Family Advocates are a valued partner in the MDT partnership and process in communicating family needs, services, and caregivers’ participation in programs. They are a neutral participant who works with the family to ensure referrals are being made for services. These entail services for mental health services, community resources, crisis intervention services and many more. Family Advocates follow up with families after leaving the center to continue assessing needs that arise for up to one year.
The Family Advocacy team has adjusted to many changes, and program growth over the past year with grace. We have grown to a team of four amazing and passionate advocates committed to making a difference in the lives of the children walking through our center. In the past year, the Family Advocacy program has completed a strong partnership with Family and Children’s Services CATS (Child Abuse Trauma Services) to provide a quick referral process to trauma informed care that averages a two week wait time for children seen at our center, and DVIS.
Family Advocates are now making referrals for “SafeCare Expansion” that provides families in home comprehensive services for caregivers. You may see them calling emergency infant services for car seats or calling tribal services to get some utilities back on. We assist in triaging a family’s needs and point them in the right direction to connect them to our vital and valuable community agencies and services. We help to deescalate parents and give them action steps to move forward. This program has been strong because of the support of our leadership, and because of our team. We are all passionate in starting the healing process for children and families.
Family Advocates are thankful to all MDT partners in accepting this new program and being open to seeing the true value of this program and what it means for children.
The Family Advocacy program is excited for the future and has some big goals for 2023! We look forward to expanding more community partners with linkage agreements and referral processes. We hope to create a Family Advocacy closet with donated items to provide for families where a need is identified. Each advocate creates a success story they feel was the most impactful each month, and we are happy to provide those to anyone interested in learning about the program.
The Family Advocates ask caregivers to complete a survey based on their experience and here are some of the responses:
“Friendly staff and willingness to help with whatever they could”
“The staff was incredibly kind, patient and very supportive, it is the first time I have felt someone else really cared during this nightmare”
“We so appreciated the presence & guidance from a Family Advocate!! Unfortunately, our child has had to undergo this process before, but during those prior visits, we were given very little information or reassurance. Having a resource to help us understand what to expect, explain who is who and what is what, and listen to our scattered, anxious questions was comforting and, I dare say, empowering.”