Christmas All Year

This is a time of year when charity abounds.  A myriad of community organizations are busy collecting food, toys and other items for those in need.  It’s heartwarming to see this generosity, and I want to take this opportunity to highlight someone who keeps this giving spirit alive for all 12 months.

Missy is an intensive family preservation services worker at Caring for Children (a program of Eckerd Connects).  She grew up in the area that she now serves, and she is very embedded in the community.  Because of this, Missy is well-positioned to utilize various resources to help her clients, and she does this in an inspiring way!

Missy is well aware of many formal supports in her community and she calls upon them frequently.  She identifies ways to help families through the use of IFPS flex funds as well.  Missy has also been particularly innovative in using social media to fill the needs of her clients.

Missy has a warm and loving personality.  Because of this, she has numerous friends in person and on social media.  Missy uses this platform to spread the word about the concrete needs of her agency’s clients.  She is often able to meet these needs with donations from her social contacts.  Missy’s family and co-workers pick up items from donors and take them to their clients.  She often spends most of her weekends transporting furniture and other things around town.

For example, Missy’s agency recently had 3 clients with newborn babies.  She posted a request for baby items and immediately got donations for baby swings and other necessities for all 3 families.  Missy also has a personal friend who provided Thanksgiving dinner for one of her clients and added a $100 gift card.  In addition, Missy has a high school friend who became a dentist and has agreed to provide dental treatment to Missy’s clients.

Missy says that the generosity of her donors inspires her clients to be generous, too … and isn’t that the true spirit of Christmas?  Thanks to dedicated and creative IFPS workers like Missy, this spirit can be felt all year long!

 

Posted by Michelle Reines, NFPN Executive Director

NFPN & Post-Adoptive Services

November is National Adoption Month, which holds a special place in my heart.  You see, our daughter was adopted.  She’s a teenager now, but I can remember the day we brought her home like it was two minutes ago.  In fact, my mother-in-law threw a baby shower for us on National Adoption Day, which is Saturday, November 23rd this year.

We’ve been very fortunate that our daughter does not seem to have any major health or behavioral issues related to her adoption, but we know many adoptive parents struggle with these situations.  The process of adoption can be a miraculous experience, and it can also be filled with challenges.  Often in family preservation services, it is said that we’re working to preserve birth families, but I prefer the term “family of origin”.

The National Family Preservation Network has studied the use of intensive family preservation services with adoptive families.  The IFPS model has been shown to have a significant impact on adoptive families’ ability to stay intact, especially one year following case closure.  Here are links to the research studies:  https://www.nfpn.org/Portals/0/Documents/ifps-adoptreport.pdf & https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1365-2206.2006.00426.x

In addition, the NCFAS-G tool is very beneficial in identifying areas of need, developing service plans, and assessing progress for adoptive families.  Here is a link to more information on the NCFAS-G:  https://www.nfpn.org/assessment-tools/ncfas-g-sample

Yes, adoption is a beautiful thing and there is good reason to believe that IFPS can be very helpful to adoptive families who are experiencing difficulties.  Now if I could just get my daughter to clean her room …

 

Posted by Michelle Reines, NFPN Executive Director

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