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September 2013, Issue #4 Home: Visit Website Phone: (530) 938-3867
 
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Dublin, Ireland Presentation to the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect
 

“Evaluation data from 12,000 family cases in California and prevention policy recommendations for family resource agencies and child welfare partners”

A paper presented to the 2013 IPSCAN European Regional Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect in Dublin, Ireland, September 15, 2013

Jerry Endres MSW,Project Director, Family Development Matrix Outcomes Model

Ignacio Navarro Ph.D, Evaluation Analyst, California State University Monterey Bay

Judi Sherman MA.Ed Project Coordinator, Strategies

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Pathways to Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect
 
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Families are Free From Substance Abuse and Mental Illness
 
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INTERVENTIONS

1. Connect to weekly group meetings for parents and children.

  • A family or its members are connected to therapy, outpatient and/or residential treatment services for substance abuse and mental illness. Counseling and supportive services improve family, child health and well-being.

2. Provide linkages to remove barriers to mental health and substance abuse services.

  • Service providers reach family members with resources, including direct access to support services. Services should validate participants’ feelings, emphasize accomplishment based self-esteem, and offer intensive parenting and prevention education, as well as support for new parents. Systems and institutions that encounter families, including those that deal with public health, mental health, homelessness, domestic violence, law enforcement, and judicial review, coordinate over time. They address the withdrawal effects for parents who stop using alcohol or other drugs and may experience intense emotions which can increase the chance of child abuse or neglect.

3. Provide transportation to access medical and counseling appointments as needed.

  • Workers are able to help family members access services by providing transportation, particularly in rural areas or those where public agency services are not easily accesses by public transportation. Support might be in the form of bus passes, coordinating car pools or individual transportation.

 
 
 
Information You Can Use Featuring CALM
 
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Interview With Child Abuse Listening Mediation
Santa Barbara County, California

CALM has been using the Family Development Matrix (FDM) to help their agency with the Front Porch Program. Case managers uses the FDM during the assessment process to help families identify their strengths and needs and engage them in utilizing community services.  The FDM facilitates Case Management by prioritizing each family’s needs so that the Family Porch workers can refer them to services. The FDM tracks family participation and subsequent change over time intervals in order to achieve goals established by both the family and the worker.

Since parents and teens may still be struggling with substance abuse while participating in these programs, FDM’s (Goal: Families are Free from Substance Abuse and Mental Illness) indicators/interventions are used with the programs to assist them. CALM provides referrals for Probation, Cottage Psychiatric Hospital, and Santa Barbara County ADMHS (alcohol, drug, mental health services) and their therapists work in conjunction with Children’s Services when psychiatric medication is needed. They also have a Psychiatrist on staff that provides free evaluations to families without financial support. CALM also offers direct services to the parents of the children that are receiving treatment to strengthen their family.

CALM provides weekly group meetings for parents and children. The Family Violence group meets weekly to help children cope with being witnesses to their parent being victims of domestic violence. The outcome of these meetings is that children and mothers learn they are not alone; they are able to process their feelings of shame, confusion and trauma; and heal from the traumatic memories.  CALM is very successful in getting clients to attend because they lower the barriers by providing child care, transportation, food as well as counseling support.

CALM also provides community linkages to remove barriers to mental health and substance abuse services by collaborating with other agencies: Food Bank, Easy Lift, Rapid Transit, Good Samaritan Shelter, Transition House, St. Vincent’s PATH program, any several other agencies to assist with food, transportation and housing. CALM also advocates for the families by accompanying them to appointments with other agencies, providing language translation and interpretation, and assisting with paperwork (Medi-Cal, Victim’s Witness, etc.), offered in English and Spanish on a sliding scale. No one is turned away for inability to pay.

To make it even easier, CALM is purposely located one block from the MTD bus depot in the center of downtown Santa Barbara, so families could easily access them by foot, bus or automobile.  In addition to being at a central location, CALM provides volunteers who will pick up or provide bus passes as needed.  CALM has been known to utilize their Sunshine Fund to purchase a bicycle for their clients. 

CALM continues to be the only non-profit agency in Santa Barbara County whose mission is to prevent, assess, and treat child abuse by providing comprehensive, culturally competent, services for children, families and adults. CALM offers a safe, non-judgmental, caring and strength-based environment to heal and increase family well-being. To learn more about CALM and what they do, please visit their site here www.calm4kids.org.

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Dads and their Allies Dedicated to Success (DADS)
 

Interview with Diane Kellegrew, Ph.D.
Strategies Regional Director, Central Region

Approximately 18 months ago, Interface Children & Family Services in Camarillo, California, began implementing the DADS (Dads and their Allies Dedicated to Success) program. DADS, an Amgen field-study grant, sought to explore service strategies to engage high-risk fathers. A cornerstone of the program was a highly rated evidence-based practice (EBP), Supporting Father Involvement. Both the Amgen intervention (SFI) and the FDM are funded by the Department of Social Services, Office of Child Abuse Prevention.

