I would like to extend an invitation to join the Family First movement to not only restore families but to potentially change the outcome of kids' lives forever. We are looking for experienced counselors who are willing to be part of a Special Units Team for this in-home family intensive program. Here is what one Family First family had to say about their experience and those who worked with them:
“We loved that the Family First program was about believing in us as parents--even when we didn’t believe in ourselves and felt completely defeated and hopeless. Having someone who held the detailed blueprint for healing for our family and walked us through the very challenging process of how to rebuild, was invaluable. When we didn’t have the energy to continue, or lost hope that things could change, our counselor kept saying, “Trust the process--it will work”. And she was so right! Our family is absolutely changed and the kids are doing great. Coming from such a dark place originally, it still feels so miraculous. We hope lots of counselors catch the vision for the amazing opportunity they have to significantly change kids’ lives forever. It’s not rocket science--it's brain science. And that’s made all the difference.”
The initial training and certification you would receive for Family First includes 16+ hours of training with me. With our Learning Management System and your Facilitator’s Workbook, I will guide you in how to set up a family for success in their home. In addition, we will talk about how to train the paraprofessionals that will be working with you on your team. The tools we use in the program will likely be familiar to you, however its the timing and repetition of what we do that helps to change brains for the better.
Here is the process:
1. Parents participate in Family First Parent Training with Michelle (8 hours)
2. Family is referred to agency for the program
3. Counselor and family determines program start date
4. Counselor meets with parents at the office prior to start date to get ready
Lead counselors can usually oversee 3-5 families at a time as they typically are not always at the same point in the program.
Prior to the start date, counselors work with the families to get things ready and to make sure parents clear their calendar (of other services as well) for 30 days. We recommend the start date is an evening meeting at the home so after the expectations are clearly communicated to everyone in the family, the family can start fresh the next day. The Lead counselor (with the paraprofessional present) will do that initial meeting with all the family members.
From there, hours in the home vary. Please see the Program Flow document for details. A necessary part, for the success of the program, is 24/7 phone availability to the parents for problem solving and challenging situations. The Family First Program is the most intense for the first 30 days. Obviously, the issues of the family and the number of kids involved determines the actual length of services. Our desire, however, is that you continue to stay in contact with the family long-term by providing counseling services as needed (if part of an agency).
Your Family First Special Units Team certification occurs after completing the Training Modules on the LMS and 8+ hours of training with Michelle. You will also have several hours of safety training. Your certification is with the current agency where you were certified. The certification may only be transferred to another FFP certified agency.
I hope this has helped to give you a realistic view of the position. While this may be the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far as a professional, it could potentially be the most rewarding. Thank you for considering being a part of this movement to focus on the parents to help restore kids and families in your community.
Michelle Williams-Alden, LPC