There are families in our community at risk for child abuse and/or neglect. These families need guidance to move on from the past and into the next chapter of their lives, learning how to make positive changes for themselves and their families.
What is the FAMILY PRESERVATION PROGRAM?
AFFEC's Family Preservation Program focuses on keeping the family unit together. We believe these early and often preventative steps can make the difference between a family successfully parenting their children and losing them to the foster care system. Effective family preservation efforts could keep many children from the trauma of entering foster care. AFFEC utilizes informal (self-referrals and community partners) and formal (DHS) referral processes, as well as AFFEC's own programs to identify families in need.
AFFEC's Family Preservation Program is an intervention and prevention program that is both culturally responsive and community-based. Through this program, parents and their children/youth become empowered to create positive and long term changes for their families.
AFFEC's Family Preservation Program utilizes mutual support (the giving and getting of help). Parent mentors lead by example to achieve personal growth, improve family functioning, and achieve parental and child/youth resilience.
Our Family Preservation and Parent Mentor program works with families to bring about constructive change through support, guidance, instruction and training. The ultimate goal is to maintain children safely at home in order to spare them the trauma of separation.
Keeping the Family Unit Together
Parents are looking for a supportive, non-judgmental environment to learn new parenting strategies and develop leadership and advocacy skills for their families. AFFEC recognizes the strengths and knowledge of families and the key role they play in the lives of not only their own family members, but in the lives of other families on a similar journey.
AFFEC's Family Preservation Program is a Parent Mentor Program that supports families connecting with one another throughout the community. This program pairs parents with trained mentors who can provide support, encouragement, and information on ways to advocate for your child and family.
At present, the Family Preservation program is generally available only in Lane County, Oregon because of budget and resource limitations. We are interested in expanding the program in cost-effective ways; if you or your organization are interested in helping to expand it, please get in touch!
It Takes a Village and Neighbors Help Neighbors
Every day mentors use their time and their gifts to strengthen families and communities. What we are offering is the gift of time; a hand up rather than a handout. Money can help in many different ways as we are all aware; taking time to empower individuals and give them the tools to become better parents to a child who is part of our community is priceless. Many work hard to deal with the challenges of environments where unemployment, violence, and drugs are taking their toll. In the face of these obstacles, community residents look for the connections to vital resources to improve their odds of succeeding. How important and valuable is the simple gift of friendship? How rewarding would it be to pass on valuable life skills to a person or family in need of a hand up to the next step in life?
Matches are based on the needs expressed by the family, so each family is able to determine the kind of mentor they need.
We work with families as a team to see to it that the family is provided services and training (e.g., job training, job search assistance, housing, anger management training, and respite care). There is monthly reporting and interaction with all the members of the team. Qualitative outcomes we seek include strengthening parent-child attachment, at risk families and others marginalized by the system. The Parent Mentor Team is made up of clinical staff, case managers and Parent Mentor who provide individual and group treatment to parents, their children and other family members. Services are provided in the family's home as well as in community settings.