Voice of Caring – June 2011
Family Support Network works to prevent child abuse and neglect by providing cost-free counseling and therapy to families who are at risk for abuse. Services are delivered in the family home or nearby community setting so they are most accessible to those people who urgently need assistance.
Many clients served by Family Support Network are economically disadvantaged or have members with mental or developmental disabilities. The typical client is a single mother with three children earning less than $30,000 annually. Frequently there is a previous history of abuse and neglect in the parent’s childhood.
All Family Support Network counseling is provided by Master’s level, licensed professionals. Family Support Network is accredited by the Council on Accreditation.
Programs and Services
Each year, Family Support Network serves 2,000 individuals and 500 families in the city of St. Louis and St. Louis County through three programs, all at no cost to families
- Project First Step delivers individualized counseling, therapy and education to at-risk families through weekly in-home sessions over a six- to nine-month period provided by Master’s level, licensed therapists. Issues covered include parenting skills, child development, conflict resolution, discipline, stress management and more. Families are referred to the program by schools, health and mental health professionals and community agencies.
- School Links provides individualized services to at-risk families but with a focus specifically on school-aged children whose behavior and functioning at school are posing additional challenges for families. The goals for School Links are to improve school functioning of the child; strengthen relationships, collaboration and overall involvement with the schools; strengthen overall family functioning; and prevent family violence.
- Parenting Information is provided by telephone to families who contact the agency, often involving questions about parenting and behavior management of children.
- Over 98% of at-risk families served by Family Support Network remain free of substantiated abuse and neglect over the first year after receiving services. This compares to only 80% when similar at-risk families do not receive intervention.
- 80% of families served also show a reduction in high-risk factors correlated with abuse and neglect.
Founded in 1982, Family Support Network pioneered the use of in-home counseling and therapy for families at risk of child abuse and neglect. Over the past 29 years, we have helped to protect thousands of children from abuse.
To volunteer or contribute: Visit familysupportnet.org, call (314) 644-5055, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.