Sunday, June 12th


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Good morning and welcome to another additional living better in San Diego public service presentation of this radio station and Jerry Lee. The Fred finch youth center is a local nonprofits serving children adolescents and young adults and families. The complex life challenges they offer a variety of programs to help them live healthy. And productive lives joining us this morning to talk about how they do this is Fred did you senate president and CEO Tom Alexander. And Southern California regional vice president Alley free now welcome Tom welcome now we thank you your. Gary let's start with a little background information on the on the the French French youths in a first of all who is fried fish French finch was. The son of Duncan finch and his wife Eunice and Duncan finch was a shipping magnate and back in the early actually late. Eighteen hundreds and Oakland California. And unison Duncan had two children. Fred was there there oldest son. And right before 1891. And Fred. Died of tuberculosis. And in his grieving process Duncan. Had kind of wonder was wandering the docks of of Oakland and this is at the time of the the industrial revolution a lot of shipping happening in Oakland. And lots of absent fathers and he saw lots of orphans on the docks in Oakland eking out a living. And a survival. And so. As a part of his grieving process he decided to donate a portion. He is. Land holdings in Oakland. To the Methodist Church. In memory of his son friend. And Fred finch children's homeless. Was born. Start thousand orphanage in 1991 and so Fred was Duncan son and has been memorialized with. A very important thing not for profit organization that answers sent kids and family. So I was around a long time a long time 125 years this coming year were I'm proud of that in 2016. Won't. Will be our 125 anniversary. Now started a pin in northern California said in Oakland right that's current wind did the San Diego financial. San Diego branch opened about ten years ago. And in fact. Really was an opportunity that Fred the organization took a upon you an indication of two local funders of our kinds of care in that sense thing you county behavioral health. And senior regional senator senior Kenny behavioral health serves. Folks this half men account. With mental health services and behavioral health services. Continue to regional center serves. Kids and adults with to homo disabilities or intellectual delays. And we operated a program up and then at the northern California called the Avalon program which is. Residential treatment for kids. With both the developmental disability and the psychiatric. Diagnosis. And fortunately we were presenting at a conference and to the leaders in San Diego of behavioral health and of finger regional center. Saw the presentation and said that's a program that we won in San Diego so we were invited down to initiate this one program we did that. Started in about 20042005. And over the next. Ten years we've grown to. Four different programs serving somewhere in the neighborhood of about 15100 kids a year. A 12030. Staff so have grown significantly over that that first invitation to adhere to San Diego. And I had the regional center on children fortunately I know I know a lot about them that these great work here in San Diego that's correct so what does the mission and a fee for admission senator Fred since you senator sorry is to provide innovative effective services supporting children youth young adults. And their families to heal from trauma. And the lead healthier and productive lives. Now over the years again you said how many years is it now 12525. Years there have to have been some. Major changes significant over the use that Kenya and tell us that any of those changes sure as I mentioned that it is the organizations are his orphanage. So. For really the first probably six years seven years it was a very traditional orphanage. Kids were dropped off and raised there. Either because of absent parents or death of a parent or simply that the kids from wanted to anymore. In the 1960s. Thereabouts. Orphanages really gave way the industry's really started to move more towards psychiatric prison for treatment. So as as folks got a little more sophisticated in terms of what these kids might be dealing went. The industry move towards. Providing care and treatment not just room on board but Caron treatment in addition to. In addition to board and care. And so for the next really twenty years thirty years so that was the focus of of what Fred finch provided. We have an eight acre campus and the Oakland Hills and they aired during the time of residential treatment basically anywhere from. Fifty to seventy kids lived on the campus back in the day when it was an orphanage to 200 kids live down on the campus. But during that time and then of psychiatric presidential treatment about somewhere fifty to sixty kids who live on the campus in any given time. And the way I like to frame it is we bring the kids and oftentimes kids with you know difficult backgrounds. Sometimes considered incorrigible. I'm kids with with pretty serious problems. We bring the kids on and then we bring the staff on and we put a big fence around it. And we'd say we're gonna serve these kids here we're gonna provide them essentially a re parenting experience. But it will include all different kinds of services and approaches including education and behavioral health and recreation. All the different elements that obviously Munich teams that that had significant. Issues would require. And that was a successful program and Fred finch did that for many years up