Melissa needed help, but she was caught in a tangled web of state agencies and service providers. Her case went from bad to worse…
Melissa was a popular teenager. Suddenly, she started acting different. Violent outbursts, paranoia, and other issues led to the diagnosis of early-onset schizophrenia. One cold winter’s night, she was robbed, beaten, and left for dead. This was Melissa’s ninth hospitalization in 6 months in communities from Hartford, Connecticut to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Although she entered the state’s human services system, she had not received the comprehensive and coordinated level of care she needed. As a result, Melissa was badly injured. Her family was angry and frustrated.
Melissa is a real person. She is the namesake of Melissa’s Project, the flagship program of Guardian Ad Litem Services that was co-founded by Michael Mackniak. Melissa’s Project has received national acclaim. This groundbreaking approach closely monitors clients and brings agencies together to coordinate, communicate, and provide proactive services.
And what about Melissa?
Melissa is doing very well. She’s healthy, happy, and lives a meaningful life in her community.
This innovative program works. And it saves money.
Melissa’s Project is based on The Guardian Model, which was co-created by Michael Mackniak and Sara Valentino, LCSW. Highly adaptable, The Guardian Model is a care coordination treatment modality which enables municipalities, counties, or states to effectively and efficiently deliver meaningful services to at-need populations.
- Interrelated – This unique, collaborative approach between agencies, fiduciaries, family members and, of course, the client significantly decreases hospitalizations and incarcerations.
- Central oversight – Everyone involved in a client’s case – every state agency, case worker, court-appointed professional, hospital, physician, guardian, and conservator – to communicate and provide more comprehensive care.
- Proactive, not reactive – Due to the ongoing and intense level of coordination and system integration, this approach to health and human services is significantly more proactive. This, in turn, decreases hospitalizations, incarcerations and court involvement.
- Reduces costs – The Guardian Model costs the State of Connecticut about $6,000 a year per client. Thanks to its proactive focus, The Guardian Model saves the state $6 million a year.
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“Peace of mind and hope are the first things that come to mind whenever we describe Michael Mackniak’s programs. We know our son is in an environment that provides support in many facets of daily life. The team is a safety net that is set in place to guide our son as he learns to make choices in his life.”Morris and Sandy Gregory