Volume 1910• Issue 53• October 2019
Family Resource Center receives $2.7 million federal grant
On September 30, 2019, the Federal Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families awarded the Family Resource Center of North Mississippi a five-year grant to demonstrate how engaging at-risk families and connecting them with community-based primary prevention programs improves child safety and well-being. The $2.7 million grant will be implemented in collaboration with the Mississippi Department of Child Protective Services (MDCPS) and a network of community partners. The project will target at-risk families and children living in Lee County, Mississippi. “For MDCPS to be able to refer our clients to receive in-home services from the Family Resource Center means that we can, oftentimes, avoid removing a child from their home because we are able work in partnership to address and resolve issues that threaten a family’s stability before problems worsen,” said MDCPS Commissioner Jess Dickinson. “Knowing that a community has these resources available for our workers to utilize strengthens the family-building work we do every day – and underpins our ‘Safe at Home’ mission.”
Christi Webb, Executive Director of the Family Resource Center of North Mississippi, said, “The role that the Family Resource Center plays in the social services network in Lee County, Mississippi has always been to help where we can and to refer families to other agencies when we are not able to meet a specific need. This project will allow us to amplify our efforts and make a significant impact to improve the lives of many families." Commissioner Dickinson added, “The federal government’s decision to award this highly competitive grant to a Mississippi program says much about the quality of services provided by the Family Resource Center and the positive progress made in child welfare in our state.”
After a 10-month community assessment and planning period, the project team will begin to work directly with families and children, connecting them with necessary services, resources, training and skills development activities designed to improve family stability and reduce the likelihood of involvement with the State’s Child Welfare System. This program was funded by the Children’s Bureau, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, under grant #90CA1865. The contents of this program are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Children’s Bureau.
Grant activities will be evaluated by The Stephen Group, a New Hampshire-based consulting firm that has worked extensively with Mississippi health and human service providers and the state’s child welfare system.
"It takes a community!"
Overcoming ACE (Adverse Childhood Experience) is the one of the objectives of many governmental, medical, human services, behavior health and many different kinds of organizations and agencies. An axiom that says “It takes a community to raise a child” might also say that it takes a community of these kinds of groups to help children overcome ACE’s.
The Family Resource Center of North Mississippi sent a team of their own professionals to join others from across the Southeast United States in a conference to learn practical tools, skills and strategies for advancing ACE Work and Trauma-Informed Care. They were instructed to take these back to schools, organizations, communities, or agencies and be able to assist individuals and communities to understand and stop the intergenerational transmission of ACEs.
Pictured here are FRC staffers as they head out for dinner one night during the conference: Shelia Davis, Mallory Trollinger, Debra Moore, Kim Benfield, Christi McAfferty and Beverly Gonzalez.
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