A Family Place is excited to announce they have been awarded two major grants in the past two weeks!
- $95,000 from the Ford Family Foundation to create a volunteer coordinator position
- $70,000 from United Way Mid-Willamette Valley to expand our Outreach and Respite Services
The Ford Family Grant will help address a growing need for volunteers in our programs. When AFP opened in October 2013 operations required 4-6 total volunteers. In less than two years we have expanded to:
- Four total classrooms serving children from 12 months to three years from families in McMinnville, Amity, Carlton, Dundee and Newberg who have a significant amount of stress in their lives.
- Ongoing Mother’s & Babies classes, which help new mothers identify and cope with postpartum depression.
- Additional parent education classes open to all parents who wish to learn more effective ways to parent.
- Distribute diapers and children’s clothing weekly in McMinnville and Newberg to local parents, regardless of whether they are enrolled in our programs.
- Provide transportation to children and parents who need it to access our programs.
- Starting July 1, A Family Place will also begin implementing emergency and planned respite services for families who require long or short-term care for their children.
Expanded services require over 60 volunteers serving approximately 350 hours each month to help support children & families accessing A Family Place programs.
“The majority of the volunteers serve directly in the classrooms or provide childcare during parent education classes, however there are many additional opportunities for people with other skill-sets who want to serve children,” said Elaine Burke, director of community engagement. “We also need cooks, bus drivers, diaper bank volunteers and people to want to serve on committees that coordinate marketing, fundraising and events.”
The new volunteer coordinator’s primary responsibilities will include scheduling, recruiting and retaining volunteers. “Volunteers are the backbone of our work, and allow us to more effectively serve the children enrolled in our services,” said Burke. “We want to make sure our volunteers know and feel how important they are to our ability to meet the emotional needs of the children we serve.”
A Family Place will offer two kinds of respite services, including a planned weekly three-hour break where children will be supervised by the nursery’s early childhood specialists.
“We will not have a waiting list ever,” Robinson said. “Anybody who is interested will be able to have an outreach worker where they’ll get home visits once a month and then be eligible to have this planned respite.”
The grant will also allow A Family Place to offer emergency respite, following the Safe Families for Children (SFFC) model, which utilizes church-based communities and volunteers to provide a safe environment where parents can safely and voluntarily place their children in times of need.
Robinson noted that it has partnered with Catholic Community Services especially for this portion of the program. “It’s similar to a foster care arrangement,” LCS Area Director Jordan Robinson in a press release. “The difference is that it’s a voluntary choice for parents, which means they maintain contact with the child(ren) during placement. The program is designed to support parents and families who lack a reliable, local network they can turn to when they need help.”
More information on Safe Families for Children can be found at www.safe-families.org.