Graham Windham provides a range of programs to strengthen families and help parents care safely for their children. We also serve 900 children through our foster care program by helping them make a safe return home or placing them in new homes that will provide love and unconditional support. All in all, we have created a continuum of supports and interventions that help ensure children have safe and loving families to grow up in and have the preparation and opportunity to succeed in school and life.
Family Success Initiative Parenting Program
We aim to provide a continuum of services to help parents develop lasting behavior change and support networks in order to safely parent their children. Part of this strategy is the use of Solution-Based Casework, through which we collaborate with parents to identify goals for the family and for the parent, highlight strengths and supports the parent can call on, and develop realistic action plans for reaching their goals, with support and celebration of progress along the way. This initiative includes offerings like The Parenting Journey, an insight-oriented, 12-session parent education and support group, Baby and Me, a weekly developmental play group for parents with their infants and toddlers, and Passport to Parenting, a holistic group for pregnant and parenting clients ages 12-25. While our Family Success Initiative has significantly advanced our work with families, it is only part of what is needed to help some parents change. It is designed to work in combination with our other interventions that provide more frequent and intensive parenting practice opportunities.
Family Foster Care and Adoption
The children we serve in our family foster and adoption program have been removed from their homes, or had their homes crumble beneath them. Our job is to get them back to their families or, if that is not possible, adopted into a new family or, if that is not possible, connected to someone who is willing to be that anchor, that sanctuary, for that child, no matter what, throughout their childhood. To help us do that, we have hundreds of loving and highly qualified foster parents who partner with us in this work. They are supported by a cadre of highly professional case planners, coaches, clinicians, education specialists and medical providers all of whom are working together to find safe, loving and permanent homes for children who need them. We also provide a short-term intervention (approximately 1 year), called Treatment Family Foster Care, to stabilize children with serious emotional, behavioral or mental health needs with a goal of helping achieve reunification or adoption, as appropriate.
Our Preventive Services provide family supports to help families meet their needs to keep children safe while addressing underlying conditions that can lead to child abuse or neglect, such as parental depression, family stress, substance use or domestic violence. Using Solution-Based Casework, we actively work with parents to help them develop a more active, consistent and productive role in their child’s educational and social development; we encourage families to build connections to positive supports in their community who will help them sustain their progress. In 2011, we expanded our services to include the Family Treatment and Rehabilitation (FTR) program. This intensive program is designed to meet the needs of 30 families in the Bed-Stuy/Crown Heights section of Brooklyn that are struggling with untreated substance abuse or mental health needs. Our Beacon TIES program provides services to the neediest families in the Central Harlem area through a safe and academically enriching environment for over 1000 elementary and middle-school children.
Our Family Coaches help families during their involvement in the foster care system (starting at intake and continuing after their reunification with their children), and help to strengthen families at risk of foster care involvement. Family coaches help parents develop the skills, resilience, and support systems they need to safely parent their children amid challenging life circumstances, and prevent child abuse and neglect. Our visit coaches meet with parents for 16 sessions before a visit, model appropriate behaviors during a visit, and debrief skill development after the visit. We also offer a support group called Network, that helps participants manage stress and behaviors through self-affirmation, sharing stresses and concerns, action planning, sitting with silence, and clearing concerns.
Health Homes and Care Coordination
Health Homes are a strength-based system of health care coordination. Clients are assigned a care manager who ensures continuity of care and comprehensive transitional care from service to service, across and within systems of education, foster care and juvenile justice. We also support foster parents, and birth parents in managing and overseeing the medical, mental health, behavioral health, dental and specialty needs and referrals of their children.
“O.U.R. Place” Family Enrichment Center
Our Family Enrichment Center is an innovative program that uses a pre-prevention model where staff works to empower the families in the community so they never become involved in the child welfare system. It uses a strength-based approach and community organizing to help families form connections in the community and access services. Services are delivered to participants in several ways. The site offers educational workshops, support groups, social activities and a gathering place for families. The site hosts Parent Cafes, which are parent-led discussions where participants share their experience and identify ways to promote protective factors while supporting each other. The site also provides service referrals.