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What is MeckCARES and what does it mean to enroll?

MeckCARES is the system of care partnership among local child-serving agencies, families and the community. Its purpose is to improve outcomes for youth ages 10-21 who have a severe emotional problem and their families. MeckCARES adopts a unified approach across provider organizations. By enrolling in MeckCARES, families participate as partners in planning, delivery, and evaluation of services.

As a family member participating in MeckCARES, you should expect:

  • Monthly Child and Family Team meetings.
  • A trained facilitator and coach who will help your Child and Family team get off to a good start.
  • Priority access to flex funds to address certain needs not otherwise funded.
  • Assistance of a skilled, trained Community Support Provider.
  • Access to a family advocate from Parent-VOICE when needed.
  • Assistance from Resource Development Coordinator(s) in finding natural supports and community resources from faith communities, businesses, service organizations and neighborhoods that can help meet the needs of children and families.
  • Development of a written plan to address your child's and family's needs.
  • A process that uses your child's and family's strengths to build the plan.
  • Inclusion of professionals and informal supports of your family's choosing on your team.
  • Regular follow-up on and implementation of the plan.
  • Regular feedback to the team on how it is working.
  • Training for the family and all team members on system of care principles and values and "Wraparound" techniques.
  • Option for review by Care Review Team. Your Child and Family Team can visit one of the Care Review Teams to get a fresh perspective or to help build consensus among your team members.
  • Priority access to summer respite opportunities for your child.
  • Opportunities to participate on teams that oversee the management and implementation of MeckCARES.

You can help by:

  1. Actively participating in your Child and Family Team. Your Child and Family Team is chosen by you, and includes both professionals and other members of the community who can be helpful, such as relatives, neighbors, teachers, coaches, court counselors, and health care workers. The team forms a circle of support for your family. The team selects a leader to guide team meetings. Team members change as your family's needs change. They meet in places and at times that are convenient and comfortable for you.

  2. Working with other team members to implement the plan for your child and family. Agencies and families will work together to develop a single plan of care based on the strengths of the youth and family, not just the problems you might be experiencing.

  3. Participating in training to help the team function and your family improve. Parent-VOICE is a parent advocacy organization that educates and supports families about services and entitlements. ParentVOICE can help your family be a full and active partner on your Child and Family Team.

  4. Participating in evaluation activities to help improve your team and the system. Evaluation of MeckCARES is being conducted by a team from UNC Charlotte, with input from families, service providers and other community members. The evaluation involves a combination of interviews, surveys and observations. Your participation is important to improve services and support for your family and all families in our community. Your confidentiality will be protected.


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