Children and youth with serious emotional disturbance and their families often find themselves in need of services and/or supports that they are unable to afford and for which there is no other method of payment. Flexible funding for non-DCF involved children and youth have been available through funding from the Community Mental Health Block Grant and The Strategic Investment Board.
- Supports “wrap-around” services that are tied to an objective in a child’s Individualized Care Plan. These may include tangible supports, supervised or therapeutic companionship, supervised activities, and clinical services.
- Supports families with children who have significant behavioral health needs. Assists the child and family in achieving the therapeutic goals outlined in the Individualized Care Plan-ICP.
- Must be the payer of last resort. In the case of funding for clinical services that would otherwise be reimbursed by third parties - Medicaid, private insurance, etc.
- Helps children remain with their families, communities, and achieve the highest level of functioning and life satisfaction possible as its ultimate goal.
The target population for this initiative is children or youth with serious emotional disturbance who are at risk of out-of-home placement, have limited resources or have exhausted resources including commercial insurance, have complex needs that require multi-agency involvement; and have no formal involvement with the Department of Children and Families or is not a Department of Children and Families (DCF) client (neither committed to DCF or a voluntary client).
A child or youth is eligible for Flex Funds if he or she meets eligibility requirements for Level III care coordination and is not a DCF client.
A broad range of services, activities, and items are eligible for reimbursement, including:
- Non-clinical: Clothing, educational expenses, housing, security deposits, utilities, musical instruments, automobile, transportation, furnishing/appliances, fines, etc. No funds may be used for permanent improvements to buildings or structures whether owned or rented.
- Supervised Companionship: Mentoring, coaching, music lessons, tutoring, etc.
- Supervised Activities: Camp, after school recreational or educational activities, participation on an athletic team, scouting, hobby clubs, etc.
- Clinical Services:
- Funds cannot be expended on clinical services customarily covered by insurance until and unless that coverage has been exhausted or in cases where there is no insurance or the service is not covered. The flexible funds account will be the payer of last resort.
- Providers contracted by DCF to provide “categorical services” (individual and family counseling, extended day treatment, respite, etc.) cannot bill for reimbursement through flexible funds unless the contracted provider is adding staff hours to serve the child who is participating in the flexible funding initiative. Only exception - if a contracted provider adds staff hours, with the support of Flexible Funds, to make a clinician available more readily to a child who otherwise would be placed on a lengthy wait list.
All of the established local Systems of Care Community Collaboratives that utilize Care Coordinators contracted through the DCF funded Enhanced Care Coordinating agencies are eligible to obtain flexible funding for the above mentioned target population of children and families they serve. Referrals can be made to the Local System of Care Community Collaboratives Care Coordinators.