Region 3 Family Leadership Partners have been drawn together by the
common vision of empowering and supporting caregivers of children with
mental health needs. These include many non-profit, publicly funded,
organizations or initiatives (focused projects of established social
service agencies) including Department of Human Services - multiple
departments, Department of Family and Community Support, Department of
Children and Family Services, Strengthening Families, Local school
districts and/or school building administrators, individuals of all
educational background wanting to invest in CMH system simplification.
Our main goal is to raise awareness and value for family voice with
regard to mental health services for children, along with support and
mentoring of families accessing services. Click here to check out Region 3's Facebook page.
Region 3 Family Leadership Partners have identified a two-fold
strategic plan. 1) Build, sustain, and continually recruit members for a
regional partnership team consisting of CMH family representatives and
youth as well as representatives from the provider perspective of the
CMH service system. 2) Build, sustain, and accommodate the needs of
families through multiple family/school/community coalitions. These
coalitions will need their community's cultural and beliefs imbedded in
the foundation and growth of that particular coalition. Our goal is not
to create a free-standing entity, but simply to link and encourage
collaboration amongst each communities current service systems
The regional team approved their strategic plan in November of 2009 having identified two main goals: 1) To build and support a regional partnership team for a collaborative CMH framework of care. 2) To build and support multi-site family/school/community coalitions to empower families as change agents at the local level. As the collaboration between providers and families continued, 8 possible sites for establishing family driven community sites were identified.
- Thomosboro, IL – DMH in schools grant site
- Ford/Iroquois County – Local Area Network Team @ CRCC
- Champaign, IL –SAMSA Access Initiative, 2nd Tuesday of every month, 6:00 P.M.-8:00 P.M., TBA
- Bloomington, IL - Parent Support Groups Existing
- Pekin, IL - DMH in schools grant site
- Creve Coeur, IL - DMH in schools grant site
- Peoria, IL - Greely School (BD) & Northern Peoria Area, 3rd Wednesday of every month, 5:30 P.M.-7:30 P.M., Center for Prevention of Abuse
- Rock Island, IL - DMH in schools grant site, 4th Wednesday evening, 6:00 P.M.-8:00 P.M., MLK Center
Three phases of family leadership & support services have been implemented for future regional work. With more sites than originally planned, it has become imperative that each Families Advocating for Collaborative Teams (FACT)© site have multiple agency support for longevity of the group. Gelana McCloud, as regional coordinator, has the responsibility to prioritize sites by their commitment and then to provide training and ongoing support for family leaders with the goal of self - sustainability of each location.
PHASES of FACT Development:
- Introduction of Possible Collaborative Services to a local group
- Planning, PR, & Launch of Training
- On-Going support and Training
- Community Outreach and Action
- Sustainability and Longevity Planning
Region 3 Contact Information:
Gelana McCloudChildren’s Home Association of Illinois511 N.E. MadisonPeoria, IL 6l603(309) 687-7916GMcCloud@chail.org
Bio: Gelana McCloud, MS, QMHP, is the Region III Coordinator. Gelana began navigating the Illinois Mental Health System as a professional in 1995. She has worked at Peoria Association for Retarded Citizens (PARC) as a QMRP, and Lutheran Social Services of Illinois as a Mental Health Advocate for the Adoption Preservation/Subsidized Guardianship program. In the state of Missouri, she worked at Preferred Family Healthcare as an Adolescent CSTAR Substance Abuse Therapist, then the Adult CSTAR Clinical Supervisor, as well as a Mental Health Professional at Advanced Correctional Healthcare at the Adair County Sheriff’s Office. Her last position in this state, included a position at Boys and Girls Town of Missouri as a Family Preservation Specialist. Upon her return to Illinois, Gelana was employed by the Children’s Home Association of Illinois as a Screening, Assessment, and Support Services (SASS) Therapist. In SASS, she provided therapy as well as conducted hospitalization screenings for mental health crisis.
Throughout her professional experience, Gelana and her husband became foster and eventually adoptive parents to four wonderful children. In the past 8 years, she has experienced how difficult life can be when trying to care for children who struggle with mental health concerns. She has had to navigate through situations concerning not only doctors, but, school administrations, residential facilities, hospitals, lawyers, guardian ad litems, the juvenile justice system, psychiatrists, therapists and DCFS to ensure the safety and well-being of her children would not be forgotten.
Gelana knows how difficult the journey can be when your goal is to care for the child you love. She knows how complex a situation can get and understands how difficult it is to find the necessary resources. As Region III Coordinator, her goal is to empower parents to take action before crisis occurs to prevent the unnecessary harm that can destroy a family.