Page 15 - Scene Magazine 45-12 December 2020
P. 15

   Non Profit Scene
On Behalf of Family & Children Services
   During Challenging Times: Family & Children Services Stands Strong
If it can be said that one aspect has overshadowed the year 2020 above all others, it would surely be the shadow of the current COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID-19 in Southwest Michigan and nationwide. Another challenge added, Family & Children Services
is ramping up our response to our community. We do so with the help of HANDLE WITH CARE, the annual fund of Family & Children Services, from funds donated by you, members of our community, and passed on to children and families who have emer- gency needs.
our staff to provide individuals with donated items so that they may have something to give to their children during the holiday. It is entirely stocked by community donations from individu- als, schools, churches, local businesses, and corporations.
For Family & Children Services, located at 778 W. Columbia Avenue in Battle Creek and at 1608 Lake Street in Kalamazoo, this was a call to action.
Throughout the year, whatever chal- lenge we meet along the way, Family & Children Services serves the needs of our community. We care because you care.
The pandemic has impacted our en- tire community’s health and well-being. For some sectors of our communities that were already experiencing barri- ers such as affordable housing, food insecurity, disability, mental illness, and poor access to healthcare, that effect is especially intensified.
Our Holiday Giving Program and In-House Holiday Store are other ways to help every child, every family, know a bit of holiday joy. Family & Children Services matches community donors with the needs of our clients. Commu- nity donors provide in-kind donations, such as gifts, food, household supplies, and/or personal care items, to families, children, and individuals in great need throughout the season.
Family & Children Services is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is accredited by the Council on Accred- itation of Services for Families and Children (COA) and is licensed by the State of Michigan as a Child Placing Agency, Child Caring Institution (Chil- dren’s Therapeutic Group Home), and Substance Abuse Program.
For 117 years, Family & Children Services has served those who need our help the most. In 2019, our highly skilled and trained staff of 150 social workers and clinicians served 7,414 clients, 4,356 of whom were chil- dren. The need in 2020 has certainly increased.
The In-House Holiday Store allows
Learn about ways you can help at
Our long-standing experience and commitment to our mission – to sup- port, strengthen, and preserve the safety, well-being, and dignity of children, individuals, and families – has prepared us to navigate the immediate response to COVID-19 and deliver the long-term services needed to continue to support children and families.
 COVID-19 has had a ripple effect of heightened anxiety and stress, triggering domestic violence, substance abuse, child abuse and neglect, mental health issues, and suicide rates. These are health and public safety threats to our community that we cannot afford to ignore.
While our facilities had to temporar- ily close our doors, Family & Children Services staff continued to care for cli- ents. We have done so with the help of virtual technology – offering telehealth and therapy sessions over computer and cell phone screens, but also, as needed, by continuing to attend to our clients in person, masked and socially distanced.
And now, as we enter this holiday season, another surge of stress has been added to escalating statistics of

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