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  • March 21, 2018 11:22 AM | Jamie McCormick (Administrator)

    Grace, LMSW, Helping Hand Home for Children

    What drew you to social work?

    I have always known that I wanted to be a Social Worker, even before I knew that Social Work was what the profession was called.  I grew up thinking I wanted to study psychology until my undergraduate adviser asked exactly what I envisioned myself doing day to day.  After I described a desire to provide direct support to at risk populations, he told me I should look at Social Work.

    What drives you to keep doing your work?  

    I enjoy working with like-minded people and seeing the impact we can make in the lives of the people we serve at Helping Hand Home for Children. I cannot think of anything more valuable than the knowledge that you made a difference in the life of another being.

    Can you share a story that helps capture the work that you do? 

    Ten years ago I helped a sibling group ages six, seven, and eight find their forever home. These children needed a family committed long-term while understanding that the children's future held many unknowns. Yesterday I received a high school graduation picture for the eight year old! I love seeing my client's grow, change, and succeed. I realize that I played a part in their story.  

  • March 16, 2018 11:54 AM | Jamie McCormick (Administrator)

    Naeemah, LMSW, Behavioral Specialist at SJRC Texas

    "Being a social worker means I get to work with vulnerable populations and help them reach their goals. I have been able to positively impact the youth at SJRC with my knowledge of de-escalation techniques and case management skills to help guide them through hurdles they may encounter in foster care. My BSW and MSW degrees have taught me how to have therapeutic and mindful conservations with the youth and how to aid this population in their development. My future goal is to earn my LCSW and practice as a therapist and to get involved in advocacy work for youth in foster care!"

  • March 15, 2018 10:00 AM | Jamie McCormick (Administrator)

    March is National Social Worker Month, and TACFS is excited to bring you stories of the dedicated and talented social workers in our member organizations that work with children and families everyday.

    Jody, LCSW, DePelchin Children's Center

    What drew you to social work?

    I always loved working with children, but being a teacher and working with a whole classroom of kids felt overwhelming! My mom suggested looking into social work, as a way to work with people, but on a smaller scale. I began the program and just fell in love with the aspects of social work that allow me to work with people, but also focus on empowering and advocating underserved populations.

    What drives you to keep going?

    I love to work with people! I feel very proud that Social Work has allowed me not only to work with such a great population, but my current program allows me to help bring free services to families in the Houston area. I work with a great team and have great support, that allows that passion to remain alive. I love seeing families achieve success and leave our program feeling proud of their work. I also love being able to help support and educate future social workers, through supervision, to be great leaders themselves.

    Jody shared this story to help us better understand her passion for Social Work.

    When I first began my career in social work, I was providing home based parenting services. I appreciated the values of this program, as we traveled to each family’s home to ensure they could access services without barriers. One family in particular consisted of a single mother who was raising two young children. This family consistently attended services and set up a ‘study’ night each week to make sure they were practicing the parenting material provided. This mother shared with me how she learned to slow down when she interacted with her children. When she slowed down and really paid attention, she understood that their behavior was a message about their needs. She shared that reframing how she viewed their behavior was very impactful and helped her to feel empowered as a parent. This family created a wonderful empowerment poster that they shared with me at the end of services, which I still have to this day. I can still recall the work and dedication that this family invested in services, and how that made providing the service so fulfilling. I hope each client that I have contact with can feel empowered and conscious about the way they interact with their children, families, and their world. This family brings back wonderful memories that keep me moving towards this mission every day.

    Thank you, Jody! We are so grateful for all that you do.

  • March 02, 2018 10:19 AM | Jamie McCormick (Administrator)

    The Texas Alliance of Child and Family Services (TACFS) recently unveiled a new website – tacfs.org – a key component to the organization’s larger rebranding effort to renew and reinforce its commitment to supporting children and families in the child welfare system.

    “Every day, there are tens of thousands of Texans cared for in the child welfare system. They experience trauma from physical abuse, neglect, poverty, domestic violence, substance abuse, and more. TACFS is a network of mission-driven organizations that have embraced the call to serve at-risk children, youth, and families, and are working together to improve our care, services, and outcomes statewide,” said TACFS Executive Director Katie Olse.

