Recently, the Full Frame Initiative held a day-long training in St. Louis City with Court personnel, Division of Youth Services staff and Children’s Division staff. The training covered several topics, such as an overview of the Five Domains of Wellbeing, understanding tradeoffs and reviewing a court case. One of the other topics explored in the training was natural community supports. Each group was given a St. Louis City Neighborhood and asked to identify the actual name of community members from the mail carrier to the middle school teacher. Participants were not allowed to Google information but only use personal connections. The activity was a powerful way to solidify the importance of natural community supports.
Take a minute to listen to a group of 5th graders who wrote an article titled “You Really Don’t Know Us,” about their community. It is extremely powerful to hear from the youth about their community. Think about the neighborhood you work in, what are the natural supports in your community? Think beyond paid services because most paid providers will not be in the family’s life after the intervention. Think about who can help the family to make change that lasts.
Written by Carla Gilzow, Quality Assurance Unit Manager with Missouri Children’s Division.