Carlyn Hicks is senior staff attorney and clinical adjunct professor at Mission First Legal Aid Office at Mississippi College School of Law, has spearheaded efforts to make Parent Representation in Child Welfare cases a reality for Mississippi families. As clinical director for the Child Welfare and Family Justice Clinic, she provides supervision, instruction, and training to third year law students interested in learning hands-on experience and gaining skill development in family defense.
Kass Welchlin has been a civically engaged citizen of the city of Jackson Mississippi for more than 20 years. He and his wife, Cassandra Welchlin, have three children. Recently, Welchlin was asked by the Jackson Public Schools Board of Trustees to serve as a member of the JPS Bond Oversight Committee.
Thanks to FAAMS, I went from victim to warrior. They gave me every tool I needed to fight when I was at my weakest, and I’m proud to do what I can to give back.
George Stewart II is an educator, author, mentor, ordained minister, and youth/family advocate. He is quickly becoming a “go to” person and trusted voice on issues such as youth development, education, spirituality, and fatherhood.
I truly believe that the work which Families as Allies does will lead to not only better mental health outcomes, but a closer knit society with better educational, health, and economic opportunities. All of which our state desperately needs. We cannot continue to divorce mental and physical aspects of individual or societal health. They must be seen as a whole and Families as Allies can provide us the map to get there.
Paula Van Every, photographer, is a native Mississippian who loves the light and enjoys chasing and capturing it. In, 2017 Paula was awarded the Southern Exposure endowment grant through Luminous Landscape for the Dam Bird image collection.
BOARD MEETING SCHEDULE
Our board meets on the third Thursday of January, April, July and October from 6:00 – 7:30 PM in the conference room at the Families as Allies offices in Jackson (see address below). Changes to the meeting schedule are posted on our Facebook page. All of our meetings are open to the public and include a Public Comment Section. We find the public comment section to be one of the most valuable parts of our meetings and welcome feedback from as many people as possible. We request that public comments be limited to three minutes so that everyone who wishes to participate has the opportunity to do so. Comments can also be faxed to 601-355-0919 or scanned to firstname.lastname@example.org
Families as Allies, to me, means that no parent, including me, ever has to feel alone or that no one understands. It is also powerful and comforting to see what happens when families all work together. Sometimes it just astounds me. Everyday doing this work with families humbles me and brings me joy.
Having advocated for my children, I have learned the importance and value of speaking out for larger systems change.
Families as Allies, to me, means supporting and empowering the parent or caregiver to meet the emotional, behavioral, and educational needs of their children and youth.
“My work at Families as Allies has allowed me the time to share my experiences as a dad who inspires, encourages and advocates for his own children in systems that are not always fair, inclusive and equal. I believe that all children can be successful with compassion, support, encouragement and equal opportunities.”
From my personal experience with Families As Allies I look at the organization as a extended family. I’ve experienced some traumatic events since I’ve been employed here and I’m thankful to say everyone has supported me through the transition. Coming from a family member receiving services it’s a pleasure to be a parent providing support to other families. It has increased my knowledge and understanding of the educational laws, rights, and it has allowed me to gain the tools I need to support families.
Working at Families as Allies means I get a chance to help people on a daily basis. I get to see the positive affect we have on Families, the Community, and the Systems that serve all of us.