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What is Circle Around Families?

Circle Around Families (CAF), Child Mental Health Initiative (CMHI) is a system of care development Initiative targeted to 147,000 people living in Lake County, Indiana. The Initiative is designed as a child-centered and family focused system with services provided to families coordinated within the context of the existing family strengths and needs. The Initiative reflects the notion that the system of care is community-based with governance informed by the desires of community residents.

Circle Around Families is built upon the belief that the wraparound service process for children and families must be coordinated within the context of the existing family and child strengths and needs. The design of Circle Around Families reflects the notion that the system of care is child/family-centered and community-based; with the focus of services, care, and administration based upon the parental involvement. Enrollment of families began in November of 2000. State and local community agencies, other stakeholders and parents have been meeting regularly as the Collaborative Consortium. Representatives from education, juvenile justice, mental health, family and children services, the Federation of Families – Family Action Network, parents and any other invested persons from the communities are seated at the table of the Consortium.

Project Goals

  1. Parent empowerment and participation through the creation of a parent organization.
  2. Creation of a seamless community infrastructure through interagency collaboration, blended funding mechanisms, and a wraparound service process.
  3. Enhanced mental health services for children and adolescents with serious emotional disturbance (SED) through the expansion of the traditional and non-traditional array of services.

Mission Statement

The mission of Circle Around Families is to develop a culturally competent community based system of care for seriously emotionally disabled children and their families utilizing a wraparound process which involves a team of caregivers assembled around each child and family to create one coordinated care plan built around identified child and family strengths.

National Recognition

Circle Around Families achieves national recognition for excellence in community communications and outreach. Click here to view the press release.

The Circle Around Families promotional video can be viewed online by clicking here. Please note that this requires a high speed connection to the internet, and the Microsoft Windows Media Player.
View Promotional Video