This month we will celebrate Mother’s Day. While many families will enjoy a day surrounded by loved ones, the holiday is a painful reminder for other families that life doesn’t always go according to plans. Some families struggle to create a stable and strong home life, and aren’t sure where to turn for help. Adults in the home may face serious problems of poverty or abuse, or they may simply need guidance to learn how to be a good parent. Whether the challenge is great or small, Alabama’s Department of Human Resources (DHR) can provide the answer.
In 1993, the Alabama DHR became responsible for administering the state’s Family Preservation and Support Services Program. The legislation is designed to promote family strength and stability, enhance parental functioning, and protect children. DHR operates 12 Family Service Centers throughout the state to provide community-based activities that increase the ability of families to successfully nurture their children.
The mission of each Family Service Center is for children to be protected from abuse and neglect. Also, whenever possible, families should be preserved and strengthened in order to nurture and raise children in safe, healthy and stable environments. Centers are community-based, comprehensive, accessible to the general population, and provide goal-directed services that are individualized, prevention-oriented and needs-based.
Centers provide services which include needs assessment, goal-setting, case management, and assistance for basic needs like health, safety and stability. They help families find food, clothing and shelter when needed or in a crisis. Supportive services such as childcare, job skills training, adult education, and transportation are provided. Parenting training, counseling services, and teaching budgeting are also furnished. The centers coordinate with individual county offices of the Department of Human Resources.
All Family Service Centers are funded through the Alabama DHR with federal funds from the Promoting Safe and Stable Families portion of the Adoption and Safe Families Act. Centers in the state are located in Dothan, Birmingham, Montgomery, Phenix City, Valley, Bay Minette, Anniston, Hayneville, Talladega, Greensboro, Sylacauga, and Tuscaloosa. For a complete list of Family Service Center locations and contact information, visit the Alabama Department of Human Resources online at www.dhr.state.al.us and click on the Family Services and Family Service Centers links, or call 334-242-1310.
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