Empowering Families - Family Resource Center, Giving Families Hope for the Future
Mark knows first-hand how important it is to lend a hand to families and children who areliving with mental health challenges and developmental disabilities. As theFamily Resource and Advocacy Coordinator for Albertina Kerr, he workstirelessly to provide advocacy and support for families and their children. Hehas years of experience, but not all of his expertise comes from hisprofessional career. Mark became involved with Albertina Kerr’s Family ResourceCenter because he is a parent of a child who is experiencing traumatic braininjury. Through raising a child with developmental disabilities and mentalhealth challenges, he is passionate about helping families as they seekhealthcare resources in their own community.
The Family Resource Center is located at Albertina Kerr’s Cascade Station office (9830 NECascades Pkwy, Ste. 200). Staff and volunteers work with families by phone,email and in person to help find community-based resources whether at AlbertinaKerr or elsewhere in the community. The Center is a central resource forquestions, support and advocacy compassion when family challenges becomeoverwhelming.
In addition to support and informational resources, the Family ResourceCenter also offers computers for families to search for employment, housing,health and dental care, transportation and more. And thanks to volunteers whoregularly staff the Family Resource Center, busy families and their childrenalways have effective and efficient support to lean on.
“It’s not just mental health services, it’s bigger than that. It’shousing, utilities, food, social security solutions, resources fortransitioning youth and more,” says Debbie, the Family Support Specialist forthe Family Resource Center. Mark adds, “The Center helps create a betterjourney for the next step.”
Recently, Mark received a phone call from a parent who was helping theirchild, Andrew*, look for employment opportunities. They had never used anoutside agency for assistance, and had relied on doing everything within theirfamily. After gathering information about Andrew, Mark was able toprovide support and empower the family to make phone calls and connections inthe community to benefit their child and the rest of the family. Andrew and hisfamily were excited to realize they were not alone on their journey and theFamily Resource Center was there to help them.
“A common theme in families with a child who is living with mental healthchallenges or developmental disabilities is the idea that they are all alone,”says Mark. “I know our family felt this way in our situation. It isa wonderful gift to families to realize that others have similar experiences.”
The goal of the Family Resource Center is to give families hope,resources and solutions that ultimately create a stronger family as well asbetter connections with healthcare systems in their own community. Services andsupport provided by Kerr’s Family Resource Center give hope to the families andchildren who receive services like Andrew and his family.
For moreinformation about Kerr’s Family Resource Center, please visit AlbertinaKerr.org.
* Name has been changed to protect confidentiality.
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Associate Director, Corporate Development & Giving