This program is a contract CHOICES holds with Montgomery County Children Services Division (MCCSD). Children can range in age from nine to seventeen and are experiencing some difficulty in their family/community/school lives. Children have come to the attention of Montgomery County for being at-risk due to struggles with one or more of the following:
- Aggressive or violent
- Gang involvement
- Possibly run away
- Problems learning or under-achieving in school
- Poor interpersonal skills
- Displays abusive behavior in family and peer relationships
- Struggling with substance abuse but have not reached the threshold for primary treatment
The referral for this program originates directly from Montgomery County Children Services Division.
The goals of the program are to de-escalate the crisis and increase the conflict resolution and problem solving skills of all family members.
CHOICES will help to reduce the violence in the family, to empower the family through improved conflict resolution. The goal is to keep the family together consistent with child safety.
This is accomplished through collaborative work with the MCCSD worker. CHOICES staff are expected to maintain regular contact with the MCCSD worker and attend Semi-Annual Review, family team meetings as well as court hearings in an effort to effectively provide and coordinate services for the family.
Families receive five to ten hours of face-to-face contact per week, with services being delivered up to 12 weeks; but not exceeding eighty hours. Educational and skill building services provided are tailored for the individual needs of the family and may include instruction on various topics, such as:
- Problem solving skills
- De-escalation techniques
- Conflict resolution skills
- Behavior modification and developmentally appropriate discipline approaches
- Organizational skills
- Goal setting skills
- Household management skills
These activities allow parents or caretakers the opportunity to learn concrete skills so that they will be able to more effectively manage behaviors and operate a functional household. Furthermore, families will be encouraged to use family meetings as a forum to address issues in a planned and non-crisis oriented setting, thus supporting the development of trusting, caring relationships.
CHOICES facilitates linkage of the family with needed services in their community. Each family will be familiarized with services available to them, within fifteen miles of their family home. Additionally, crisis intervention services are available to each family twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.