Reach’s Mental Health Department has been providing Family & Parenting Development (FPD) Services since spring 2014. In this program, we contract with Hennepin County Child Protective Services to provide in home parenting skills education. We encounter issues such as chemical dependency, physical discipline, neglect, and limited general parenting knowledge. Our educators teach parents on topics such as appropriate discipline, child and family safety, and child development stages. Since its start, the FPD program has supported over 175 parents in learning various parenting skills to reunite with their children. Unfortunately, this program is very much needed in Hennepin County, but we are so happy Reach is able to assist in the efforts to reduce the number of repeat Child Protection cases.
Here’s what our Parenting Skills Educators have to share: “I love working for a company where I feel supported and well trained and ready to do the job; the work is so serious it is great to be able to laugh with colleagues. Something I think would be good for people to know is that the individuals we work with are not as scary as you may think. We work with parents involved in child protection who may have traumatic backgrounds and are just trying to learn how to improve. I so often hear from the client ‘I didn’t have someone to parent me so I don’t know how to be a parent to someone else.’ We are here to teach them how to be good parents to their children to help discontinue this cycle.” ~Lisa Nemitz
“I like working for a company that can serve so many different people. I like the open, relaxed work environment of people who are willing to help each other however possible. I enjoy the honest feedback provided by my supervisors and their support and encouragement of the work that I am doing. I like working for the FPD program because I get to work hands-on with the families and help make both a direct and long-term impact to set families up for success. The FPD program is so important for so many families since it teaches parents how to be the best parents they can be to raise a strong, supportive family. I would like people to know that the work I do can be challenging at times, but it can also be very rewarding! Breakthroughs with clients on difficult and emotional topics, seeing families’ progress, or a simple “thank you for our meeting today” text from a client make it all worth it.” ~Alexa Benevides
“I like the opportunity to work in the field with parents! It’s also nice to have a nice office to come back to do work, seek supervision, and a chance to laugh. It’s great to see transformation and growth with families and clients that I work with in the FPD program. The situations are not always the brightest, but people are worth believing in and taking a risk for.” ~Megan Boehm
“I love working with supervisors who are always there to answer questions and who provide a listening ear. This job can be very stressful, and it is nice to be able to talk to coworkers and our supervisors about what is going on. I love working with families who are in need and providing them with positive parenting techniques. I also love seeing families succeed and become better parents. I would like people to know that this a hard but very rewarding job. We work with families who have faced a lot of trauma, and it is important that others are sensitive to that aspect of the job.” ~Lauren Phillips
Learn more about Family & Parenting Development, as well as our other Mental Heath services on our **Mental Health page!