Families in it Together (FIT)
2023 NACo Achievement Award Winner
Cook County, Ill., IL
Best In Category
About the Program
Category: Health (Best in Category)
FiT (Families in it Together) serves children and adolescents that receive medical services through any of the many Cook County Health Pediatric Specialty Care Clinics. The psychosocial services offered by FiT are intended for children and teens diagnosed with one or more chronic medical conditions that are accompanied by concomitant behavioral and social challenges. Interventions are geared towards the individual child and family members. FiT uses art, role-play, psycho-education, family and individual therapy, and group discussion to reorient identities and responsibilities, and foster age-appropriate interpersonal boundaries especially around matters related to the medical condition. Program graduates experience better medical condition management, reduced stress, less absenteeism (by youth and caregivers) and fewer Emergency Department visits and inpatient stays. The program has particular significance for Cook County Health patients as our families usually have fewer resources to call upon to manage the obligations and stress caused by a child's serious, chronic medical condition. Families are, therefore, at extra risk for additional illness, truancy, lost work-time and lost working capacity.