Friday, January 22, 2016

MCH joins organizations in support of MCH Family Outreach programs

Methodist Children’s Home recently joined Generations United and the National Foster Parent Association, two national membership organizations who advocate for families. Through these memberships, MCH will be connected to resources and information on issues that impact our families.

“We were looking for nationally recognized organizations or groups that would fit with our core beliefs and practices, but could also provide networking, training and research opportunities,” said Traci Wagner, MCH Family Outreach administrator for the eastern region who researched the organizations for MCH. “These resources will help us to stay current on the needs of children and families, as well as best practices and trends in child welfare and outreach.”

The mission of Generations United (GU) is “to improve the lives of children, youth and older people through intergenerational collaboration, public policies, and programs for the enduring benefit of all.” 

They believe that “grandparents and other adults who step forward to raise children are keeping families together and providing an economic service to our country,” according to the GU website.
Moe Dozier, vice president for programs at MCH, said the Grandparents As Parents Program (GAPP) at MCH has seen a lot of growth in the last couple of years so MCH felt it was a good time to join a national organization that also supports grandparents.

“We want to move toward a more evidence-based approach to GAPP and see what others in the field are doing as we continue to grow our program,” Dozier said.

MCH also joined the National Foster Parent Association, a non-profit organization that supports foster, adoptive and kinship parents nationally. The mission of NFPA is “to support foster parents in achieving safety, permanence and well-being for the children and youth in their care.”

Dozier said MCH has a broad continuum of care through our programs and services so we want to connect to various organizations who specialize in the specific needs of each type of family we serve.

“There is a lot happening at the national and state levels so we want to be members of organizations who will connect us to the latest information on legislation and changes in the field,” he said.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

MCH starts mentor pilot program

Mentor Committe members (from left): Austin Brown, Mary Rollins,
Jean Wright, Karen Blanco, Lindsey Fortner, Lindy Dehm;
not pictured - Julie Spiech, Suzanne Frerich
Methodist Children’s Home, guided by the 2011-2015 Strategic Plan has launched a six-month pilot study for a Mentor Program.

Jean Wright, staff trainer, and Suzanne Frerich, unit manager, lead the mentor committee. The mentor committee has spent the past several months devoting time and attention to the new employee experience. Specifically, committee members have assessed the needs and challenges new employees face in their transition to MCH such as connection to the agency, organizational knowledge and MCH culture.

 The pilot study will be held on the Waco campus, Boys Ranch and in two of the MCH Family Outreach offices in Texas.

“The committee anticipates the guidance, support and empowerment from a mentor may help a new employee grow professionally, intellectually and spiritually at MCH,” said Wright.

Committee members have volunteered to mentor new employees during the pilot study and hope to build meaningful relationships, connect new employees to the MCH community, offer support and encouragement, and provide organizational knowledge.

“I am excited about the Mentor Pilot program and hope that new employees will benefit from having a mentor to help guide them through this new journey here at MCH,” said Frerich. “My goal as a mentor is to help mentees build relationships throughout MCH. I feel that relationships are the foundation to being successful in everything we do.”

Julius McCarter, admissions intake coordinator, and new MCH employee, had this to share, “As a young professional and new employee, I am excited that MCH has an employee mentorship program. It can be difficult navigating the waters of a new place of employment. This program provides me with the opportunity to get acclimated to the culture here, while connecting with staff in different departments.”

Wright added, “The result of the pilot program will help the committee make an informed recommendation to executive management this fall. The value of even one meaningful relationship could make a profound impact on how all employees trust and invest in relationships long-term.”

Austin Brown was matched with new employee Julius McCarter
for the mentor pilot program.