Family Services of Tulare County
Sierra Grant: $2,500 in the 3rd quarter of 2018
Mission: To help children, adults, and families throughout Tulare County heal from violence and thrive in healthy relationships.
Family Services of Tulare County offers a variety of services for those who have suffered from domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, and homelessness. Family Services assists more than 3,000 individuals a year. In addition to the organization’s shelter, counseling centers and transitional housing services in both Tulare and Visalia, they also use the facilities of schools, clinics, community centers, and family resource centers, with the goal of making their services accessible in rural areas.
The Children’s Health, Hope, and Healing project is specifically designed to help children who have undergone abuse or neglect, or who have been exposed to violence. The goal is to use early intervention to reduce the negative effects of these traumatic experiences and begin the healing process.
We’ve used an evidence-based parenting curriculum to give education to caregivers who have been, or are at risk of, being reported for child maltreatment.
One parent lost custody of his two daughters because the conditions at his home were unsafe for children. He enrolled in SafeCare, an in-home parenting program in which a parenting educator makes weekly visits to the home for 19-20 weeks. Through the program, the parent learned to identify and eliminate the hazards that caused his children to be removed. But he learned much more than he was expecting to. Lessons on parent-child interaction, communication, and problem solving made him take a hard look at his role as a parent.
“I thought I was a good dad, but I’m a lot better. My dad was strict on me, so I was strict on them. Now I know about setting boundaries and disciplining without spanking. I play with them more and give them good comments so they will have self-esteem. The 18 weeks in the program have been the best weeks of my life, learning how to take care of my kids.”
Since then, the parent has regained partial custody of his children and continues to improve his relationship with them.