Nurturing A+ Parents

MD0446 Lutheran Services of Georgia’s A+ Parents program aims to build strong, healthy family relationships to prevent family issues from escalating to the point of requiring Child Protective Services intervention and/or out-of-home placements for children. LSG uses the evidence-based Nurturing Parenting Program curriculum which is designed to build nurturing parenting skills as an alternative to abusive and neglecting parenting and child-rearing practices.

In July 2014, one client reported to LSG Senior staff that A+ Parents classes completely changed her parenting style. The client stated that she struggled to show affection to her six young children because she was not raised in an affectionate household. After class one day, the parenting instructor gave her a homework assignment—to hug her children, to practice showing them affection, and to practice being a more nurturing parent. The instructor challenged her to practice at home until the next class. One week later, the parent returned to class, praising the instructor and saying that she had already noticed a difference with her children. She even joked that her own mother needed to attend the parenting class.

Before starting A+ Parents, the client was hesitant. She believed she didn’t need to take the class. However, she now sees the class as the light in her day. She leaves every class re-charged and in a better mood, feeling more positive about herself as a parent and more confident in her parenting skills.

For more information about the A+ Parents program and other Family Intervention Services LSG offers, click here.

Reuniting the Rogers Family: A FIS Success Story


By: David White, Case Manager, Family Intervention Services

After Mr. and Mrs Rogers' three children were removed from their home and placed into foster care, the Department of Family and Children Services referred them to Lutheran Services of Georgia's Family Intervention Services (FIS) program. FIS offers an array of services to children and families that build, maintain, and strengthen relationships. LSG staff created a case plan for the parents to follow to regain custody of their children, a plan which included supervised visitation with their children, parenting classes, and counseling sessions focused around both personal and relational issues. The family had multiple tasks to complete before the children could return home, but despite the emotional unrest, the Rogers put forth their best effort.

The Rogers showed perseverance in getting their children back home regardless of the many obstacles they faced. Although they had no personal means of transportation, they used public transportation and reached out to family members to get to all of their appointments. During the process, the family secured adequate housing so their children would have proper shelter upon return. Mrs. Rogers started school and stressed how much she desired to provide a better life for her children. Mr. Rogers secured stable employment and even worked closely with his case manager to develop a budget to ensure that the money he earned was being used effectively. Even when they thought their children would be returned to them only to discover that there were more tasks to complete, they didn’t complain and continued on with even more determination.

Throughout the case plan, the Rogers’ hearts were heavy and they missed their children dearly, but they remained steadfast. Many times, the children cried after visitations because they didn’t want to leave their parents, but the Rogers stayed strong for their children and ensured them they would return home soon. Even though they faced every obstacle imaginable—lack of finances, transportation, and medical problems—they made sure that every requirement on their case plan was met. They were truly focused on one goal—to regain custody of their children.

The Rogers remained cooperative and hopeful for a favorable outcome. They were serious about taking advantage of the services provided through FIS and were always engaged in parenting classes and counseling sessions. For the Rogers, the FIS case plan wasn’t merely items on a list that needed to be checked off; they sincerely wanted to move forward in life as better parents and eagerly absorbed all the information and knowledge given to them. They even got married during this process, demonstrating how serious they were about being a family and making changes for the better together. In my opinion, the Rogers family is a perfect example of commitment, determination, and genuinely seeking a positive life transformation. They did not let the negative situation and circumstances in their life break them down; instead, they humbled themselves and took this as an opportunity for growth in every area of their lives.

In June 2014, the Rogers regained custody of their children and were happily reunited. Although they still face minor challenges, they appear better equipped to positively handle them. Thanks to their commitment to improving their lives and apply the lessons learned in FIS parenting classes and counseling sessions, the Rogers are ready to move forward, together, as a family.

*Names and identifying information have been altered to protect the family. For more information about FIS, click here.


Alie Advocates for Child Welfare in D.C.!

Alie Redd at the Capitol On May 6-8, LSG’s Vice President of Programs Alie Redd, LCSW, participated in the Child Welfare League of America’s 2014 National Advocacy Summit in Washington, D.C. Below, Alie shares her experience advocating for the nation’s vulnerable children.

I was invited by Together Georgia to participate in the Child Welfare League of America’s 2014 National Advocacy Summit in Washington, DC, on May 6 through 8. The summit addressed child welfare issues and helped organizations and individuals understand how to advocate on the Hill for child welfare reform. I, along with two colleagues fromCHRIS Kids, visited Congressmen John Lewis, Thomas Price, M.D., John Barrow, and Johnny Isakson’s offices and met with their staff to advocate for children in Georgia specifically about privatization of child welfare, mental health, and adoption. The summit taught attendees how to prepare specific talking points to address Congress and how to approach these influential people and decision makers with confidence.  This was particularly powerful because most people think Congressmen are unreachable or unapproachable. However, I found congressional staff to be welcoming and open to input and suggestions from their constituents.

At the summit, I learned how to advocate on a national level for vulnerable people who do not have a voice and for those who may no have the means to advocate for themselves or their loved ones. At first I was really nervous because I wasn’t sure what to say, but the summit taught me how to organize my thoughts. Then, all the voices of the children I have served throughout the years began to tell their stories through my voice. I was so proud to represent the vulnerable children of Georgia. Once I returned to Georgia, I shared with others how easy it is to make sure voices are heard in Congress. I also participated in a Lunch and Learn workshop to teach others at LSG how to ensure their voices are heard and how to advocate for those in need.

For more information about the Child Welfare League of America, click here.

Prevent Child Abuse Georgia Relaunches Statewide 1-800-CHILDREN Helpline

Prevent Child Abuse Georgia recently announced the return of 1-800-CHILDREN, its free referral line for Georgians concerned about the healthy development of children and the prevention of child abuse. The 1-800-CHILDREN Helpline is professionally staffed by operators from Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Georgia and will operate Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Unlike the Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS) statewide centralized intake number, the Helpline is not a number to call in crisis or when making a report of child abuse or neglect (Click here to learn how to report child abuse or neglect). Rather, operators will be available to provide information regarding parenting support, community resources, counseling services, referrals for legal needs, concern about the well-being of a child or family member, family violence, and other child maltreatment prevention issues.

PCA Georgia is a state chapter of Prevent Child Abuse America. The organization provides statewide direction to prevent child abuse and neglect, promote healthy children, and develop strong families through its prevention network, public awareness, prevention programs, and advocacy.

Click here to find out more about 1-800-CHILDREN and PCA Georgia.