FREDERICTON (GNB) – A model of care used in the Acadian Peninsula region to help support young people with complex needs is the focus of a national podcast segment airing today.

Since 2016, the provincial government and Vitalité Health Network has used a clinical framework model to better serve young people living in therapeutic foster homes and group homes in the Acadian Peninsula.

This model is the topic of the latest episode of the Promising Practices podcast, a series created by the premiers in each of the provinces and territories to highlight innovative mental health and addictions programs or initiatives.

Under the clinical framework model, young people have access to a clinical consultation team that consists of frontline professionals. Some of these professionals, including social workers, psychologists and education assistants are featured in the podcast episode, as are Premier Blaine Higgs, Health Minister Dorothy Shephard and parents of children who have benefited from the framework model.

“This is a step in the right direction,” said Higgs. “The clinical framework model is helping us to improve population health by improving access to services and providing intervention support.”

Clinical consultation teams work with young people who are facing challenges such as hospitalization, low attendance at school, behavioural difficulties, relational and functional problems and adaptive and self-regulation issues. An evaluation by Vitalité Health Network in 2019 indicated that young people who were part of the clinical framework model had fewer encounters with police, less involvement with the justice system and fewer ambulance transportations and psychiatric hospitalizations.

“With the exceptional outcome from the clinical framework model, our government looks forward to expanding it model into more of our communities,” said Shephard. “We want to increase access to high-intensity support when it is required.”

The podcast on the province’s clinical framework model is now available online.