Behavioral Health Department
Family Access Support Team (FAST)
FAST is an innovative, short term approach designed to help families overcome problems which can result in a serious crisis situation. The program is designed to help the family identify what is working, what are trigger problems, and brainstorm new strategies and ideas that can break the cycle of emotional crisis. In partnership with Ventura County Behavioral Health (VCBH), United Parents utilizes a Parent Partner intervention model. A Parent Partner is a para-professional who has raised a child with a mental, emotional or behavioral disorder and combines their own life experience with on-going training to help highly stressed families. They understand frustration, being blamed, losing hope, and all the challenges that go with raising children with special needs.
Parent Partners work closely with the family’s VCBH clinician to support treatment goals with practical applications in the home. These skilled para-professionals also provide additional linkages for services that will address any barriers to the family’s needs. United Parents taps into the hope and resiliency of families and provides support & skill building through their outreach, engaging and proactive planning.
During this last year 147 families received services, with only 4 children being hospitalized during this time period. 57% of these families identified as Hispanic which resulted in the formation of Spanish speaking support groups in Ventura and Santa Clara Valley. Concerted efforts were made by United Parents to respond to the cultural and linguistic needs of families resulting in 65% of staff now able to provide services in parent’s native language.
Services and Supports:
Unique to this program is that the program is staffed solely with “Parent Partners’ which means they have raised children who have an emotional disorder, so they are in a unique position to understand what challenges the families they support are facing. Not only does this program offer outreach, community support and in-home services, a new program has been added which offers a 90 Day Intensive Intervention Parent Model to support families in identifying escalating behaviors, utilizing specific behavior interventions and thus, diverting the need for out of home placement or hospitalization.
To access mental health services, or for immediate help, please call 24/7 1-866-998-2243.