For the third and final post in our Family Assessment Response series, we are featuring an update from the people doing the work at the Children’s Administration (CA), which started on January 1 in Aberdeen, Lynnwood and areas of Spokane. Reports show that approximately 65 percent of CPS cases were assigned to FAR or about 250 families total.
So far there has been great reception of FAR by families. Below are a couple quick stories from Children’s Administration:
FAR workers report positive responses from families who are involved in the intervention. One worker tells us she met with a father who started the conversation yelling and screaming about CPS. The worker was able to explain FAR and engage with him. The conversation ended with the father saying “I really like you guys. You really are different.” He agreed to meet with the worker again. FAR workers are able to address families’ immediate needs and work with the community in creative ways to help them.
One mother, who was trying to leave her gang-involved past behind, asked for help to remove gang –related tattoos. The mother felt like the tattoos were hindering her efforts to find gainful employment and having a negative impact on her self-esteem, which was contributing to some neglect in the home. The FAR social worker asked the FAR office lead for help. The FAR office lead contacted the local sheriff’s office. The Sheriff had recently started a program with local tattoo artists to remove gang-related tattoos for a nominal fee. The FAR worker helped the mother access the service. The mother’s gang-related tattoos were removed and the parent was able to focus her energy on other goals to help keep her children safe at home.
FAR will roll out to more communities in the coming months. Below is a list of locations for Phases 2 and 3:
Phase 2 offices scheduled for July 2014 implementation:
Region 1: Ellensburg & Spokane (zip codes 99205, 99217, and Lincoln County)
Region 2: Mount Vernon & Martin Luther King, Jr.
Region 3: Pierce East & Stevenson
Phase 3 offices scheduled for October 2014 implementation:
Region 1: Spokane (additional zip codes), Moses Lake, Richland
Region 2: Sky Valley, Oak Harbor
Region 3: Port Angeles, Port Townsend, Forks, Vancouver
If FAR is coming to your community, please know that you may be able to help. Families may need something as simple as a tune-up for their car or the opportunity to join a service provided by a local church or organization. The regional and local offices will be reaching out to their respective communities to explain FAR and individuals or organizations might be able to help to keep children safe.
We hope you have enjoyed this blog series on FAR – whether you knew a lot or are just learning, we hope you came away with something. In the future, we hope to share more updates on FAR as it rolls out and the evaluation begins. In the meantime, if you have an idea for another blog series, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about FAR, visit the DSHS Children’s Administration website.