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In the Fall of 2018, MEND started its first case management program – the Family Support Program (FSP). Our hypothesis was that with intensive 1:1 social work support, guidance and resource connections, families in poverty could reduce their dependence on MEND’s and other safety net services and gain greater stability and independence.
The overarching goal of FSP is to build family self-sufficiency and disrupt cycles of generational poverty. In the program’s pilot year, MEND hired its first Licensed Clinic Social Worker (LCSW) and focused on families with long-time use of our services and/or who were in crisis requiring additional supports. Joining the social worker was a team of 4 MSW student interns from CSUN.
Joining the social worker was a team of 4 MSW student interns from CSUN. Together, they provided 1:1 services to 18 families in the inaugural year. Each family participated in an individualized assessment to set key goals to improve their situation. They faced significant barriers such as un/under-employment; housing challenges; legal issues; histories of trauma due to domestic violence, child molestation, or substance abuse; and so on. In April 2019, FSP held its first client celebration. Most families needed additional help to achieve their individualized goals, however 5 families reached their goals and no longer needed MEND services to make ends meet. We are so encouraged by this result that we have hired an additional LCSW and have expanded the program. Currently, despite COVID-19 challenges, 27 families are participating in case management services.
|Family Support Program||Target Population|
Case managed services
MEND clients with families and readiness to commit to an intensive case management program.
At the age of 32, Amelia, has known more pain and struggle than anyone deserves over a lifetime. She has lived through cruel abuse, rejection, homelessness, intense physical pain and persistent hunger. From a very young age, Amelia worked alongside her Mom, Elizabeth, selling whatever they could to make ends meet.
And, sadly, as she grew older, her mother developed what they later learned to be epilepsy. Caregiving became an important part of her growing list of duties. She says with some regret, “I never went to school because I had to be by my mother’s side.