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The Participation of Families of Homeless Persons with Severe Mental Illness in an Outreach Intervention
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Objectives: This study describes how an Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) team which employs a family outreach worker (FOW) interacts with homeless persons with severe mental illness and their families.

Methods: The team's ratings of the frequency and importance of clients' and treatment team's family contact are summarized and compared with independent research reports on patients' satisfaction with family relations, housing and hospitalization outcomes.

Results: 73% of clients had contact with their families. ACT worked with families of 61% of clients.ACT had less contact with the families of men (p <.01) and substance abusers (p. < 01). Client days in stable housing were associated with increased ACT family contact (p < .05).

Conclusions: Most ACT clients had significant family contact. ACT established contact with most families, and the work with families appeared to be associated with higher levels of satisfaction with family relations and housing. The role of the FOW should be explored further. (Authors)
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A program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services