Engaging Families: Community-Based Services’ Parent Engagement Team
Engaging Families: Community-Based Services’ Parent Engagement Team

Engaging Families: Community-Based Services’ Parent Engagement Team

Our Support Services Go Above and Beyond

When children and families find themselves at a crossroads where therapeutic services are necessary to heal and move forward as a family unit, DePaul’s Community-Based Services program is there to guide the way. Evidence has shown that children and families who receive services while maintaining connections to community supports—such as family members, friends, schools, and churches—are more likely to experience positive results. DePaul understands the importance of sustaining these connections and as a result, our Community-Based Services program was established to extend these services to families and children in the least restrictive environment: their own homes and communities.

Offering a variety of interventions ranging from therapeutic mentoring and outpatient counseling to supervised visitation and reunification services, our Community-Based Services program is growing to meet the many needs in our area. Designed to address trauma while utilizing attachment theory, each service is provided by qualified staff who implement individualized treatment. One of these services, known as the Parent Engagement Team (PET), is a preventative service aimed at keeping children from entering the foster care system. Based in our Lynchburg office, the team consists of Sandra Dalton and Angela Phillips, who operate in the roles of Parent Coach and Parent-Child Aide. They are supervised by Wendy McCoy-Kilgore, who also provides outpatient therapy.

“On the Parent Engagement Team, we strive to improve existing connections and enhance healthy family relationships by working on communication, structure, and family interactions,” Angela stated. “The team works together to conduct assessments, create solid treatment plans, provide intervention, and offer supportive counseling, including hands-on support to parents and families.”

The hands-on support the members of the PET are willing to provide can come in a variety of forms, depending on the needs of the family or individual. “We reach out to help families meet their needs,” Angela said, “whether it is simply providing a ride to an appointment or setting therapy goals and actively working towards a healthy lifestyle with a family or individual.”

While the PET predominantly serves families involved with Child Protective Services and at risk of having a child or children removed from the home, the team can also be helpful to families in other challenging situations, such as those who are experiencing relationship, mental health, or substance abuse issues; working on reunification with children placed in foster care; or struggling following an adoption.

Summer Tetterton, Director of Campbell County Youth, Adult & Community Services, recalled a family her team referred to DePaul’s PET for treatment. The family, consisting of a woman and her three children, had been exposed to domestic violence. In order for them to overcome the trauma they experienced, the PET worked with the mother on parenting skills, communication, and problem solving, and provided her with connections to resources within her community. With the team’s help, the family was able to succeed in meeting all of their treatment goals and continues to do well today.

Stories such as these speak to the heart of what DePaul’s community-based services are all about. As Wendy stated, “We let families know that we can offer hope and healing in their time of need.”

For more information on the Parent Engagement Team or other community-based services offered by DePaul, please contact Letitia Hawkins-Beatty at the Roanoke office.