Photo: Hope for Youth

Hope for Youth launches unique program for young people

Hope for Youth, a provider of integrated, complex care for children, youth, and families on Long Island, has launched a new Assertive Community Treatment team for youth in Suffolk County. 

The nonprofit is the first organization in the nation to establish an ACT team specifically for young people, addressing the mental health needs of children in the county who are at risk of entering, or who are returning home from, high-intensity facilities such as hospitals and residential treatment centers.

New York is the first state in the nation to enact youth ACT teams. Last month, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced that the state would award a total of $21 million to 15 agencies that deliver services to individuals with severe mental health difficulties and Hope for Youth is the first of the approved organizations to implement a plan.

Suffolk Youth ACT offers in-home, integrated care to children who are 10 to 21 years old and their families. It serves children who have demonstrated serious emotional disturbance and whose needs are not being met in more traditional settings and aims to keep children out of restrictive, high-end facilities such as hospitals and in the comfortable environment of family. 

“We are very grateful to New York State for funding our ACT team,” Dr. David Hegarty, executive director and CEO of Hope for Youth, said in an agency statement. “This groundbreaking program closes the gaps in existing mental health care for youth in Suffolk County. Transitioning from a residential treatment facility or hospital is often difficult. By involving the family in a holistic approach, Suffolk Youth ACT gives its recipients a greater chance at recovery and independent living than traditional modes of care. We are honored to be the first in the nation to create a youth ACT team. We hope that it will serve as a model for other organizations and other states as they develop their own teams.”

Founded in 1969, Hope For Youth is dedicated to facilitating positive change in the lives of children, adolescents, and families. The organization provides residential care, foster care, preventive and out-patient programs that educate, motivate, and empower individuals to become self-sufficient and achieve their full potential. With six residential facilities, 35 foster homes, and 165 staff members, Hope for Youth affects the lives of over 14,000 people annually. 

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