Thompson Expanding Reach to Florida Market with Teen Unit Case Management Program in Partnership with Eckerd Connects
CHARLOTTE, North Carolina – Thompson Child & Family Focus (Thompson), a leading provider of clinical and prevention services to children and families across the state of North Carolina, is expanding to the Florida market through the creation of a new Teen Unit Case Management Unit to serve high risk youth in the Child Welfare system in partnership with Eckerd Connects.
Launching in July, the Teen Case Management program will serve Hillsborough County located in the Tampa area. This program will be serving 50 Hillsborough youth who have historically struggled to achieve positive outcomes, maintain stable placements in foster homes, and be linked with effective mental health services. Although this is a small percentage of the overall youth in care, these 50 will represent that community’s highest-need youth in the system.
“We are thrilled to have Thompson as a part of our care team to support the teenage youth that we serve,” stated Dr. Eliza McCall-Horne, Executive Director of Eckerd Connects / Community Alternatives, Hillsborough County. “Our dedicated partners within the system of care all believe that everyone has the opportunity to succeed, and our teenagers deserve the support and guidance that will help them prepare for a remarkable future. It’s with confidence that we enter a partnership with Thompson, trusting that their vision for our foster care youth is one that enables them to excel in life. We look forward to joining them in paving that path forward.”
Thompson has over 20 years of experience providing services to the adolescent child welfare population through residential and community interventions. In the past four years alone, Thompson added an 8-bed residential program for the female Commercial Sexually Exploited Children (CSEC) population, an 8-bed residential program for dual-system youth (males), and two new short-term, residential treatment programs (16 beds) for teens in the child welfare system.
“Thompson Child & Family Focus is excited to partner with Eckerd Connects and the Hillsborough County community to help meet a growing need as it pertains to teens in the child welfare system,” stated Will Jones, President/CEO of Thompson. “This partnership will allow us to provide high quality trauma-informed services to children who need it the most.”
Thompson has grown its foster care program from 27 foster homes serving 26 children to 260 foster homes serving 270 children and has seen a 300% growth in community mental health services for this population through outpatient counseling, intensive in-home services, transitional living, and High-Fidelity Wraparound services – all of which are growing to serve more of the unmet needs in North Carolina.
“I applaud the Eckerd Connects leadership team for being open to new ideas and solutions that will help children in the Child Welfare system heal and achieve permanency,” said Jones.
The key to providing high-quality services in this area is the innovative hybrid model of both traditional dependency and High-Fidelity Wraparound principles, focused on moving towards permanency for a population that historically struggled to achieve that. This model will ensure that Thompson maintains a 1:10 Case Manager-to-youth ratio, the lowest by far in the area.
Thompson is also employing full-time Youth Partners, which will be professional mentors and supports for the youth. Many of these Youth Partners grew up in the Child Welfare system themselves and now are dedicating their professional lives to making a positive impact on youth.
Headquartered in Matthews, North Carolina (Mecklenburg County), Thompson Child & Family Focus is a human services leader transforming lives through early childhood, family stability, and mental health services. As a solutions-driven organization committed to rewriting narratives for the most vulnerable in our community; Thompson achieves this by providing comprehensive, evidence-based services, and trauma-informed care, for children (ages 0-18) and their families, virtually and in-person. Thompson employs over 270 staff across several locations in Matthews, Charlotte, Arden, and Wilmington, NC, and is led by President/CEO, Will Jones.
About Eckerd Connects
A national non-profit 501(c)(3) organization headquartered in Clearwater, Florida, Eckerd Connects is a national leader in Job Corps, workforce development, child welfare, and juvenile justice with programs in 20 states and the District of Columbia. Founded by Jack and Ruth Eckerd in 1968, Eckerd Connects provides life-changing services to over 40,000 people every year by becoming embedded in each community they serve, maintaining strong local partnerships, and providing direct access to a full range of resources designed to help individuals who need assistance overcome barriers to success. In Tampa Bay, Eckerd Connects serves as the Community-Based Lead Agency for child welfare and foster care services in Hillsborough, Pasco, and Pinellas counties, overseeing the safety, well-being, and permanency of about 7,000 vulnerable and at-risk children.