Family Stability Community Assessment
Mission of Family Stability Team: To help Greene County residents work together through programs and activities to build and strengthen bonds between family members. We believe that through this strategy, families will become more educated in fulfilling their everyday needs, and then will be prepared to use transportation, housing, behavioral health, child care, and other family-based programs to become more self-sufficient.
The MAGIC Family Stability Team works to help families in Greene County to become more self-sufficient and thrive. For the purpose of the assessment, several issues that impact family stability were examined. The following are some of the findings.
- 28% of residents stated that there was at least one child under the age of 18 living in the home. Of those with children, 56% stated that they feel they “often or always” spend enough time with their children (see Figure A).
- 24% of residents reported that someone in the household suffered from severe stress in the last two (2) years.
- 20% of residents reported that someone in the household had a mental health or emotional problem in the last two (2) years; 17% received help for that problem.
- Stakeholders (community residents, businesses, and service providers) agreed that mental health issues, drug and alcohol issues, and poor parenting are problems in Greene County (see Figure B).
- 36% of service providers surveyed believe that the lack of basic life skills among clients is a barrier to clients accessing needed services.
DISCUSSION GROUPS SAY:
Strengths of Greene County are:
- Smallness and closeness of the communities.
- Honest, hardworking people with good values and morals.
- Good human services and support systems.
Challenges in Greene County are:
- People are depressed (especially in the eastern part of the county).
- Parents lack responsibility.
- Children are removed from homes when parenting classes and other supports could keep families together.
Vision for Greene County in the Future
Informal supports available to help families
Prevention programs in communities and schools
Increase in number and quality of Mental Health/Mental Retardation providers
Breaking the chain of generations copying each other
Source: Community resident, business, and service provider discussion groups
RELATED DATA SAYS:
- Alcohol and drug abuse in the family, parental neglect, and family and domestic conflict were identified as serious life stressors for school-age youth in Greene County (School Based Mental Health: A Greene County Needs Assessment, 2003).
- Residents of Carmichaels Area, Waynesburg Central, West Greene, and Jefferson-Morgan school districts identified drugs and alcohol and lack of parental involvement as concerns (CTC Rain Day Survey Results, 2002).
- Head Start/Early Head Start parents in Greene County identified transportation and wrap-around child care services as needs not being met (Head Start/Early Head Start Community Assessment FY 2002-2004).
- The number of children in the Children and Youth Services system placed out of the home and into institutional settings, foster care, or other community-based settings increased from 53 in July 2004 to 67 in March 2005 (CY28 Quarterly Reports, 07/01/04-03/31/05).
SOME RESOURCES IN GREENE COUNTY:
- Community Action Southwest Family Sufficiency Programs.
- Single County Authority Drug and Alcohol programs (prevention and treatment) and innovative efforts to address drug and alcohol issues in adults (such as the Mental-Illness Substance Abuse initiative).
- ChildFest, at which approximately 300 families have attended for the past three (3) years (approximately 1,000 total adults and children).
- Job Training Agency of Greene County.
SOME THINGS TO CONSIDER:
- Assess mental health and drug and alcohol service assets and needs in Greene County.
- Explore options to provide informal supports to improve family stability and self-sufficiency, building upon the close-knit nature of Greene County communities.
- Identify ways to improve life skills among youth and adults.
- Expand programs to improve parenting skills and parent involvement, exploring innovative ways to engage parents.