County Spotlights

SAFE Services- Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo County, Inc.

zen tree Services Affirming Family Empowerment System of Care (SAFE) is an integrated, community-based, school-linked resource system for children and families developed by the Children’s Services Network (CSN) in 1998. Its purpose is to address a broad spectrum of issues related to individual, family, and community health and well-being, thereby keeping children safe, healthy, at home, in school, and out of trouble. This is accomplished through a multi-agency team approach that provides three levels of service: prevention, community-based intervention, and intensive treatment (high-level services to children and families with serious challenges that threaten home or school placement).

Prevention services connect families with the grassroots activities, such as South County Youth Coalition; after-school, community recreation and enrichment programs; parent education and support groups; mentoring; and law enforcement diversion and delinquency prevention programs, to help all families access services and strengthen their community connections.

Community-based services include information and referral, intervention and prevention of short-term crises, parent education and support, and advocacy for the needs of families. The Community-Based Teams are made up of staff from prevention and intervention service providers such as CalWORKs, MediCal, and Food Stamp workers, employment specialists, family counselors, parent educators, family advocates, homeless outreach, and school-based services.

Intensive treatment services are provided for families with an immediate need for service and/or those who are involved with multiple agencies. The service needs of each family are determined at the family team meeting resulting in the formation of a customized Intensive Services Team (IST) to provide those services. The IST is made up of social workers, Drug and Alcohol and Mental Health therapists, Probation officers, and community-based organizations. The IST provides services to preserve the family and prevent out of home placement for children and youth (foster care, group home placement, hospitalization for mental illness, or incarceration at the Juvenile Hall).

The multi-level, multi-agency approach promotes greater coordination and cooperation and less duplication among system partners resulting in improved efficiencies and service provision. The SAFE Program provides prevention and intensive intervention services in addition to community referrals for over 1100 families annually in San Luis Obispo County. SAFE staff, including family advocates and Site Coordinators, are stationed at three Family Resource Centers (FRCs) in Atascadero, Arroyo Grande, Oceano, Nipomo, and Paso Robles. Many of the FRCs are located on or nearby school campus. The program is interwoven within the multiple school districts and the bulk of referrals for services come from teachers, school nurses, principals, counselors and school staff who are within direct reach of families and children. Parents are encouraged to self-refer in times of need and SAFE staff are visible on school campuses to promote services.

The SAFE staff, family advocates and Site Coordinators, are a critical part of the process, and SAFE ensures that services are accessible for all county residents by employing bilingual and bicultural staff at all levels whenever possible. SAFE family advocates accompany agency staff and practitioners on home visits and other appointments to assist with translation and in many cases act as a conduit between the family and the service provider. 

A unique characteristic of SAFE is that it provides coordinated case plans for the family involving multiple agencies rather than the family having to go from one provider to another. The parents are recognized as the expert on their family’s needs and are equal partners in the decision making process. SAFE allows the family to have one plan in place with a designated service provider who case manages, coordinates the multi-agency team, and ensures accountability between the agencies and the family. A plan for follow-up is provided and cases are reviewed for progress or ongoing needs. This allows for a safety-net to be in place for families and keeps prevention services in place. SAFE services are not time limited, but determined by the family’s needs – another important factor in building trust and ensuring continued success for the families.

coffee County Spotlight: Shasta County’s Parent Leadership Advisory Group | April 2018

Shasta County’s Child Abuse Prevention Coordinating Council (SCAPCC) has developed a very unique Parent Leadership Group known as the Parent Leadership Advisory Group (PLAG). Parents interested in getting involved in the community can attend the monthly group meeting or the Annual Parent Café. Through PLAG the Parent Cafes have evolved to be facilitated by Parent Leaders. These Parent Leaders volunteers participate in facilitation trainings so they can host a table at the yearly Parent Café. They also speak at different events to share their story and describe how PLAG has helped them through their journey.

PLAG participants want to help the community in any way they can. They created the PLAG phone line, Parent Reunification Celebration, the PLAG handbook and the Court Orientation for parents who may have or have had their children removed. In addition, the Parent Leaders submitted feedback for the PLAG Logic Model.

The PLAG phone line is for parents to call that may need resources or just want to vent. Court Orientation has one voluntary Parent Leader share their story and explain next steps with parents who may or have had children removed from their care. Participants have shared that it is helpful hearing someone’s story and knowing they got their kids back. It has made them feel more prepared and hopeful that removal of your kids doesn’t have to be forever.

The Parent Leaders involved in PLAG each have a unique story and love their community. Their work and ideas have benefitted the group in so many ways and many parents continue to maintain involvement in the program for years, stating that the support system is a significant factor in their involvement in the program.

For more information about the program contact Crystal Johnson at: cjohnson@shastacapcc.org

Grantee Spotlight: Family Hui’s Bloom this Spring with Aloha | April 2018

book and flower  Family Hui has created a positive parenting texting campaign for Child Abuse Prevention Month 2018. The purpose of the campaign is to provide parents with educational and encouraging messages throughout the month of April. Some messages are simply quotes and others offer quotes with links to such topics as mindfulness, postpartum depression as well as materials and toolkits from First 5 and Yolo County Children’s Alliance. Parents will receive a positive message each day for 29 days and will be asked to evaluate the texting campaign on the 30th day.  

The project is in Spanish and English. The sign-up phone number is the same for both (617-826-9932) but the texting word for English speakers is ALOHA and for Spanish speakers the texting word is ALOHA2U. How does it work? Text either ALOHA (for English) or ALOHA2U (for Spanish) to 617-826-9932. A message will appear letting you know you have been registered. Please note: Regular texting rates and fees apply.  

Please contact Family Hui Director, Lucy Roberts, for more information: lroberts@lead4tomorrow.org.

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