FAST Forward is a program designed to provide support to children, youth, and their families by using a high fidelity Wraparound approach, and adhering to a System of Care model. A System of Care model reflects a spectrum of community-based services and supports for children, youth, and young adults with, or at risk for, mental health and related challenges, and their families. The System of Care is organized into a coordinated network, builds meaningful partnerships with families and youth, and addresses their cultural and linguistic needs in order to help them function better at home, in school, in the community, and throughout life.
Many New Hampshire children, youth, and families experiencing difficulties in day-to-day life due to serious emotional disturbances have challenges finding the right support at the right time. They are often placed out of home in residential treatment facilities, psychiatric hospitals, juvenile justice facilities, or daytime programs. Many of these placements take the youth out of their local schools and communities. Despite the best intentions and hard work of families and providers, services are often fragmented and difficult to navigate for families.
New Hampshire is making big strides to address these challenges using the NH Wraparound based program called FAST Forward. The FAST Forward program stands for “Families and Systems Together” and is designed to serve youth with serious emotional disturbances and their families whose needs are not met by traditional service streams and programs.
Family is at the core of FAST Forward’s work. Family members have a voice in describing their needs and strengths, and a choice in identifying services and their supports. Families take a leadership role in their family’s care as well as in policy, planning, and evaluation of the overall system. Youth voice is needed and valued, as youth are full participants in planning their care.
Services are home and community-based: keeping youth in their homes and schools is a priority. FAST Forward honors the culture and beliefs of each family served through this program.
Is your child working with multiple agencies? If you have answered yes to any of these questions, the FAST Forward Wraparound program may be an option for your family. FAST Forward Wraparound is a family and youth driven planning process that brings together many of the people already working with your family into one team. The focus is on building the strengths of the family. You will create a vision as to how you would like to see things change. It is an amazing opportunity to be in the driver’s seat and share what you feel may help your family.