Program areas at First In Families of North Carolina
FIF Chapters providing family support through Alliance Health (AH) are Cumberland FIF, Durham FIF, Johnston FIF, and Wake FIF. All the FIF local Chapters help people with developmental and other disabilities to create the lives they aspire to now and for the future. Families or individuals apply for assistance to meet a short or long-term goal or obtain needed goods or services. Most of those assisted do not receive formal services; 886 families 47% do not get help through the Medicaid waiver. Families are offered opportunities to give back to other families at the time that they apply for assistance or later on; reciprocity by families served ("gave back") for fy1920 was: 28 families donated goods; 52 families donated time, and 1 family donated money. FIF partners with the business community and other families previously served, to meet the need of the applicant at the lowest possible cost. Through such assistance, the need is met, and public awareness is developed as well. Each Chapter is governed by a grassroots local Management Team comprised of people with disabilities, their family members, and invested community members. Met requests fall into and are measured within the following 14 categories of support are: Basic Needs, Camp/Programs, Advocacy Activities, Education, Emergency Housing/Utilities, Equipment, Health and Wellness, Home Repair/Modification, Household Items, Recreation, Technology, Therapy/Counseling, and Transportation. The Durham, Wake, Cumberland and Johnston chapters met 566 requests from 419 (unduplicated) families last year, including 36% (151) of whom were completely new to FIF (never previously assisted). Wake County also provided funding specifically for camp tuition to Wake FIF children with disabilities. These four chapters leveraged $42,353.00 from local businesses all of which was used directly to serve more families.
Triad, Foothills, Central Carolina, and Five County Chapters of First In Families assisted 336 families last year, fulfilling 280 requests. 28% (94) of these families were completely new to First In Families. These Chapters assist residents of 20 counties, to create the lives they want now and in the future, and meet requests through the matching of public funding with additional support from private local businesses, foundations, or private citizens. These four chapters leveraged in fy1920 a total of $23,119.04 from private business, which went directly to meet the needs of more families.
The Statewide Cross-Area Special Program includes the Quality Assurance and Technical Assistance program (QATA), the Lifeline Project, and the Lifetime Connections program. QATA provides oversight and guidance, technical assistance, strategic planning, maintenance of strong management teams, new staff training, an annual assessment through Core Indicators of Chapter Health, and a comprehensive family support database to all 13 FIF Chapters statewide, including the 9 managed directly by FIFNC. This assistance ensures high-quality, customer-led family support and adherence to the FIF model. QATA support in FY1920 included 12 on-site Chapter visits to meet with staff and management teams (policy-setting group), 11 monthly calls with all chapters, 676 one-to-one Technical Assistance requests resolved, 2 mini virtual training events (due to Covid, not in person), and an Information Line for immediate questions about eligibility, Policies and Procedures, the Salesforce Database, community outreach, etc. The Lifeline Project provides family support to individuals and families who live in the 35 NC Counties not covered by an FIF chapter. 12 of 13 Chapters scored over 85% on Core Indicators of Chapter Health (benchmark is 75% of the chapters scoring over 80%). In FY1920, Lifeline Project helped 129 families with 139 requests, statewide. Lifetime Connections provides future planning support to families who are planning for their child's or siblings well-being when they are no longer able to provide the support and advocacy needed for successful community life. This includes two core services, Future Planning Workshops, and a Personal Network for each member family. Families are assisted to put a comprehensive plan in place, including will(s), special needs trust, and letter of intent, and to develop Personal Networks for current (and future) quality of life and peace of mind. In FY1920 Lifetime Connections program provided 1 Future Planning Workshop, including topics on Supported Decision-making, and Building Personal Support Networks. Lifetime Connections actively supports 88 volunteers who support Personal Networks for 28 member families in 6 counties. These volunteers provide advice, goal-setting, and friendship.