CHILD AND FAMILY PROGRAM FOR HIV IMPACTED FAMILIES
Marcus, J.D., Scott & White Memorial Hospital, USA
There are an ever-increasing number of children and families affected by HIV/AIDS. There are very limited programs to assist them with their psychological and psychosocial needs. Children in families where there is someone living with HIV/AIDS face adult issues: feeling of abandonment, discrimination, death and loss, shame, keeping family secrets, and frequently the reality of their own illness. The problems associated with poverty, drug use, and chronically limited health care makes it challenging to provide for the social service and mental health needs of HIV affected families. This project integrates prevention and intervention in a single continuum of care. The mission is to maintain the HIV negative status of the current generation of children and to ameliorate the effects of the virus on the family system. By reaching the at risk children in a non- threatening environment (schools/ community centers) risk assessment, education, and intervention at a critical age/developmental period can be provided. These risks include the contracting of HIV through sexual activity, substance abuse and criminal involvement. This program offers a multi-modal flexible mosaic (Marcus, 1998) model that is tailored to the community, and resources available to provide the greatest impact on the child and family. Participants will learn the rudimentary steps and components of the development of this program.