until. Their return to be some pretty serious questions about the efficacy of residential treatment and when I mean by that is. Kids always got better when they came to Fred and so far from the time that they moved into the time that they laughed. They'd improve dramatically. Then they laughed and often times when you do follow up with a when they started do you follow researcher about what the kids were doing after they left. Presidential treatment they found that the kids really weren't being all that successful. And so there industry then again shifted. And started looking at opportunities to leave kids in their own communities leave kids in their homes schools leave kids with their families. As opposed to moving them to me. Why consent that a place where. All the services are provided and there's a big fence around them and so Fred finch is really an innovator in that and that movement. And really started to provide services in schools and homes in communities. And serving these kids with significant mean you know psychiatric and behavioral needs serving them closer to home or at home. And what we found was that you tend to get is good outcome. If you can manage to the kids at home you it is good outcome. In the community as you do in the risen to treatments that are. And so really. As thick as me and statewide leader in the movement towards more community based care. Pretentious than doing that really sense the the late nineties and has really morphed from a predominantly residential treatment. Residential treat her being our core business. To an agency that serves kids in a variety of settings. In a variety of different programs. All with a focus of being in the community or moving children back to their community he finally when the kids leave here your programs. Do you do follow yourself with them. We do a bomb and unfortunately the way we are often funded there isn't a lot of extra money available for follow up care so we do it when we can. And generally. The that's outcomes that we're getting our winning kid comes in and when kids can limited leaves or when a family comes in and when families. But we have certain programs that we can you follow up and generally were pleased that we don't have hard numbers but generally pleased to find it. Kids through retain the progress that they've made in our programs Ruskin and what what is the age group of guys so originally that the orphanage. Served. Mostly. Younger kids and during residential treatment they really moved more towards Seattle ethnic group twelve to eighteen. And since we've size expanded into non residential kinds of settings we really serve kids as young as two or three years of age. Up through what we call transitional age youth and those are kids out through their 24 birthday so. Young adults who are older than eighteen horse started to make the transition from being an eighteen year old to truly be in an appeal. And these are these kids with problems most yeah almost Stalin those problems could be as varied as. I'm mental health issues intellectual disabilities. Results of poverty trauma. Educational deficits so really a fairly wide gamut and fan and Fred finch provides. A variety of different kinds of programs. Your serve all those different means. Now you San Diego location is that the only one Southern California. Well sing blue is actually we serve the entire counting and we have four different locations here in San Diego count and so as you know San Diego's big accounting practice we go from the border up to fall brook and beyond and now from the coast out to the imperial valley line. And that's that we have we have four different offices can anyway. Where's your your main headquarters may have ordered his snowy day in saint in San Diego the main headquarters is in human growth and we have. Office and lemon grove won in Spring Valley Escondido and tools list. Now you're Tom you're the the president CEO that that your background. Is in clinical social workers I am a clinical social work. By profession. I've been in. Administration of social services program for the last 25 years. I am a San Diego native I was the first for attention employee in San Diego. So IE I was fortunate outfitted to get on board with the very forward thinking organization that was interest in developing their business stand here in San Diego. And Tesla been with the organization thirteen years and three years ago they selected me as their president and CEO and I'm proud and honored to. We did that the agency has such an agency with the incredible history and an incredible. Group of committed and dedicated staff. And Ellie how long view them with Fred finch I have been with Fred Fincher got eaten half years and what drew you to them what's your background. Am a psychologist. And and out comes giving up his clinical credentials by saying that an administration for 25 years that I I can tell you he still. He still definitely thinks and operates the agency whiff the heart and intention of that of the social worker and a clinician. One of the things that has. As you made French and continue to be forward thinking organization and one thing that really pleases me and and why I've enjoyed staying. With Fred century and half years. But so we in in psychology also have thingy. Area of interest in early childhood mental health. And in town was sitting that we passed he shifted who we serve of course over the years. But I think some may be surprised when he references that we serve youths as young as. I can't think you said you are tree. And we observed you under wine that's not in a residential setting that's not what we're doing with those kids. But we you really can