Help is Here! The Fatima Family Center’s Community Based Services Program

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By Danielle Braden, MSSA, LSW and Rachael Williams, B.A.

Like the rest of the United States, families in Cleveland, Ohio’s Hough neighborhood and the central city are struggling to navigate the crisis that is the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has left families to address the grief that comes with the loss of family and friends. This is also a time when families must adjust to virtual schooling and remote learning demands, find solutions to managing job loss and food insecurity, utilities disconnection and homelessness. In the Hough, Goodrich Gannett, St. Clair-Superior, lower downtown and the outlying Chagrin Falls Village communities you do not have to face these problems alone.

Help for Area Families

The Fatima Family Center’s Community Based Services Program (CBS) is also known throughout the neighborhood as Family-to-Family (F2F).

They strive to help families thrive and not just survive. This prevention-intervention program is dedicated to the growth and health of families. The work of the CBS program emphasizes the need for caring, nurturing support and protection both within the family unit and from the surrounding community. They place their focus on families facing all sorts of situations linked to parenting and relative care giving, supporting parents as well as grandparents or other relatives caring for their own children or grandchildren, nieces and nephews and cousins. Fatima also addresses the concerns of:

  • Prevention of child welfare cases
  • Advocacy in open child welfare cases
  • Teen parents juggling school, work, parenting and family life
  • Domestic violence, family relational distress and divorce
  • Joblessness and the loss of employment
  • Coping with physical or mental and emotional illness
  • Parental drug addiction and alcoholism
  • Parental incarceration
  • Caring for one or more physically or emotionally disabled children
  • Homelessness
  • Resettlement and relocation to the Cleveland, Cuyahoga County region
  • Navigating adulthood and developing independence upon aging out of foster care

Umbrella of Services

According to CBS-F2F Program Director Dr. Sheila Ferguson, “our area families are strong and resilient.” When they partner with the program they go from strength to greater strength. By working with the CBS/Family-to Family Program they begin to focus on such goals as: healing old wounds and hurts, moving towards their dreams of going to college, improving family relationships, improving their credit scores or buying a home.

Ferguson notes that the program also helps families learn the skills of formulating an action plan for change, growth, self-improvement and family strengthening. It arms parents with new knowledge about well child care, child development, nutrition, housing, environmental health and safety, budgeting, job training and vocational development, and more creative ways of living.

The goal of the CBS program is to concentrate area resources on area families. Please feel free to call (216) 361-1244.  CBS offices are located on the campus of the Fatima Family Center 6600 Lexington Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44103.