Amanda was fifteen years old when she and her mother, Nancy, entered the Connected Families NH FAST Forward program. Nancy struggled with alcoholism, and as a result, Amanda was left to fend for herself as she was growing up. When other children in the community were out playing with each other, Amanda often cared for her mother. As Amanda got older and had access to a phone, she began running away to unknown homes while Nancy was preoccupied. Ultimately, this resulted in Amanda being arrested for shoplifting from a local store and returned to her mother. Unable to tackle the situation alone, and unable to endure the instability that came with the anger and yelling in their home, the family was referred to the FAST Forward program by a school representative.

At the initial care team meeting, Amanda disclosed that she was increasingly concerned about her mother and her health and felt helpless as her mother became more dependent on alcohol. Amanda’s dad was living in a city nearby and was unaware of his daughter’s home life, but became engaged in the process once contacted. At first, both Amanda and Nancy had a hard time trusting his intentions and presence in the process. Over time, the dedicated care coordinator of their case was able to get most members of their family to be trusting and engaged when it came to their care plan. From there, they collaborated to devise a plan of care that reflects the wraparound care principles.

Amanda felt empowered by her care coordinator to speak up, first only when she was in one-on-one sessions with her therapist, and eventually in group settings. Amanda felt heard and understood, and therefore felt safe expressing her needs and vulnerabilities. Her mother Nancy had a hard time taking responsibility and felt shameful about her alcoholism and tried to conceal it from the care team at first. However, after realizing that Amanda was working incredibly hard to overcome challenges that were not all her own, Nancy became more willing to be transparent and was more engaged with therapies and care services. Amanda’s father was somewhat involved during the process, but Amanda was apprehensive towards him for quite some time due to his previous inaction.

Once Amanda and Nancy became more comfortable with each other, their care team, and care plan itself, they began to see substantial progress. Amanda found and learned how to use her voice and is now confident in establishing and maintaining boundaries with her mother. Nancy continues to be on the path to recovery and is consistent in attending both individual treatments to work on her addiction and mental health, as well as family therapy that focuses on working to meet their needs in a productive and collaborative manner. Amanda has a relationship with her father, and now regularly visits him at his home. Her father is thankful that he is now involved in Amanda’s life and has expressed a commitment to remain in her life. Amanda no longer feels the need to resort to running away from home and her impulsive theft quickly stopped after entering the FAST Forward program. She no longer spends all of her free time caring for her mother and herself, and instead is able to enjoy the company of other children her age. Their care coordinator continues to monitor, adjust, and improve Amanda and Nancy’s care plan to best meet Amanda’s needs individually and overall as a family, with the hopes of being able to graduate from the FAST Forward program successfully.

About Connected Families NH   

Funded by a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and contracted by the Bureau for Children’s Behavioral Health within New Hampshire’s Department of Health and Human Services, Connected Families NH is a collaborative family-led program designed to improve the emotional health of children and young adults. We recognize the importance of emotional health and provide free, flexible services and support through our statewide and regional programs. Reach out or submit a referral to learn more about how Connected Families NH can help you. Connected Families NH is under the governance of Cheshire County. Connected Families NH is not an emergency service. If you or someone you care about is having a mental health or substance use crisis, you can call and speak to trained care staff at the NH Rapid Response Access Point at 833-710-6477 or 988 or

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Connected Families NH is dedicated to coordinating care for your children and
youth with your family’s unique needs in mind.

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