By standing together as families and making sure we are partners in fixing them. 

Families as Allies responds to 150 – 200 calls each month from families whose children are experiencing difficulties.  While our primary goal is always to support callers in advocating for what their child needs, we also track the reason for these calls. 

Common reasons families call, as well as focus group data over the years, reflect challenges in the systems that serve our children. Some of the most common challenges are:

  • Schools have difficulty responding to children with emotional difficulties, even when the child is identified as having a disability under the law and has an educational plan
  • Families have trouble finding mental health services that they feel are non-judgmental, affordable and responsive
  • It is hard for some families to find helpful and intensive enough community-based services for their children.  As a result, their children cycle in and out of institutions. 
  • When children are in a psychiatric residential facility or hospital, families are sometimes called to come pick them up without warning and told child protective services will be called if they do not. Occasionally families are told this is being done at the direction of the Justice Department.
  • Both biological and foster families have trouble getting information about their children and what the plan is for them when children are taken into custody.  Some grandparents report that they want temporary custody of the children in these situations, but children are sent to foster care instead.
Families can work together, ideally in partnership with systems and providers, to change the things that lead to these problems.  How can you be a partner in this work?

Want to know more about how to do these things? Contact our office or sign up for our next Leadership Training.

Families as Allies is funded through generous donations, training fees, grants from the Substance Abuse and Mental Heath Services Administration, the City of Jackson and the Department of Mental Health, and contracts with other non-profits and agencies.