Federation of Organizations developed the HomeBEST (Home Based Empowerment Support Team) program in Nassau County in 2021 after receiving funding from the Nassau County Office of Mental Health. This program serves families of high-risk youth under age 21 who are diagnosed with serious emotional disturbance and/or are at risk of hospitalization or out-of-home placement. Through the intensive in-home program, a multidisciplinary team of social workers, care coordinators and youth care advocates provide families or caregivers with education, tools and skills to better handle situations with their youth. The HomeBEST team also coordinates with the youth’s school and clinical supports to effect better outcomes and connects the families to community resources to assist in meeting their unique needs.
A 13-year-old young lady who “skipped school” and didn’t get along well with her mother or others came into Federation’s HomeBEST program last December. The HomeBEST team has helped this young lady learn coping skills to manage her frustration and anger in a more positive and appropriate manner. The program has also helped link her to an alternative school placement, to better address her social and emotional needs during the school day. Since then she has made great progress in working toward her goals and now looks forward to attending school.
“I love the support of HomeBEST,” a parent in the program wrote to us. “The staff has been so helpful with assisting me in making decisions and are ready to help my child in any way they can. I wish I had this help years ago.”
To date, Federation’s HomeBEST program has served over 50 families and has a 90% success rate in keeping youth from needing out-of-home residential placement. For the 10% of youth that needed residential placement, Federation was instrumental and supportive in assisting the youth and their families with the transition.
“One reason our program has been so successful is that our teams can be very creative with their interventions,” Program Manager Kerry Lyn Eller said. “Our social workers have introduced activities and age appropriate techniques to help engage the youth and help them bond with their parents. “
HomeBEST, although one of the newest, of many programs that Federation offers, has given those throughout the communities we serve the support and resources they need to live an enriched life for the past 50 years.
For more information or if you or someone you know need assistance contact Kerry Eller, Program Manager at (631) 669- 5355) Ext. 1191 or email KEller@fedoforg.org.