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 are
living with mental health challenges and developmental disabilities. As the
Family Resource and Advocacy Coordinator for Albertina Kerr, he works
tirelessly to provide advocacy and support for families and their children. He
has years of experience, but not all of his expertise comes from his
professional career. Mark became involved with Albertina Kerr’s Family Resource
Center because he is a parent of a child who is experiencing traumatic brain
injury. Through raising a child with developmental disabilities and mental
health challenges, he is passionate about helping families as they seek
healthcare resources in their own community.
The Family Resource Center is located at Albertina Kerr’s Cascade Station office (9830 NE
Cascades Pkwy, Ste. 200). Staff and volunteers work with families by phone,
email and in person to help find community-based resources whether at Albertina
Kerr or elsewhere in the community. The Center is a central resource for
questions, support and advocacy compassion when family challenges become
In addition to support and informational resources, the Family Resource
Center also offers computers for families to search for employment, housing,
health and dental care, transportation and more. And thanks to volunteers who
regularly staff the Family Resource Center, busy families and their children
always have effective and efficient support to lean on.
“It’s not just mental health services, it’s bigger than that. It’s
housing, utilities, food, social security solutions, resources for
transitioning youth and more,” says Debbie, the Family Support Specialist for
the Family Resource Center. Mark adds, “The Center helps create a better
journey for the next step.”
Recently, Mark received a phone call from a parent who was helping their
child, Andrew*, look for employment opportunities. They had never used an
outside agency for assistance, and had relied on doing everything within their
family. After gathering information about Andrew, Mark was able to
provide support and empower the family to make phone calls and connections in
the community to benefit their child and the rest of the family. Andrew and his
family were excited to realize they were not alone on their journey and the
Family Resource Center was there to help them.
“A common theme in families with a child who is living with mental health
challenges or developmental disabilities is the idea that they are all alone,”
says Mark. “I know our family felt this way in our situation. It is
a 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 as
better connections with healthcare systems in their own community. Services and
support provided by Kerr’s Family Resource Center give hope to the families and
children who receive services like Andrew and his family.
information about Kerr’s Family Resource Center, please visit AlbertinaKerr.org.
* Name has been changed to protect confidentiality.