Open House 2018

A big THANK YOU to all of you who helped us welcome in 2018 at Families as Allies’ New Year Open House on Thursday, January 11.

Every family who is part of our organization, every partner from our child serving systems, every policy maker, and every community supporter who unites with us around our mission – to make sure families are partners in their children’s care – brings us closer to making our vision – that all children will have the opportunity to reach their potential and succeed – a reality.  It was wonderful to start the new year in such a meaningful way with all of you.

The food and friendship were terrific.  Another highlight was gathering feedback from our guests on What’s Working, What’s Not Working, and What’s Needed in some of our child serving systems and with Families as Allies.  This is the same format we use in town halls with families throughout the state and we use this feedback to guide our work, in partnership with all of you, throughout the year.

This is what you told us about the different systems that serve children and about us.


The Healthcare System

What’s Working:
More focus on preventative health, Advocating, Primary access point for many families, Reaching families
What’s Not Working:
More community involvement, Generalizing people, Insurance companies and hospital pricing relationship
What’s Needed:
Suicide risk screeners in ER, Funding (more services), Affordable plans (x2), Doctors that work together more, More community knowledge, Better trained workers

The Mental Health System
IMG_4494crop.jpgWhat’s Working:
Family support, Preventative care is being recognized, Preventions services (Tara is super!)
What’s Not Working:
Tedious paperwork, Timely access to community-based programs, Putting people with mental illness in prison/keeping them in the system, Foster kids moved from one CMH district to another cannot get bridge medication from former MHC before getting new appointment
What’s Needed:
Funding (x5), More caseworkers, Education – less stigma for public, More compassionate workers!

The Education System
IMG_4534crop.jpgWhat’s Working:
Making improvement, Accepting outside help, Place where most children can identify and address concerns
What’s Not Working:
Effective behavior plans, Schools making Special Ed determinations without doing evaluations, Overpaid administrators, Hiring people based on who you know, Student achievement, The curriculum
What’s Needed:
Funding (x2), Qualified evaluators and educators, More grants to get text books and lap tops in JPS, Social and emotional screeners in schools, Community involvement throughout the year, Certified and qualified teachers, More collaboration between systems, Educator and community efforts, Exceptional Education services, Better incentives and treatment of our highly qualified teachers

Families as Allies
IMG_4489crop.jpgWhat’s Working: Great collaboration, Your current team is wonderful, the Love, You’re doing a great job, You guys!
What’s Not Working: No responses
What’s Needed More staff (x3), funding

Do you have any thoughts about What’s Working, What’s Not Working or What’s Needed in any of these systems or with Families as Allies?  Please share your ideas in the comment section.  We want EVERYONE’S input to guide our work in 2018 so that we can all work together to make things better for our children in the upcoming year.

Also – let us know if you would like to help host a family town hall or training in your area in 2018.  Our most successful events are often those that we do in collaboration with other groups so that families benefit from the work of more than one organization.


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