Residential Based Services Initiated
After years of research and months of negotiations, the much-anticipated Residential Based Services (RBS) Open Doors initiative began on Thursday, December 2. Los Angeles is one of four counties in California participating in this demonstration project. Hillsides together with Hathaway-Sycamores and Five Acres are the three area providers that have been selected to participate in this study. This demonstration will be conducted over the next 24 months. The findings will then be used to redesign how services to children and their families that are struggling to achieve some level of stability and permanency are provided. Given the research that has been done on this model throughout the country, there is reason to expect that this demonstration project will lead to significant developments in how we keep families together and sustain them effectively.
Open Doors will provide up to 24 months of care, and nine of those months may be provided in the residential treatment setting. From the very beginning of treatment, the child and family are introduced to a team of professionals that will accompany them through the whole service period.
The expectation is that this kind of comprehensive approach will provide for greater effectiveness to stabilize the child and family and develop a plan of care, allowing the family to be reunified sooner than in the current service model.
Embedded in the demonstration are the guiding principles of safety, well being and permanency. Safety is a primary issue, without it no progress can be made. Much of the initial effort with families will be to establish and confidently maintain a safe environment in the home. Also, part of the initial treatment period is the establishment of a program of services that will allow both the child and family to achieve improvement and a lessening of the condition that led them into care. Finally, the goal is to establish long-term stability so as to avoid multiple disruptions for the child and family.
Virtually all families are motivated to stay together and function well. This program is tailored to provide resources for children and their families so in spite of the many challenges they confront they might see their dream of reunification realized.
We are very excited to be part of this initiative and invite all our supporters to embrace this mission of safety and successfully returning children to their families and communities.