provide exceptional services with our partners with the caregivers of these little ones oftentimes there in Foster care. Sometimes they're with their biological families. And really just need support. And really need. Focused interventions in order for them to be able to. Kind of click to the next level and make things fall into place and then they can really be an an entirely different trajectory. So that's one of the things that. I think and for me frank finch has offered so much opportunity and win win. We see and need we try and we try and satisfy that means we can meet that need it the community and early childhood mental health has been one of the ways that I think Fred finch has been. Forward thinking. Now you've had a hand in in. Developing like three programs for attention. I have had that pleasure yes yes that we have in that partnership with Sandia canny behavioral health and then child welfare system. We have started out it was called a cast program and that's comprehensive assessment stabilization services. That program works with youth in Foster care easier eighteen runs the whole gamut. And those can sometimes you leave you know they didn't wind up in Foster care on their own lots of stuff they've been exposed to so lots of different experiences. And sometimes it's really tough for them to be of course. They get removed from their home again please another home environments as loving as it is as well intentioned is that it is. It's really a tough challenge and those kids aren't used to those rules so sometimes. Austrians have a hard time giving them what they need maintaining their safety. And then have to. He moved to a different home and that's really tough challenges system realizes. That's not ideal for these kids said the cast program works with youth in Foster care to trying keep them. In ideally one home until they can be back with their families or in a hole and it will be their home for rapper that's the cast program. We also offer the behavior all of a behavioral health services at the Polanski children's center. That's of course also in partnership with and you can kind behavior how then when you are removed from their homes. Or perhaps in between Foster homes or group homes. Game may wind up at that Komansky children's honor and that is really a phenomenal center operated by the can any. And they have asked us to partner with them provide behavioral health. So we offered therapeutic services we may help facilitate visits with their families. Provides psychiatry services recently that's new addition that's the behavioral health services that Polanski. And then we also had the pleasure of operating in that triple peed a positive parenting program. In the south bay of San Diego for about five years of those three that I directly got you I helped start. And of course the other Fred finch you setter. Has what 21 programs 21 different programs. Mostly. Bay Area and in San Diego Bay Area county San Francisco Alameda. Senate panel and Contra Costa counties ME programs or services you have here than in San Diego. A seven. Let's talk about something else you touched on a little bit about plenty senator and you had mentioned Tom that. That you residential treatment is is the core programs so let's talk a little bit about that this is a fourteen that facility to fourteen bed facility also in looming growth and as I mentioned day it serves kids. That have both an intellectual. Disability. And some sort of emotional disturbance. So. Diagnosis might be I youngster with. Mild mental retardation. Which is still actually diagnosis. And couple that with a depressive. Disorder. Possibly some sort of behavioral disorder. Schizophrenia. It's of these so what I consider to be diagnostic glee complex kids kids with lots of different means. Nom and this is a population. Of of kids that tend to fall through the cracks. In what you might consider kind of you know ordinary or routine. Presidential per grams that either serve kids with. Psychiatric problems or kids with developmental disability problems. So it's it's a unique. It's the set of kids with a unique set of needs that really require the unique set of services. On the residential program. It's fourteen beds it has an integrated do what we've gone nonpublic school. On so they go to school. They don't all go to school on our campus that they can go to school on our campus. It has an integrated. Mental health program. And lots of focus on behavioral issues so all the kids come into the program. Frequently. From parents' homes. They are open to senior regional senator who's. A pair of the program. And the youngsters frequently here demonstrating. Some pretty challenging behaviors. Behaviors that don't allow them to remain in their parents' home. They don't allow them to remain in school. Hi in the communities. And so a lot of our focus is to try and kind of dismantle. The different things that have gone into place the different. Occurrences. Either in the famed lawyer in the school that if tended to. Reinforce these behaviors that are really. Not behaviors that you wanna see. That's a big component of what they do. Oftentimes these kids have good verbal skills they may not you know and me they may not be at the same level was as there. Comrades in school but frequently still have the capacity to talk about what's going on with them to talk about. How they're feeling and so the mental health component is very important to try and draw out. What it's like for them to have. Developmental disability. To. To talk about their feelings and what that might mean for them. And then a very important component of the work is the work that we do with the family it's