Little Flower, one of the largest and most respected agencies providing critical programs and services to children, families and adults with developmental disabilities in New York City and across Long Island, has been awarded a grant of $1,053,988 from the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) through the Balancing Incentive Program (BIP) Transformation Fund. BIP funds are intended to transform service delivery to persons with developmental disabilities to establish less costly alternatives to residential care and to provide an array of services to assist individuals and their families to defer or prevent the need for residential care.
The award will support the creation of Little Flower Bridge to Family Care, a home-based support program to enable developmentally disabled persons including children, adolescents and adults to successfully remain at home with relatives or return home following a residential placement experience, utilizing successful evidence-based practices and offering increased community-based alternatives in Brooklyn, Queens, Nassau and Suffolk Counties. The award will also support New Start, an innovative program that will adapt Multi-Systems Therapy (MST) to the Individuals with Developmental Disabilities (IDD) population to avoid crisis situations including incarceration.
A committee of staff from various departments with over 100 years of experience combined including OPWDD and Bridges to Health are overseeing the grant. Grace G. Lo Grande, executive director stated that “Little Flower is fortunate to have highly experienced and dedicated staff working on this extremely needed program. We appreciate the efforts of Margaret Raabe, Michelle Amato, Elizabeth Lalli, Judith Feller, Suzanne Parras, Michelle Segretto and Camille Lucarini and are grateful for their passion and commitment to the individuals and families we serve. “
In addition to the Little Flower team, we are fortunate to be working with Dr. Phillippe Cunningham on the New Start component. Dr. Cunningham, a known expert in the field and a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of South Carolina, will create an adaptation for MST, test it, evaluate it and conduct trainings.
“Little Flower is committed to meeting the needs of the community and knows that the development of the Bridges to Family and New Start programs will make a significant contribution in caring for these individuals,” said Keith Fell, Board President, Little Flower Children and Family Services of New York.