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STATE FAQ

What is Choices’ role in our community?

Choices specializes in care coordination. It is our role to partner with the family and youth, service providers, system partners, and community supports to create a community team focused on the success of that family and youth. Through this partnership, a Choices care coordinator works closely with the each community team to establish a highly individualized “plan of care” and determine what services and supports are needed to meet the team’s goals. Choices develops strong community provider networks to ensure each plan and its related services are built upon each youth and family’s unique strengths and needs. Choices does not provide services such as therapy, counseling or behavioral support. In doing so, Choices ensures that all services identified by the team are done so within a conflict-free and unbiased team environment. When youth and families are equal partners, and help drive their care, we can assure that we are not just providing individualized care, but providing a venue for families to grow and become their own coordinators of care.
Choices’ role is to ensure:

  • families have full voice in the care they receive, and who participates on their child and family team,
  • services and supports meet the unique needs of each family, and
  • members of the child and family team work together to meet the goals of the youth and family.

What is a child and family team?

A child and family team (CFT) is an inter-disciplinary team who meets regularly and whose main purpose is to develop and approve a highly individualized plan of care. The plan of care includes interventions and supports that are centered on the strengths of the child, family, and community. A care coordinator assembles and facilitates the meeting, communicates with members, recruits new members, and oversees the team’s progress. Family members are encouraged to help choose team members and serve as the “driver” of the team process. They participate actively on the team and share successes and concerns regarding the strengths and needs of the child. What is the role of a care coordinator? Choices care coordinators are trained to be expert facilitators, between youth-serving systems, the youth and family they serve, and the many community partners providing services to them. They assist family case managers, probation officers, teachers and all team members to streamline services and supports with the goal of achieving permanency and decreased need on formal system-supports. Care coordinators assist the child and family team by:

  • accessing unique resources outside of state-approved standards, such as mentoring, supervision, transportation and child care;
  • monitoring progress reports and outcomes on a monthly basis and reporting that information back to all team members via the child and family team;
  • seeking safety, stability and permanency for every child and family;
  • increasing family driven care to ensure individualized treatment planning.

An initial child and family team meeting may be held within 10 days of referral, and again every 30 days, or more frequently as needed. This may also vary by state, program, and child.

What is the role of a family member?

Family members help choose team members and serve as the driver of the team process. They participate actively on the team and share successes and concerns regarding the strengths and needs of the youth and family. Family members have the right to:

  • expect what is said to be kept private,
  • receive treatment regardless of race, religion, national origin, gender, or sexual orientation,
  • provide input on what providers of service should be used,
  • receive notices in a form that can easily be read and understood,
  • make a complaint and receive a timely answer, and
  • dispute the treatment plan and be told what that might mean for the child’s health.

What are the roles of providers and community members?

Providers and other community members serve as the support system to help the child and family meet their goals and sustain positive changes within their home, school, and community. Team members help families through the process of identifying strengths and needs, always working to honor the unique and cultural needs of the youth and family. Team members:

  • are available for team meetings,
  • share information openly and honestly,
  • help create a plan of care, and
  • participate actively in the care coordination process.

What are the CANS?

The Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS) is a multi-purpose tool developed to support team decision making, including service planning and levels of care. The CANS is also used to monitor outcomes of service and facilitate quality improvement initiatives. Versions of the CANS are currently used in 25 states, in child welfare, mental health, juvenile justice, and early intervention programs.

What is a system of care? What is a wraparound?

A system of care is a framework for providing a wide array of strengths-based supports to individuals and their families. This framework is centered on family and youth empowerment, evidence based/informed practice, cultural responsiveness, and requires multi-agency collaboration to provide support in an individualized, flexible, and least-restrictive manner.


Wraparound is a process of individualized care planning for youth with complex needs and their families. The wraparound process is strengthened when a system of care is in place to support the needs of youth and families. Wraparound is not a service.


At Choices, we believe everyone is capable of success. The center of our approach is based on the system of care and wraparound philosophies, and supported by strong company values and a wealth of experience in serving youth with mental, emotional and behavioral needs.