Sofia, a mother of two daughters, ages 2 and 7, with another on the way, was referred to MCH Family Outreach in El Paso by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. She was dealing with anger and facing struggles that were impacting her family. Her partner, who had just returned from military service, was adjusting to the family. Sofia was in a custody dispute with her ex-husband over her oldest daughter, and the conflict was affecting her daughter’s behavior. During their work together, the case manager discovered Sofia’s anger may have begun after losing a son. The couple did not receive adequate help in dealing with the trauma, resulting in the end of their relationship. Sofia, now with a new partner, came to MCH for help in coping with her anger and to learn strategies to help keep her family intact. Their case manager began to teach, guide and support the family through parent education. Through the process, Sofia made significant progress, changed her approach and accepted professional help. The custody case was resolved where both parents remained in their child’s life. Communication improved between Sofia and her current partner, and the children appeared happier and more attached to their caregivers. Sofia said she felt better prepared when her baby was born because she learned to let go of control and accept that she is good enough in her parenting and that it is healthy to feel and express her needs. Now she is able to enjoy the present to nurture a better future.
Ms. A* is a single grandmother raising her one-year-old grandson. She enrolled in the Gap program in October 2019. She began caring for her grandson due to her daughter’s poor choices, and they both agreed it would be best for him to stay with her. Ms. A was employed when she initially began caring for her grandson, but a few months afterward she was terminated, causing her financial strain. She requested assistance with obtaining diapers and affordable childcare so that she could begin looking for a new job. MCH Family Outreach in Houston provided Ms. A with resources as well as Christmas gifts and hygiene items during the holiday season. She recently found a part-time job and was helped with work attire and clothing for her growing grandson. Ms. A said she was grateful for MCH supporting her during such a difficult time. She is looking forward to finding a new job, and possibly obtaining guardianship of her grandson. She said she feels empowered and motivated to make changes. Her case manager said, “It has been my pleasure to work with her. She is always positive and open to ideas.”
*Name changed for privacy.
MCH Family Outreach in Lubbock partners weekly with Open Door Survivor Housing (ODSH), a transitional housing program providing a home and therapeutic supportive services for adult survivors of sex trafficking and their children. The Lubbock staff provide weekly parent education groups and host spa days quarterly for the survivors. Parent Café, a new MCH support group model, was launched at this location in February 2020. Staff also worked with survivors through the Family Solutions program. During the spa days, survivors are given supplies to do manicures, pedicures and facials. One of the MCH staff members is a licensed cosmetologist and volunteers to cut and style the hair of any participant who is in need. In the parent education groups, participants learn Nurturing Parenting, Connected Caregivers and Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI). Staff said the participants have been engaged in the learning process and able to connect the information with their own experiences. Creating self-worth is a common theme within the groups. Staff at the Lubbock office say they feel blessed to partner with a program that shares in offering hope and healing to an underserved population.
A Spanish-speaking mother of four was referred to MCH Family Outreach in Waco by a local organization called La Puerta. She initially reached out due to her struggles with her son’s behavior and school issues, but wanted to work on connection and discipline for the whole family. Waco staff supported the family by leading nurture groups to build the family’s bond. Her case manager also helped the mother cope with previous trauma which was affecting her ability to manage her emotions and expectations, especially when trying to discipline her children. She and her son both started separate counseling and are improving. Her oldest daughter, who was struggling with depression and anxiety about her future, was able to visit a local community college and now feels hopeful. The mother is engaging with community groups to elevate her self-worth and also recently enrolled in ESL classes.