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Building Compassionate Communities (BCC)
Building Compassionate Communities (BCC) is a multi-year grant Centerstone was awarded in 2019 by the Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation (ILCHF). BCC isn’t a standalone program, rather it supplements both clinical and family services programs within Centerstone and the mental health system of support in Franklin, Jackson, Perry, and Williamson counties. The foundation of BCC provides our regional system of support with three pillars to strengthen child and family resilience while improving access to healthcare and enhancing overall mental health: networking through collaboration, high quality professional development, and family resource developers.
Networking through Collaboration
The concept of BCC sprang from the ILCHF grant awarded to Centerstone with the overarching goal of improving the mental health of children and communities throughout Southern Illinois. BCC’s vison is to build compassionate communities by collaborating with regional partners and families to integrate services and create lasting change that directly affects children and families. Community partners in the four-county region involved with BCC include:
- Children’s Medical & Mental Health Resource Network
- Christopher Rural Health Planning Corporation
- Franklin-Williamson Bi-County Health Department
- Illinois Department of Children and Family Services
- Jackson County Health Department
- Parent and Youth Partners
- Prevent Child Abuse Illinois
- Rainbow Cafe
- Redeploy Illinois
- Regional Office of Education 21 & School Districts Within
- Regional Office of Education 30 & School Districts Within
- Shawnee Health Services
- Southern Illinois Coalition for Children and Families
- Southern Illinois Healthcare
- Southern Illinois University School of Medicine
- Southern Illinois University System
- Southern Region Early Childhood
- University of Illinois Extension
High Quality Professional Development
One of the driving goals of BCC is “The Development of a Well-Prepared Mental Health Workforce.” To that effect, BCC either directly provides or underwrites in collaboration with agencies in our system of support to annually provide a wide range of professional development for everyone involved in juvenile mental health initiatives from clients to caregivers to caseworkers to clinicians. Additionally, Centerstone can leverage its larger community presence to help all agencies within our system of support to market professional development and networking opportunities they make available, too.
Family Resource Developers
The backbone of BCC is our Family Resource Developer (FRD) program at Centerstone. FRDs focus on the family by doing the following at home, at school and in the community:
- Delivering peer support through support groups, phone calls, or individual meetings.
- Providing emotional connection of people who have “been there.”
- Giving informational and educational support on systems and strategies.
- Supporting peers in developing positive ways to address their family’s day-to-day needs, as well as their own self-care needs.
- Helping parents arrange transportation, childcare, etc. when trying to juggle school, doctors’ appointments, sports, extra-curricular activities, budgets, groceries, and family events.
FRDs and Centerstone clinical/family services resources in concert with telehealth or at-home, office, or in-school visits can help families, regardless of insurance source or diagnosis, with:
- Mental health screenings.
- Mental health services for youth and family members.
- Juvenile justice system navigation.
- Special education and individualized education plan (IEP) help.
- Reducing stereotypes and stigma related to mental health.
- Preventative care.
- Access to care.
- Immediate and long-term needs for families of children impacted by mental health.
- Peer provided services.
- Support groups.
- Parent education groups.
For more information about BCC, contact David Mills, BCC Grant Coordinator, at David.Mills@Centerstone.org or (618) 457-6703, ext. 7977.