Family Continuity is listed on the DIA website as a safety training organization. EOHHS endorses Family Continuity’s training as meeting and exceeding the requirements for human service workers.
For More Information click here Worker Safety Training
Domestic violence is a pervasive problem in every community, with families often terrorized, and effective help not always available. Yet, when families and professionals work together, sometimes help can be found from unexpected sources that can make all of the difference to keep a family safe. We often see this through the work of our family partners. Family Continuity’s Family Support and Training (FS&T) program, informally known as “Family Partners” is not there to provide therapy, but rather to support families through the complex and sometimes frightening events of their daily lives, to help them gain control and become stronger, self-reliant families.
Recently the story of Mrs. B. brought this home. She and her children were long-time victims of serious domestic violence that involved repeated life-threatening assaults. Eventually, she brought charges and the perpetrator was convicted and jailed. But the nightmare did not stop. During his incarceration, he had continuously written threatening letters to Mrs. B., with a plan for what he would do to get revenge when he was released from jail. He has a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia, yet was receiving no real treatment in prison, and his release date was rapidly approaching. Mrs. B. sought help, but was told that there was little that could be done. The week before the release, in helping Mrs. B. prepare for her safety, the Family Partner brainstormed with the mom and the care planning team and it was decided to contact the local police to have them do a home safety assessment. Restraining orders had already been put in place, but since these hadn’t worked in the past, the Partner and Mrs. B. felt that those safeguards were not foolproof. Recommendations included adding additional outside lighting to each corner of the home to light up the exterior and other things such as better ways to secure windows and doors. Another safety recommendation was that the family have a burglar alarm installed at the home, which the family could not afford.
When all hope was thought to be lost, the Family Partner “happened” to be sharing the dilemma about this unidentified family-in-need with someone at the local builders’ association whose office was downstairs from the Family Continuity office. He in turn persuaded a builder to install the alarm in the family home at no cost as a good will gesture and as a way to support the family with this critical and desperate situation. Because this work could not be completed until a couple of days after the perpetrator’s release date, a request was also made of Family Continuity’s Family Support Fund to pay for a two night motel stay for the family at a safe location until the work could be completed and until police and probation were aware of the perpetrator’s return.
This Family Partner, like all of our staff was responsible for knowing her community and its resources, building this relationship over time, and doing whatever it takes to support the family. Her interactions with the builder helped him understand the work we do and the nature of the needs of the families we serve. Says the Family Partner’s supervisor, “I actually think, knowing this Partner, that connection with the builder wasn’t at all happenstance; she has a way of making relationships that foster the person’s desire to help. And she knew that they would have the resources to help this family. Mrs. B. was in tears when the Family Partner went out to the home to tell her. I agree – it is all about building community relationships. It’s amazing what can happen!” Another example of our motto- meeting needs whatever, wherever, and whenever they are needed.
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