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Cuyahoga Tapestry System of Care

Cuyahoga Tapestry System of Care, “Tapestry” as it is called by families, continues to evolve in its goal of serving children with emotional difficulties and their families. Building on a grant received from the United States Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in 2003 to develop a system of care, Tapestry employs a community wraparound process which services more than 600 families each year through both care coordination and family and youth advocacy.

Using a community wraparound process, the focus in Cuyahoga County is on discovering the strengths, needs and culture of each individual family, while also tapping into close-to-home community services and natural support that can sustain the family during the process and beyond. Families, along with their Care Coordinator, develop a team of people who can address each family’s individual needs with innovative and non-traditional solutions.
    In 2009, Tapestry was recognized and awarded with the following honors at the annual System of Care Conference under the Celebrating Excellence in Community Communications and Outreach category:
    • Gold Recognition-An Introduction to Tapestry Video
    • Silver Recognition-A Parent Leader’s Handbook
    • Bronze Recognition-Triumph: Succeeding Against the Odds Video

    Parent & Youth Success Stories

    The following is a success story of a family that was involved in CTSOC. This story shows the real impact of Tapestry for families in our community.
    Laura* was enrolled in Cuyahoga Tapestry System of Care during the summer of 2010.  At just 12 years old, Laura had endured physical abuse from her grandmother and had witnessed domestic violence between her father and mother.  She was an angry young girl, physically abusive towards her younger sister, verbally abusive with her mother, and experiencing multiple behavioral and academic problems in school.  At home, Laura did not follow her mother’s rules and fought with her mother, staying out past curfew in a dangerous neighborhood.  

    Because of the abuse allegations, Laura and her family had already become involved with the Department of Children & Family Services, and the children were at risk of being removed from the home and placed in foster care.  Laura’s social worker thought Tapestry could help Laura and her mother resolve their problems and reverse the escalation that had been taking place for the last year that would have eventually led to out of home placement for Laura and her sister.  Laura and her mother met with a Care Coordinator and a Parent Advocate from their own community, who could connect them with supports in their own neighborhood.  Their Care Coordinator was not an authority figure, but a caring professional social worker who could bring additional services to the family.

    Laura’s Care Coordinator focused on her family’s strengths which included: (1) Laura’s responsiveness to structure; (2) her mother’s desire for a better life for her family; (3) her mother’s enrollment in nursing school; and (4) her mother’s supportive extended family.  The Care Coordinator started with a “Love and Logic” parenting plan to help Laura’s mother regain control in her home.   

    The Care Coordinator contacted Laura’s aunts to become part of a support network for the family in support of their plan.  The aunts were able to provide child care for Laura and her sister, providing the girls a change of environment and their mother with some much needed respite as she continued to pursue her nursing education.  The Care Coordinator also worked with Laura’s school to develop a special plan called a 504 Plan for her which helped to structure her school environment without having to move into a full Individual Education Plan (IEP).  Laura responded well to the extra attention that the 504 Plan afforded, and the behavior problems at school began to subside.  She is now maintaining a B average, making friends and has not had any behavioral incidents since the beginning of the school year. The Care Coordinator was able to work with Laura on specific anger management issue which helped Laura to address cognitive errors through role plays exercises and rewards based incentive process.  Laura has thrived in her work with the Care Coordinator, with the impact being fewer confrontations at home as well as in school.  

    In addition to all of the work with Laura, the Care Coordinator helped Laura’s mother get ahead in her own life by connecting her with Legal Aid and Housing Court.  Both of these services allowed Laura’s mother to move out of her old neighborhood and into a safer community.  She is finishing nursing school this year and has found a new job.  Laura’s aunts continue to be involved with and supportive of the family.     

    *name changed to protect identity