The Hancock County Board of Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services plans to use its $4 million grant to transform the “system of care” for mental health for children and families, with the intent of creating a new model that can be replicated by other communities.

At a press conference this morning, representatives of the board and Family Resource Center of Northwest Ohio, which will implement the grant, outlined plans for how to use the funds from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Heath Services Administration.

The endeavor will bring “the best science and the brightest minds throughout the world” to this community so we can develop a “state-of-the-art system,” said board executive director Precia Stuby.

The grant, called Community Early Emotional Support, Assistance and Wellness for Children and Families, will be used to expand and coordinate existing services; create new services through the use of technology, for transitional youth, mobile crisis services, peer and family support services and youth involvement in development of services; community education; and connecting youth to services through universal screening, quicker response time, and mobile outreach and engagement.

Brandeis University will evaluate the process, with the intent of creating something other communities can replicate.

The goal is to have services directly accessible to youth and families, as well as through many agencies such as health care, schools, courts and social service agencies.

One goal is to reduce the number of children who must be taken out of their homes for treatment. There will also be services for 18- to-21-year-olds, as they transition to adulthood.