What Family Support Specialists Do: Examining Service Delivery
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This study describes services provided by family support specialists (FSS), peer advocates in programs for children with serious psychiatric conditions, to delineate differences between recommended components of FSS services and services actually provided. An analysis of qualitative interview and observational data and quantitative survey data from 63 staff at 21 mental health programs in New York identified that FSS and other staff have generally similar ideas about FSS services, and that these perceptions of activities are generally congruent with what FSS actually did. Implications of findings are discussed in the context of developing competencies and quality indicators for FSS.
KeywordsFamily support services peer advocate Child mental health Mental health program
This study was supported by a Grant from the National Institute of Mental Health (1R01MH085969). Dr. Wisdom completed work for this study when she was at the Columbia University Department of Psychiatry.
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