oftentimes you know. Parents. Go through a pretty significant grieving process both with. Having to move their child out of their home. Into facility and also a grieving process of my child has pretty significant needs that need to be addressed that I can't do it home that's tough that's a tough thing for for families to accept sometimes into. And to deal went. And how does as child get into the residential a treatment program or or any other of your other services that they referred. They're referred generally in that for that program in particular referrals come through cynical regional center. But most for programs are funded either through our most of our government funding. So. Whether it's senior Kenny behavioral health. Or. One of the other counties that generally is some sort of gatekeeper that essentially makes the referral to us from. The public agency. And what is the AM. San Diego wraparound. Tigger wraparound. Is is actually you probably one of the the wraparound approach. Is one of the first approaches that the industry moved to. From that residential treatment that was talking about and essentially a wraparound is its. It's really not a service it's a process it's this it's a process by which services are brought to a family. And you'll find that most of the programs in the state that are offering wraparound. They have a background in residential treatment and part of that reason that providers have background of providers have a background in residential treatment is. The way that residential treatment was so comprehensive and so broad in an address. Many of the issues. Of the kid in net and have the family. What the movement was was to take the elements of that residential treatment that comprehensive approach. And that in depth understanding of the kid in the Stanley. And taken out of the residential treatment center and take it into the family home. And so wraparound is really about bringing a team of professionals and care professionals into a family's home. Helping them define what their needs are and building on their strength. That may include behavioral health care mental health care they are also mine include things like I'm making sure that they got a roof over their head. Making sure that. That they've got health care. Making sure that they understand the educational. System and how to get the best service for their for their child. So it's really about two bringing together. All those things that happen and resident treatment because everybody was there. It's bringing that to the family and allowing them to probably most significantly allowing the youngster to remain in their home. And as opposed to blaming families and saying you failed. As a parent and now we're gonna take your kid away we say. No you know best about your kids. Years here in the situation where you need assistance and you need support. But you know best tell us what's worked let's capitalize on that and the wraparound process is. Severity. It's almost like a business process it's more about homework. And and developing mission statements and taking minutes and holding folks accountable to what they say they're gonna do. And really encouraging and celebrating when families make progress on it's quite an amazing program. Think one the other really neat things about rap brown is it's at its core and and factors tend principles wraparound and one of his collaboration. And Stanley voice and choice is another one. So we commonly maybe start out as the conductors or the facilitators. Of these are business meetings that just kind of get us on track at the fame and tracks help make sure that. They don't they don't you know get lost you're just. Painted with only the one brush of what the car compliments but also bring to bear their strength bring to bear what they have in the community. And the win and gain name of a problem or challenge that they have we figure out well together. We figure out what things you have naturally in your community what strengths do you have upon which we can build better gonna help. In your earrings that problem not just while we're here now while we're at your kitchen table doing this with you but as a past the pan. Of the conductors. You know Wanda. And a routine video. Let's city you can keep Disco and right that's what's really fundamentally. Shift in rapper and it is about. Dean came into it and and then letting net came keep driving keep his name now who can be relying on. And who may also help. I mean there really is. An evolution that we see these families kind of go through as they learn to identifying and hone and leverage their strengths. And and what you do. As Fred pinch. Has a ripple effect you're not just helping. And end this goes to kind of what you were saying to Alley that as a ripple effect on the family and those around. Absolutely you know. Maybe Avant cycle through my friends enough my friend that's Dicey honey do what you do it's difficult absolutely. And you know not every not every family that we work with do we get to see them realize everything that we hope they could in their time let us. And there are some tough stuff accident happened we understand means you know their challenges every day. Absolutely. He's funny you know I if were written with ten cancer hundred kids. Wrinkle that work with one Warren. Little can it and changed their life and maybe they go back home that's what we hope for me to go home safely. And they have a different relationship. And they know how to interact with their mom and dad may not share their feelings they know how to get their needs met. In no way that's gonna work for them going followers. They're gonna go to school and their