Centerstone, a national leader in behavioral health care, received a $750 grant from the Southern Illinois Leadership Institute (SILI) to purchase family strengthening kits.
The purpose of the kits is to bring family units in need together, to strengthen the family bond, and have a positive impact on the family as a whole and especially the children.
“Centerstone is honored to have been chosen as one of the recipients for this grant. Thank you SILI and SICF for your contribution to Southern Illinois and our mission of delivering care that changes people’s lives,” said Erin Camfield, Centerstone’s Director of Advancement.
Centerstone’s Family Services will purchase and distribute the kits. Family Services employs Family Resource Developers (FRDs), a trained parent who has lived experience and who can relate to their peer’s story and journey. FRDs also can offer direction to help peer parents navigate various child serving systems. FRDs support peers in their decisions and choices they make for their family.
“The support provided is individualized, family-driven, culturally competent and trauma informed,” Camfield said. “Centerstone’s direct experiences with families has shown that not all parents know how to develop the time to do fun and positive activities with their children.”
FRDs will connect with families identified by their Family Services therapists and/or school referrals as needing strengthening of engagement with their family. After the initial consultation with the family with the FRD, the family would then be referred to attend Centerstone Family Engagement sessions. Curriculum of these sessions would be recommended by the FRD based on each family’s immediate needs, but could include topics such as building positive relationships with your children, understanding trauma and stress, and positive communication skills.
After parent peer consultation and completion of any recommended sessions, families will be given a family strengthening kit.
“The FRD will meet with these families and be an available peer support to these families throughout their family engagement strengthening period,” Camfield said.
The kit will include items specific to encouraging family togetherness and positive experiences. Items may include playing cards, board games, art and craft supplies, family snacks and more. Also included in the kit will be a Centerstone-developed principle family engagement workbook to help families plan and track family engagement experiences. This workbook will be reviewed with the FRD to help navigate positive experiences and recommend any changes needed to further strengthen the family’s engagement.
“Working with the FRD will allow each family to have a personalized and individualized plan for family engagement developed. The children in each family unit will positively be impacted by the knowledge their caregivers will receive in each recommended session. The quality time spent with the family unit focusing on positive activities will also strengthen the bond children have with their caregivers,” Camfield said. “Strengthening the family unit has been shown to increase overall resilience in children.”
SILI is a new initiative of Southern Illinois Community Foundation, focused on recruiting, training, and equipping current and next generation diverse nonprofit leaders. SILI raised $1,500 to be awarded to one or more local nonprofits.