MCH Opening New Family Outreach Center in Waco
Methodist Children’s Home has served children, youth and families since 1890. Through the years, MCH has evolved to meet the needs of the communities it serves. This year big changes are happening for the Waco MCH Family Outreach team.
At the beginning of 2018, MCH finalized the purchase of a two-story, 10,000 square-foot building located at 524 W. Waco Dr., and its neighboring corner property to serve as a new MCH Family Outreach Center in Waco, the first of its kind, according to Moe Dozier, vice president for programs.
“We believe this new building will break any barriers that have been created by the Waco MCH Family Outreach office being located on the Waco residential campus,” said Dozier. “The Howard building where the Outreach office has been located on campus has served us well, but this move places us out in the community and will be another planted flag letting people know that we are here to help.”
Traci Wagner, program administrator for the Eastern region of MCH Family Outreach, echoed Dozier’s desire to position MCH to better serve others.
“Waco Outreach staff is committed to serve through the programs we offer,” she said. “MCH is committed to the Waco community and surrounding areas. We are open to exploring new ways to continue to offer hope to the children, youth and families of Waco.”
MCH representatives and a local architect are working toward opening the center in two phases.
The center is set to open in January 2019 and will include office space for the Waco MCH Family Outreach team featuring several collaborative work areas as well as a sensory room for intentional work with children and families utilizing trauma-informed techniques. The first phase will also include a larger collaborative community space for the various outreach programs, training, meetings and community events. Preparations for the building’s first phase include painting, adding an upgraded security system, moving walls, changing flooring, adding to the existing exterior aesthetic, installing an elevator, and making the entire building ADA compliant.
A second phase of the building will include additional renovated space for further program opportunities that will address needs specific to the Waco community.
“My hope is that through this new Family Outreach Center we can further the mission of MCH and continue to meet the changing needs of the Waco community and the surrounding areas,” said Wagner. “We want to be close to those we serve, in their homes, in their neighborhoods, walking alongside them and offering hope, celebrating their strengths and successes.”
Programs offered by MCH Family Outreach include:
Family Solutions, which provides help to families by providing advocacy and support, connection to resources in the community, and other services. The program provides a combination of individual and family services, case management and advocacy to help the family meet its needs.
Parent Education, which follows an instructional and supportive framework aimed at increasing nurturing skills and reducing the potential for abusive or neglectful behaviors.
The Gap Program, which provides services to grandparents and other relatives who care for children in the absence of parents. MCH supports families by providing in-home assessments, case management services and support groups for caregivers.
According to Brooke Davilla, director of the Waco Outreach Office, the opportunity to share information with caregivers and others has continued to increase. With the space the new center will provide, the Waco Family Outreach team will be able host more opportunities and be a source of support to both clients, professionals and other support teams who engage with families.
“We have been blessed with many opportunities to learn TBRI, Circle of Security, Nurturing Parenting and other curricula, “ said Davilla. “We want to be a resource for others … I believe we truly get to spread the message of hope in the services we offer each day.”
Dozier believes the creation of the MCH Family Outreach Center is a testament to how MCH programs have grown and made differences in the communities MCH serves.
“MCH is growing and changing and acting,” he said. “We are invested in being proactive, not reactive, doing whatever it takes to serve our children, youth and families.”