enemy friends and their gonna make that kind of friends. It continued that pattern and then they're gonna make the kinds of you know boyfriends or girlfriends her husbands and wives later on continued app pack. And then their kids are on a different path. Then if they didn't know how. To saying no more asteroids they need is. Or. Say when their confused RC when their hurt. Right and it really. It is absolutely I always picture and a that's still being talked into the water and those concentric circles outwards because every difference that you make. That person touches so many others. You're affecting so many people with what you do not just a kid that your healthy and sign that's that's a great thing in and it must feel great to see those results. It really does and I when applied here a couple of things one is. That the true heroes in all of this are the staff members that we employ. It's really. You know I mean I think anyone just thinking about him and go into a stranger's home. And say hey we're here to help. And many of these folks have had lots of help on the and they can be a little skeptical of folks coming in. But these staff going and wind a level of acceptance and dedication. And commitment. Persistence. That really. I think. Do the thing and we see very much that that the Fed finch staffer there and help. I think LA's got some some success stories that will let her get to that of one other thing I also wanted to say in terms of that. That ripple effect in kind of what you are talking about. Is that what Alli was talking earlier about the debate on the development of of natural supports her community sports it's also about. Families becoming more active in their own communities. And starting to understand. How to access services where knowing access services. And one of the things that we we employed folks though what with what we call lived experience. So we have class of employee called the parent partner used partner. And these are folks that have been exactly what it says lived experience in the kind of issues that they experience. And oh on occasion well actually have a family member who goes through our process. Graduates. And then comes back to work as if as a family partner. And so not only do they impact. Their own fail money that they can impact a variety of different families in their own community through that unemployment or simply by. Joining a support group. Order. Or learning how to Wear it and get their kids enrolled in Little League who whatever that case might be really is. It starts to reach out beyond those. The sense of the residential treatment which is I think there truly some of that. The benefit few with the wraparound approach and I I would love to here's some success stories but unfortunately. We are just about out of time so. I'm gonna have to have you back because there's a lot more that we can we can talk about and I'd love to hear some of the success stories but I definitely want him again we have just a couple of minutes. You are non profit. Funding. Very important to keep you keep you going. Hockey people make donations sent to the Fed finch. USANA they absolutely can were on the web at www. Fred finch got orgy. And you know we use the funds to enhance our programs from. To do things like study what is the best outcome that we should expect some long term basis. And frequently supplements. Supplement our programs with reaching targeted to community members that might not be able to access our programs because they don't fit into one of the public agency Fox's. We have a program. That weary anticipate. Operating here in San Diego called community wraparound. The program that there were were moving into with a collaborative. Program with a single probation. With high needs high risk kids Saddam and moving them into Iraq processing and trying to get them on the straight and narrow. The program that's going to be privately funded so well we're actively seeking funds to support that program right now. And again at your website let's website address www. Fred finch dot ORG. Okay and volunteers. We always we can always use volunteers. You know oftentimes we don't have they don't we don't use volunteers in a direct service capacity. But certainly we use volunteers in in a variety of support capacities. In any of our offices are right and are you wanna social media. We are aware that there were on FaceBook. And I am an opponent Al because I'm one of those old guy. You think you can find the sun now face Beckett and since he sent Tom an Alley thank you for being on Saturday and thank you for all the great work you're doing it to the French finch. Thank you senator and for our kids in the community here Gerri one more thing before we go we have a small gift for area. That's an original pain it was created by whenever talented students and Fred can she serve senator who's receiving services. And me he or she graciously donated this to you Fred finishes that we could share with you all thank you very much salvo of very nicely in my living room could have. Other things like that so thank you appreciate it again thanks for all you do. Not in in our communities can we also thank you for Ali you do actually highlighting. Sounds like really. And load of fantastic organizations. Everything that you do your shouts of thank you very much thank you. That concludes another addition of living veteran San Diego the opinions expressed on living veterans San Diego do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of the staff and management of this radio station. Episodes of living better San Diego are available on the station's website. Until next time I'm Carrie Lee have a great week.