Across Connecticut, important strides are being made to ensure that children with behavioral health needs receive efficient, effective, and collaborative care, and that families navigating services on behalf of their child are not facing the additional burden of being the only one communicating between all those involved in a child’s success.

However, significant gaps remain in Connecticut’s behavioral health infrastructure, particularly across education, behavioral health, and pediatric primary care. These gaps limit the level of communication and collaboration that can happen between professionals and with families.

In an attempt to alleviate some of these systemic gaps, the Connecting to Care initiative is seeking to develop Family Care Connections, by identifying, enhancing, and expanding best practices for improved communication and collaboration across the child-serving system that will ultimately improve behavioral health services in our state.

Family Care Connections workgroup

The vision of the Family Care Connections workgroup is to work towards a single point of access for all children, youth, and families in Connecticut so that they can receive care from a fully coordinated and integrated network focused on the provision of services and supports that are community-based, culturally-responsive, individualized, flexible, and focused on supporting children, youth, and families so they can thrive.

The goal of the workgroup is to support the development of Family Care Connections, which are designed to center youth and family voice and choice in the development and implementation of an individualized and coordinated plan of care that includes primary care, schools and behavioral health and has the goal of supporting and enhancing the social, emotional and physical health of children, youth and their families.

Workgroup chair: Daniela Giordano, LMSW, Carelon

Designated meeting time: second Monday of every month | 10:00 – 11:00 am

Current Areas of Focus and Resources

Connect4Families Toolkit

The Connect4Families Toolkit simplifies access to behavioral health services and facilitates collaboration among families, pediatric providers, and schools. This online toolkit was developed in September of 2023 by the Connecting to Care initiative’s Family Care Connections (FCC) Workgroup to promote communication and collaboration among child-serving sectors and support families and youth as full partners in driving the transformation of Connecticut’s system of care.

Family Care Connections Flyer

Outreach to enhance local connections

Network of Care Managers at Carelon are currently conducting outreach and engagement with professionals from across the state to identify existing collaborations and facilitate new connections between pediatric providers, school personnel, and behavioral health clinicians. Our team is eager to hear about your experiences with collaboration across disciplines and how to better meet your needs.

Resource mapping

In collaboration with the Department of Children and Families (DCF) and the Child Health and Development Institute (CHDI), Network of Care Managers at Carelon are working on keeping an up-to-date inventory of community-based behavioral health services for children, including Mobile Crisis, care coordination, and outpatient care. The goal of this effort is to create a public-facing resource map comprised of these local resources.

If you are looking for information about community-based services, please contact the Network of Care Manager team.

Information exchange

To better facilitate the sharing of information across schools, pediatric primary care providers, and behavioral health care providers, the Family Care Connections workgroup is exploring current and novel strategies in Connecticut. This includes promoting the state’s Health Information Exchange (Connie,) and exploring the use of emerging platforms to address all determinants of health to better coordinate services across child and family need.