- Posted by Famcare
- On July 25, 2017
- 0 Comments
If you have been following our 30 year stories, you know that we have tried to keep our focus on discovering how we might improve what we are doing to achieve a far greater positive impact with clients; creating new pathways and opportunities for the community to be involved to the betterment of everyone here on the Central Coast; maximizing limited resources to “get the biggest bang for the buck”; and building a sustainable future for the Family Care Network. Opportunities was our 2015/2016 theme for sure.
We identify “Opportunities” in three categories: 1) to Help and Serve, 2) to Partner and Collaborate, and 3) to Innovate and Create. This constellation of opportunities aptly characterizes the heart and soul of our organization as we pursue our mission, “to enhance the wellbeing of children and families in partnership with our community.”
In our “Helping and Serving” category, we had several important initiatives and strategic objectives. Serving more families through our newly acquired Adoptions License was an exciting opportunity we wanted to expand. Certainly there were couples who could not have their own children, folks who desired to have a larger family, and those who we call “family starters” who wanted to adopt through foster care. In our Year 29, we were fully able to accommodate whatever adoption need any family had.
During this year we also launched the Housing Support Program more fully, providing secure housing and case management services to homeless families. This program was not only a great opportunity to get families into permanent housing, but also to provide skill building resources to help folks become more self-sufficient and no longer dependent on public assistance. To strengthen our success, we embarked upon an effort to explore every opportunity available to us to obtain the housing we needed. Unfortunately, on the Central Coast has a constrained housing market, making it both expensive and limited. Thankfully, hrough our relationship building process, we were able to partner with landlords and property managers and find housing for around 70 families.
Another “Helping and Serving” area we became more involved in was our County’s planning for and serving of “Commercially Sexually Exploited Children/Youth” (CSEC) – victims of sex trafficking. We embarked on very specialized services, taking the time to learn the skills necessary to properly serve these extremely vulnerable victims. Additionally, we identified several families willing to work with CSEC youth and established a “safe house” shelter. Fortunately, there isn’t a large volume of CSEC victims in our area–but regardless, there are still more than you would expect or should be. A very positive side of this story is the interest and support provided to this population by our local Faith Community. Several churches sponsored workshops and training, working to increase public awareness of the CSEC population and our county’s need for more specialized foster families to care for them.
It goes without saying, over our 29 years the Family Care Network has gained a substantial base of expertise and skill which is foundational to our very effective practice model. Given our organizational heart to Help and Serve, and Partner and Collaborate, we reached out to the Faith Community this year in a new way. Knowing well the continuum of challenges, crises, behaviors and issues faced daily by our Faith Leaders, we purposed to do whatever we could to help them be more effective in working with these challenges.
Partnering with our former Board member and Agape Fellowship Senior pastor, Mike Sparrow, we developed a strategy to engage local pastors and leaders to create a series of workshops that would be helpful and informative. To launch this effort, we invited a large group of faith leaders to a half-day brainstorming, innovation summit. This was an opportunity for us to share about our “faith” roots, the skill, expertise and services we provide, and create a dialogue on how we could strengthen their abilities to serve their congregations.
The summit was attended by fifty+ interested faith leaders, and was a wonderful, very fruitful summit. Based on their needs, we created and executed a series of training workshops, including: understanding and serving victims of trauma, mental illness and substance abuse, accessing local services and resources, and creating ministry “wraparound” teams. It was exciting to fulfill a long-standing agency goal to help other organizations be more effective in serving people in need. FCNI’s special relationship with the Faith Community has continued to flourish.
In a similar vein, one of the blessings of owning our own Administrative Headquarters in SLO is having our Conference/Meeting Center–something sorely needed. Having this resource has provided another great opportunity for us to serve our community and partners. This year alone, we hosted/conducted nearly 20 training events which involved our County partner agencies. We have made the space available for Social Services, Mental Health and Probation to use, but mostly have provided multi agency sponsored events. The Family Care Network was also the site of the first of eight national Summits sponsored by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and Family Focused Treatment Association on “Kinship-Therapeutic Family Care.” Nearly 70 participants from San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties spent the day learning, innovating and strategizing about implementing kinship base TFC.
Finally, this was the year our Board of Directors firmly committed to innovating and developing strategies for strengthening the long-term future of the Family Care Network, including: agency-wide succession planning; Legacy giving, Development and Endowment creation; creating new mission-related revenue streams, strengthening Board roles and responsibilities; and building greater community linkages, relationships and support. We have a Board who strongly believes there is a world of Opportunity to serve and to grow!
We finished 2015/2016 having served 1817 children, youth and families through 20 programs, with another amazing 93% success rate. A hundred and forty-eight families were served in our newly launched Housing Support Program, with an 80% success rate. And 670 volunteers contributed 12,372 hours supporting the Family Care Network’s efforts to enhance lives on the Central Coast!