development services that are culturally and linguistically appropriate and consistent with Orange County’s MHSA Prevention and Early Intervention Plan. Services must emphasize behavioral health education (including substance use disorder), wellness topics and developing healthy coping tools to support the family. The peer to peer component of services shall consist of recruitment and training of behavioral health consumers or consumer family members to serve as staff or volunteers and then match them with new families who have requested contact with other families in a similar situation. The peer to peer component will be designed for support and share the knowledge families have gained through their experience navigating the behavioral health system. Staff or volunteers will be responsible for providing workshops/educational courses and resource materials to requesting families. Staff or volunteers will also train new volunteers as well as eligible participants to become part of the peer to peer support system. Services/Activities shall include, but are not limited to the following:
1. Educate the community about the availability of services through participation in events such as health fairs, behavioral health symposiums, presentations to groups/organizations, and cultural events.
2. Recruit families with a family member who has been in the behavioral health system (including substance use disorder treatment programs which may include 12 Steps and Al-Anon), to be part of the program either as participants or volunteers. All peer mentors must pass a background check.
3. Implement a volunteer training and support program that matches families of similar challenges or create a referral system of volunteer families with similar challenges. This will assist families to network and build a support system.
4. Provide education support and resources to sustain and/or improve overall behavioral health. This support shall include workshops/education courses designed to address behavioral health issues by implementing evidence based curricula.
5. Provide individual Peer to Peer Support to a family and or a family member who is challenged with a behavioral health issue or other stressful conditions. The support provided will help to improve the social and behavioral health outcomes for these participants and to avoid participant isolation. For example, provide assistance to participants in navigating the public and private systems so that individuals and families are able to effectively engage in services.
6. Provide case management including resource linkages.
7. Provide training, consultation and advocacy to participants and supervision to peer mentors.
8. Provide “Practicing Self-Care” trainings to the general community focusing on stress management techniques and coping skills for those who care for a family member who has a behavioral health or a physical health condition. These general trainings are designed to be stand-alone trainings and are also a method for promoting services in the community.
9. Optional support services: Supportive services such as, but not limited to, transportation and child care.