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MeckCARES: MeckCARES is the formal name of the system of care in Mecklenburg County designed to improve outcomes for youth ages 10-21 who have severe emotional challenges and their families.

Enrolling in MeckCARES works to ensure that services are:

Youth-Guided and Family-Driven
Families partner with professionals on teams and are involved in all aspects of planning, service delivery and evaluation.

Team-Based and Persistent
Child and family teams consist of individuals agreed upon by the family. Despite challenges, teams persist in working toward shared goals.

Culturally and Linguistically Competent
Providers anticipate and respond to a family's language, cultural values, traditions and needs in planning and delivering care.

Services are well-integrated, and coordinated across provider organizations, and there is a commitment to smooth transitions between agencies.

The goal is keep youth as close to home and to create natural supports whenever possible.

Individualized, Strengths-Based
Providers use creative problem-solving with families and youth. Services are tailored to meet individual needs and strengths.

Outcome-Based and Data-Driven
This approach to collaborative services is intended to improve the lives of youth, their families, and the community. Progress is monitored and plans are revised accordingly.

What are Natural Supports?
MeckCARES helps to create natural supports in the community by identifying and developing formal and informal resources to serve youth with serious emotional disorders and their families. MeckCARES helps educate local clinical staff about resources available and how to use them; and identifies ways that community partners, the business community, the faith-based community, schools, and the public at large can best work with youth and families to support their needs and keep youth close to home.

What is meant by Wraparound*?
Wraparound is a family-centered, community-oriented, strengths-based, highly individualized planning and problem solving process. Wraparound is aimed at helping people achieve important outcomes by helping them meet their needs. Child and Family Teams help identify strengths-based strategies both within and outside of formal human service systems to address identified needs and achieve identified outcomes. A primary objective of Wraparound is to help families and youth remain in their neighborhoods and homes, whenever possible.

In the Wraparound process, child-serving agencies and family members work in collaboration to:

  • Conduct an initial safety check
  • Discover youth and family strengths
  • Select and form a Child and Family Team
  • Define and prioritize needs
  • Select and design strength-based strategies
  • Examine potential crisis, safety and transition issues and develop plans to overcome them
  • Plan the next meetings and evaluate how the current one went
  • Evaluate and update Child and Family Team plans as needed

*Information provided by Mary Grealish.


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