“When we found out about the good work that Families Free is doing right here in our community with a faith-based model, we wanted to open our doors to support them,” said Tabitha Sells, a Harvest Community Church member.
“One way we did that was by serving as a facility host to the first Mom Power classes that Families Free led. We then learned of Families Free’s coffee enterprise and how it further supports local employment opportunities for vulnerable women. We enjoy a good cup of coffee on Sunday mornings. So now – we’ll be enjoying a good cup of Families Free Woven coffee!”
Families Free is honored to be a part of Mom Power, an evidence-based trauma-informed parenting and self-care skills group designed for mothers of young children (ages 0-6). Mom Power is a 10-week parenting group intervention that was developed specifically to reach vulnerable families, and it is being offered free of charge in part through grant funding from East Tennessee State University. We are thankful that Diana Morelen (Ph.D. IMH-E®, Dept of Psychology, ETSU) worked so diligently to share and facilitate the Mom Power model in Tennessee.
Parenting is hard enough under the best circumstances, and when you add risk factors such as perinatal mental health difficulties, maternal history of adverse childhood experiences, ongoing adversity, financial stressors, etc—it makes parenting that much harder. We believe that by supporting caregivers and empowering mothers to consistently and confidently support their child’s social and emotional development, this not only impacts our region but the entire state. Our next group begins today (February 13th), and we look forward to seeing firsthand how #LoveRestores over the coming weeks.
MeredithMom Power – A Therapeutic Intervention for Mothers of Young Children
Pie it Forward is their play on Pay it Forward – they just add pie! Just in time for Valentine’s Day, our Cherry Pie flavor is the perfect blend of sweet & tart cherries and their house made lattice crust. Proceeds from their Cherry Pie sales will be donated to Families Free, and we will be taking part in a few special events with Buttermilk Sky Pie Shop this month, so stay tuned for more details. In the meantime, we invite you to share the love and stop by their shop to pick up our featured flavor.#pieitforward#LoveRestores
We are looking to add to our team!
A part-time/full-time position is currently open for a Family Specialist to work with at-risk families within the upper eight counties of Tennessee. The ideal candidate would have at least one year of full-time experience working with clients. A bachelor’s degree is required in either social work, counseling or another Human Services field.
Candidate’s hours must be flexible, and you must be willing to work evenings/weekends. Self-motivation and good time management are required. Candidate must be able to pass a background check and possess a valid driver’s license. Duties will include providing transportation, case management, teaching parenting education, documentation and other responsibilities as assigned. The position will require some travel for training. Visit our contact page, and fill out the form to receive more information.
On November 29th the Families Free team was excited to host Stepping Out, a private clothing event for our clients held at First Christian Church. We were so thankful to receive gently-used clothing donations from the Owl’s Nest, and through their generosity, our clients where able to take home a variety of outfits. Most importantly, the clothes not only represent new outfits – they also symbolize progress and new opportunities.
It would be impossible to truly quantify the impact of one life, let alone a family, multiple families, and the members of a community. The totals you see above are something we are proud of, but they don’t take into account the connections made through group sessions, how our clients encourage those they work alongside and the people who feel inspired by the stories of the individuals and families we serve. Simply put, the effects go beyond almost six hundred families: these effects start a chain reaction that can’t be measured.
With our team’s dedication and insight into the needs of our community, we can only imagine the effects our programs will have in the coming year. Everyone at Families Free is truly humbled by the support we receive in our mission to offer assistance to those in need. Every day we see firsthand how #LoveRestores.
We are so grateful that our work with the community has been featured in the news once more! Local news station WJHL ran the story of one of our volunteers Myra Phipps and included information about our partnership with Bellafina Chocolates. Through Bellafina we make and distribute our gourmet chocolates and coffee, and this collaboration helps provide sustainable employment for women in our area. To read the full story follow this link or watch the video above.
Families Free is happy to announce that we have been awarded the Nurturing Families of Tennessee contract from the Department of Children’s Services for the Northeast region.
Family Specialists with Families Free will be providing 16 weeks of in-home services to families in our region that are at a moderate to high risk of their children entering the state’s custody. Clients will have to be referred through the Department of Children’s Services, but we wanted our community to know we are on the front line of intervention and response. We will be going into homes to sit down and present clients with this new opportunity, and this service will provide education using the evidence-based Nurturing Parenting curriculum. The goal of this program is to increase parental capacity to reduce both admissions and length of stay in the foster care system, as well as support family restoration. Families Free will begin receiving referrals for this new program on September 15, 2017. Nurturing Families of Tennessee is made possible by our partnership with kidcentraltn.com.
MeredithOur New Program – Nurturing Families Of Tennessee
As part of their “Addicted at Birth Series,” Tammy Childress of the Bristol Herald Courier dives deeper into the personal stories of those affected by addiction in our region. In the follow up to the first piece, WOVEN Coordinator Rachel Adams and Families Free Executive Director Lisa Tipton discuss how our program provides vital treatment, tools, and support for mothers who have delivered, or are at risk for delivering, a drug-exposed infant. To read the full article, and learn more about the first-hand experiences of women who have taken part in WOVEN’s three-part program, follow the link here. #LoveRestores
Writer Tammy Childress of the Bristol Herald Courier tells the story of Shawna Ramos, whose newborn son was born with NAS – neonatal abstinence syndrome.
Born exposed to the Subutex that his mother took throughout her pregnancy (as part of medical assisted treatment), Shawna’s son Ashton started receiving morphine every three to four hours to help ease the effects of withdrawal. “It’s been a wakeup call. Seeing him like this and knowing what he is going through makes me realize that I need to stop using,” Ramos said, looking at her son sleeping in her lap. “I know now that I need to even stop taking the Subutex because even though it helps me, it’s not worth this — I think seeing the pain he is in will help me to get clean.”
DCS was called when Ashton was diagnosed with NAS, and Ramos said they are handling things differently this time. “This time, the case worker that came to the hospital told me about a program in Johnson City called WOVEN,” she said. “They have support groups and other things that can help me come off drugs and stay clean. I’ve already talked to them twice, so I’m going to go there, and they can help me come off of everything.”
You can find the full article via the Bristol Herald Courier here. To learn more about our WOVEN program, please follow this link.