Resilience and Equity
By DePriest Waddy, Families First CEO
The challenges of the last year have impacted all of us. From social injustices to racial inequality and COVID, our communities are suffering. We have also seen great acts of heroism with our front-line workers who have continued to serve our communities. A common thread that has emerged is the power of resilience. At Families First, we believe that resilience is the foundation of building strong communities.
Families First views resilience through the lens of a set of assets, strategies and supportive measures that allow a family to recover when adversity, trauma, threats, tragedy or stress hits. Resilience matters because it enables adults to model healthy behaviors that increase the resilience of their children, and it decreases the effects of significant adversity on children’s health and development. It can be learned through proactive experiences, coping skills and strong relationships, and it can be measured.
At the end of last year, we launched our Navigator Care Model as the foundation of our new mission, building resilient families so all children can thrive. Since then, we have launched our screening tool to assess resiliency, a person’s ability to get back out there and their readiness to face life’s challenges. Our Families First team members have been the boots on the ground to help families strengthen and build resilience. Each of our families’ paths are different and our Navigators are there with them every step of the way.
We recognize the cycles of poverty are not broken by one program or service alone, so we offer a combination of services and supports with community partners, virtual services and locations throughout the state of Georgia. This holistic, comprehensive, results-driven approach results in awareness of the barriers to prevent families from achieving success and social equity. It develops partnerships with community leaders to reduce barriers and increase advocacy for change. Through this approach, baseline assessments of the families are created to determine each member’s unique needs, care plan, check-in timelines, and aftercare plan to measure improvement. Working with partners like the Westside Future Fund, Georgia Center for Opportunity, Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, Impact46, Goodwill of North Georgia, Raising Expectations and others, Families First is helping our families create a personalized approach to move from surviving to thriving.
Families First Navigator Care Model: A Bold New Vision to Build Resilience for Generations
At Families First we understand the needs of ‘now,’ but we want to be deliberate in helping people combat the needs of ‘tomorrow,’ because these learned skills of resiliency can be passed along for generations to come. Our ultimate goal is to break the cycle of social stagnation and change population profiles from surviving to thriving communities. That is our contribution to service and social justice.