April 16, 2013

Report offers family service fixes in N.H.

The Associated Press

CONCORD, N.H. - A new plan for fixing New Hampshire's fragmented system for helping children with mental health and substance abuse conditions recommends getting families more involved and better integrating the current maze of services.

The New Hampshire Children's Behavioral Health Collaborative was created in 2010 and brought together more than 50 organizations.

The plan that it released Monday includes nine core goals, including getting families and children more involved in the planning and delivery of services and minimizing barriers between the many agencies and institutions that provide those services.

An estimated one in five children in New Hampshire has an emotional disorder that affects their daily functioning, but most who need help aren't getting it, said Kim Firth, program director at the Endowment for Health, which funded the plan's development along with the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation. She called the plan a road map to creating a comprehensive system that better serves children and their families.

"It calls for an individualized approach that puts families and youth in the driver's seat. It identifies the need for a broader array of services and supports, and it highlights strategies to ensure we have a prepared and adequate work force," said Firth.


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