Host Families

 

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Introduction
Publications
Research and Practice
Videos and Presentations
Organisations
Links


Introduction

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Therapeutic host family as an alternative to hospitalization EPSM Lille-Métropole
Therapeutic host families as an alternative to hospitalization were established in 2000 and there are currently 12 beds already available. In this case, the patient in an acute situation is sent to the family either directly, after a consultation, or secondarily after a hospitalization, for some days or some weeks. The instructions given to families are to host the person, not to cure him/her. A nurse and the social and medical team take care of support during home visits (management of treatment, link with therapeutic activities and consultations with the sector, in order to develop the individual project). Support is similar to that offered within the full-time hospitalization unit located in the hospital: medication, hydrotherapy and therapeutic activities carried out in the city in consultation centres and the towns' activity centres.
Families are paid up to 1036 euros per patient per month by the EPSM Lille-Métropole. They are an integral part of the psychiatry sector team. They provide attention and support which are important for patients. In family stays as an alternative to hospitalization, the average length of stay is 21 days. The host family in this way is therapeutic through the family dynamics complemented by the professional team and thus, enables personalised care of good quality.
Host Families scheme: Hertfordshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
Host Families scheme allows service users who are acutely unwell to stay with a local family for a few weeks, as an alternative to inpatient care.
The guests get involved in all aspects of family life, from walking the dog to cooking family meals. Guests can go out if they want to and can to meet up with family and friends when they like.
The scheme is the first of its kind in the UK and is based on evidence that people with mental ill health recover better if they are out in the community, in a supportive family setting, taking part in a daily routine.
Both hosts and guests get intensive support from Crisis Assessment and Treatment Teams (CATT) and hosts are not expected to provide care or treatment, just a welcoming, caring environment. Hosts receive £600 a week to cover the costs of taking in a guest.
Testimonials from hosts and service users
Service users
"A staff member from CATT mentioned the scheme when they visited me, so I decided to do it. I think it's a very good idea. It's a good alternative to hospital for people with mental health problems who don't want to go onto a noisy ward."
"I found the stay very helpful and I was able to come back and pick up the threads of living alone. I would consider staying with a host family again."
Hosts
"We are a stepping stone and we feel like we are making a difference. We are like a haven where they can come and take time out but at the same time, do things to increase their confidence, things that we take for granted."
"I think it's a fantastic idea. Home life is quiet and peaceful and wards are quite often noisy and restrictive and they are surrounded by others with challenging behaviours. With us, they are able to eat what they like, go out when they like and have more freedom."
"It's about trying to get the balance right. We had a mutual understanding that we would tell each other when we were going out and when we would be back. We also had mobile phones so we could keep in touch."
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Publications (date ordered)

Host Families Leaflet Hertfordshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust  Explanatory promotional brochure describing the aims of the Host Family Programme and the role of host families.

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Research and Practice

The Institutation of the Foster Family for Mentally Ill Patients in Greece – Views of Patients Sikelianou D, Agagnostou P, & Vlachogianni, 2014. International Journal of Psychosocial Rehabilitation. Vol 18(2) 3-21 The aim of this study was to investigate the views of parents on the institution of Foster Families for mentally ill patients in Greece. Specifically, the study concerned the knowledge of parents regarding the concept and the aim of foster care programmes for mentally ill patients, their views on the application of these programmes in Greece and the incentives of candidate foster families for mentally ill patients.
A family affair Nick Kamera, Mental Health Today, November/December 2013, pp.28-29. Publisher: Pavilion
The Host Families Scheme, run by Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trusts's (HPFT) Crisis Assessment and Treatment Team (CATT), places people recovering from acute mental illness with families in the community rather than hospital is bringing rewards. It is based on evidence that people with mental ill health recover better if they are in the community, in a supportive family setting and taking part in a daily routine. Placement of a service users takes place following a multidisciplinary team (MDT) mental state examination and risk assessment. After placement specialist mental health teams provide on-going treatment or therapy. Since its launch, eight families have been recruited to the scheme, with 25 service users choosing a placement with a host family.
Adults in mental distress placed with families to avoid hospital Hertfordshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust is placing people in mental distress with volunteer host families as an alternative to a hospital admission.  Community Care Journal, 27 March, 2012
Home Based Program for Treatment of Acute Psychosis Victoria, Canada: Capital Health Region, Mental Health Services Howey, E., 2000
A home-based program for the treatment of acute psychosis Community Wasylenki D1, Gehrs M, Goering P, Toner B. Ment Health J. 1997 Apr; 33 (2): 151-62; discussion 163-5.
There is evidence that home treatment is an effective alternative to hospital admission for patients with acute psychiatric illnesses. This report describes processes necessary to establish and disseminate home treatment programs as well as the impact and comparative cost of a home treatment program developed in Metropolitan Toronto. Organizational analysis revealed a number of essential structures and interactions necessary to facilitate smooth functioning for home treatment programs involving several agencies. Attitudes towards home treatment were positive, symptoms were reduced, family burden decreased, satisfaction was high and home treatment was preferred to hospital admission. Economic data indicate that home treatment is less costly than hospitalization.
Family Placement Schemes as an Alternative to Short-Term Hospitalisation Bennett, R. (1995).  In M. Phelan, G. Strathdee & G. Thornicroft (Eds.), Emergency Mental Health Services in Community. London: Cambridge University Press.

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Videos and Presentations

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Organisations

Hertfordshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
EPSM Lille-Métropole

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Links

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