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DODD's KFT Funding Helps BHN Alliance Families

A crucial part of DODD's mission is to support multi-system youth and their families. In an effort to do that, DODD awarded one million dollars to 46 county boards through the Keeping Families Together (KFT) program. County boards used the award to offer respite and other services, thereby enabling youth to remain in their homes and communities. 

The BHN Alliance (Belmont-Harrison-Noble County Boards of Developmental Disabilities) used the funding to provide in-home behavioral supports, parent coaching/training, respite, social/emotional peer groups, and specialized equipment to people with developmental disabilities in the three counties it serves. 

The BHN Alliance partnered with Kendall Behavioral Solutions to develop a 13-week parent training program. The hour-and-a-half training gives parents new tools or skills to help their child. It also provides an opportunity to discuss solutions with other parents who are experiencing their own unique situations.

“We’ve been able to establish a solid curriculum with Kendall Behavioral Solutions,” said Stephen Williams, BHN Alliance Superintendent. “Parent training creates a natural support group where those involved interact and learn that other children and families are experiencing the same concerns and trials as they are.” 

Historically, the counties are limited in funding from local Family and Children First Councils and community resources. KFT funding enabled the county boards to serve more families, create innovative programs with their community partners, and find creative ways to fund families in need. The BHN Alliance also purchased sensory objects, swings, and other items that address the individualized needs of each child.

Williams and Amanda Tharp, BHN Alliance Director of Community Supports, acknowledge that being on the same page with other support services helps facilitate positive change for those involved.

“It’s a fluid process,” said Tharp. “We have such a great collaboration within our counties and with our community partners. It makes it easy.” 

The BHN Alliance also invested in planned respite where youth spend one-on-one time with a therapeutic mentor who works through programs developed by a behavior specialist or mental health counselor. Activities include fishing trips, hiking, artistic endeavors and more.

Tharp sees a bright future ahead as the BHN Alliance builds on its past success serving the entire family, not just the child.

“Our goal is to provide more education, more training, and more support,” Tharp said. “We are grateful to have a shared partnership with multiple county boards of developmental disabilities that will help us do that.” 

For more information, visit DODD’s Supporting Multi-System Youth homepage. Here you will find an assortment of material on KFT funding, Youth Technical Assistance, Family Regional Coaches, and more