    “With our new branding, website and communications efforts, we’re shining a light on the needs of the most vulnerable Texans and the work of our members and allies who are helping to address these children and families’ needs,” Olse added.

    Online at tacfs.org, the new TACFS website is organized to clearly reflect the priorities and work of TACFS across Texas:

    •  Education and Training: Providing children and families with the best possible care and services means being proactive in learning, making informed decisions, and striving for continual improvement. TACFS is committed to giving direct care organizations and their communities stakeholders the knowledge and skills they need to succeed.
    • Collaboration: TACFS values collaboration and the organization’s success depends on TACFS’ ability to work together and share knowledge and experiences. TACFS works to build a strong network of direct care organizations that can learn from each other and offer support. TACFS additionally works to build strong partnerships locally and regionally that will better support and help address the unique needs of each community.
    • Advocacy: Since TACFS’ founding in 1975, a key objective of the organization is to be a unified voice to strengthen the services and care to vulnerable Texans. We serve as advocates for the best possible outcomes for at-risk children, youth, and families.

    The rebrand effort extends to Texas Center for Child and Family Studies, the non-profit arm of TACFS, which offers trainings, consultations, education, and academic research, to improve the quality and care for at-risk children, youth, and families. Informed by this work, the Center undertakes targeted and strategic initiatives to address the most pressing issues facing the care and services for at-risk children, youth, and families in Texas.

    The Center recently announced an $800,000 grant from the Rebuild Texas Fund, which will support relief and recovery efforts for foster children and families impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

    The Center will support organizations on the ground to meet two critical long-term needs: healing trauma and building capacity. Learn more about the Center’s Rebuild Texas Fund grant online at tacfs.org/rebuild-tx-grant.

    “TACFS’ new website and rebranding effort reflects our core values and priorities of providing compassionate and high-quality care, continuous improvement and innovation, and building strong communities of care that surround and support each child and family,” said Olse.

    For news and updates, follow TACFS on Twitter, @TXAllianceCFS, and Texas Center for Child and Family Studies, @txcentercfs. 

  • February 21, 2018 9:27 AM | Jamie McCormick (Administrator)

    We are excited to announce Lorraine Gomez, with the Child Crisis Center of El Paso is joining the TACFS Board. Here is a little more about Lorraine and her work with CCCEP from a recent newsletter.

    The mission of the Child Crisis Center of El Paso is to protect children from abuse and neglect by providing shelter, advocacy, and family support services to the the El Paso community without exclusion. Homeless families, families facing medical emergencies, long-term chronic health problems, substance abuse issues, and families with incarcerated persons are all served on a daily basis. 

    Executive Director Lorraine Gomez, adopted by her own grandparents as a child, is passionate about serving the children and families in her community. Her personal mission is that each child that comes through the doors of CCCEP feels loved, safe and nurtured. "I am a believer that each young soul deserves a great start and the same opportunities," Ms. Gomez says. "Even though these children must navigate through their lives already with a heavy heart and a rough beginning," her vision is that "that they reach their maximum potential with a  'YES, you can do it' attitude, that hopefully they will carry with them for the rest of their lives."

    Her vision reflects the vision of the continuum of services provided by CCCEP including...

    • Circle of Love Nursery and Children's Shelter - A progressive and innovative program providing crisis shelter care to children newborn through 13 years. 
    • Fatherhood EFFECT Program -  Bilingual fatherhood educators who deliver a 12-part curriculum that educates fathers on topics such as co-parenting, discipline, and stages of children's growth. 
    • El Paso HOPES - HOPES is a prevention program offered to any family with children ages 0-5 years. CCCEP provides wraparound care to families, and strives to assist them with any issues that may be facing them.
    • Military Families and Veterans Prevention Program - Employs prior enlisted and/or spouses of active duty soldiers who are better able to assist the unique needs of our country's military service members. 

    "Together and with the right people, the right choices, and the right collaboration efforts, our future looks a whole lot brighter!"

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