Supporting Father Involvement is structured around 16 week group sessions for fathers and their significant co-parent. The curriculum focuses on ways to promote child development and foster better co-parenting communication. One cornerstone of the EBP is case management. While this EBP has a detailed curriculum for the group sessions, the case management component is open-ended and does not specify any specific structure. The DADS research team paired the SFI intervention and the FDM to give structure to the types of information gathered and the action plans developed during the case management component. Three additional father engagement indicators were added to the FDM core group of 20 family functioning indicators. In addition, variables about referral source and other demographic data were gathered (re-entry, custody of children). The FDM provided a systematic way to examine the fathers’ case management needs across a wide array of life indicators. The FDM data also offered a way to more comprehensively track fathers’ progress in many aspects of their life at intake and over time. Data were gathered for approximately 3 FDM data collection cycles (3 months apart for 9 months).

The pairing of the DADS program and the FDM offers several new elements for consideration. First, this study expanded the examination of the FDM to include using the tool to track outcomes for a specific intervention. Up to date, the research on the FDM has examined the FDM data as a description of families’ progress over time but has not been linked to any single intervention. The DADS program also offers the first concentrated effort to look specifically at FDM initial status and progress as reported by fathers.

To date, 32 fathers have or are participating in the DADS project. Those in the first groups (n=12) have completed the entire data collection process and have 3 data collection points for examination. Some are still in the Supporting Father Involvement intervention groups and have only the initial FDM intake point available for review. Therefore, only a preliminary analysis is available at this time.

The preliminary findings do tell us something about the status of father as they enter the program. Interesting all fathers referred through Child Support Services were in “crisis” regarding their knowledge of community supports. Ventura County Child Support Services was a primary referring partner for the DADs program. They referred approximately 25% of the participants, primarily new, teen non-custodial fathers. This suggests that this population of fathers may well be good candidates for referral to family resource centers if only for an assessment of useful support services.

Of the twelve participating fathers completing all three FDM assessments, findings indicate that progress on access and knowledge regarding community services over the nine month period is nearly 55% improvement. Most of these participants moved out of the ‘crisis’ area on these indicators to the ‘stable’ indicator. Considerable progress has been made on FDM indicators related to father engagement. This preliminary group reports nearly a 53% improvement in marital communication and child behavior six months after conclusion of the SFI intervention.

One critical advantage of the FDM tool when paired with the SFI intervention is that the FDM gives a participant-friendly way to continue to check-in and monitor progress over time. SFI Group Leaders report that outcomes for the groups have been more positive than when Interface Children & Family services conducted the SFI intervention without the FDM. For example, now, many of the fathers continue to meet in an informal support group, following the completion of the intervention. Staff report that most of the participating fathers demonstrate more commitment and involvement in the change progress.

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San Francisco Collaborative
 
Homeless Prenatal Program

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Ventura Collaborative
 
Interface Children Family Services

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Amelia Adam's Retirement
 
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It is with mixed emotion that I announce that Community Partnership for Families of San Joaquin (CPFSJ) longtime staff member Ms. Amelia Adams will retire from the agency as of August 1 5, 2013. Amelia's commitment to and passion for supporting, strengthening and empowering families in Southeast Stockton and across San Joaquin County has made her an incredible asset to not only the agency, but to this great community.

Amelia helped to develop the vision of CPFSJ prior to its inception over a decade ago. She supported community members and stakeholders in a community organizing process that led to the establishment of the Dorothy L. Jones (DLJ) Family Resource Center (with a health clinic and gynmasium) in Southeast Stockton in 2007, the first building to have been constructed in that community in more than 20 years.

While Amelia has worn many hats during her time with CPFSJ, her heart and focus has always been with the Southeast Stockton community. Here, she has worked diligently to empower and develop community members to address numerous and complex social , economic and health challenges that have plagued the community for decades. The work continues today with efforts taken to address longstanding challenges "Block by Block" and with place-based work that takes a comprehensive approach to community development with the aim to create lasting change for families living in South Stockton.

On a more personal level, Amelia has been my advisor, confidant and friend. She has supported me-both professionally and personally- for many years. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to know such an amazing, caring and humble woman that has given herself unconditionally not only to CPFSJ, but to the children, youth and families we serve.

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An Assessment Your Agency Can Do
 
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Here is a quick assessment your agency can do. You will be checking YES or NO for parental resilience (parent functioning), strong social connections, knowledge of child development and demonstrated skills in parenting, basic supports and services used by families as needed, and family environment.

 

Click on the read more button below to view the YES or NO check list for "Families are Free From Substance Abuse and Mental Illness."

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> Questions? Comments? Suggestion?
Contact Jerry Endres with the information provided below.
 
logo P.O. Box 727, Weed, CA 96097
http://matrixoutcomesmodel.com
jendres@csumb.org
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