In response to the increasing need for support for families affected by opioid and other substance abuse, Pressley Ridge implemented the HOMEBUILDERS® model to provide intensive, in-home crisis intervention, counseling and life-skills education for families who have children at imminent risk of placement in state-funded care. In 2017, the program launched in Western Maryland through a grant from the Maryland Community Health Resources Commission (MCHRC).
Building upon the successful outcomes demonstrated over the past three years, Pressley Ridge recently expanded the program to serve families in Central Maryland. This expansion is made possible through a grant of $420,000 from MCHRC and another grant of $110,000 from UnitedHealthcare as part of their Empowering Health Grant initiative, which is aimed at expanding access to care in Maryland and addressing the social determinants of health for uninsured individuals and underserved communities.
“This unprecedented environment has compounded challenges faced by Maryland’s most vulnerable residents and created further barriers to accessing the health care and services they need,” said Kathlyn Wee, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Maryland. “Our support of these organizations in Maryland through this UnitedHealthcare Empowering Health commitment will help provide critical aid and resources to the communities in Maryland that need it the most.”
Now, during the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a significant need for this type of in-home treatment. Families eligible for services are those whose children are at an imminent risk of placement or those who are in placement and cannot return home without these vital in-home services. Risks for placement include children who are victims of abuse and/or neglect and those who have been exposed to risk factors such as substance abuse, domestic violence, mental health and/or other disabling conditions of the parents.
“The Maryland Community Health Resources Commission is thrilled to support the HOMEBUILDERS® program and Pressley Ridge,” commented Mark Luckner, CHRC Executive Director. “This program provides critical services for at-risk families impacted by the opioid crisis, and these services are more important now as our state navigates the impact of COVID.”
“Quarantine, job loss, distance learning and other pandemic-related factors have compounded the struggles of high-risk families. The HOMEBUILDERS® program allows us to go directly into the home to help families learn new skills and make better choices,” said Coni Grant, Pressley Ridge Executive Director of Maryland and Delaware. “I have seen first-hand the evidence-based results this program has garnered over the past three years in Western Maryland, and we are grateful for the support of our community partners to extend our reach to Central Maryland to meet a crucial need.”
The goal is to prevent children from being unnecessarily placed out of their homes by providing intensive, on-site intervention, in addition to teaching families new problem-solving skills to prevent future crises. The HOMEBUILDERS® program removes the risk of harm to the child instead of removing the child from their home environment. The HOMEBUILDERS® model will bring services directly into the home of identified families, making services accessible and consistent and outcomes more achievable.