MASON COUNTY —Rhonda McCormick told those gathered at the recent Community Collaborative meeting that intervention in aid of the development of needy children and prevent high-risk behavior in later life should be the focus of child welfare services.
McCormick, who is the family advocate for Legal Aid of West Virginia, visited Mason County for the inter-county meeting, said that a multi-pronged approach is necessary in family welfare-based programs.
“Prevention is ideally where the big bucks should go,” said McCormick, “We’ve always talked about putting those lower level needs first.”
The group, which included organizational members of the Mason County Family Resource Network as well as member of other counties’ FRNs, discussed the advantages of a multi-discliplined approach to family welfare.
“Prevention and education is the way to go,” said McCormick.
However, McCormick added, when people are in crisis the crisis must be averted first and that takes time and money.
“The intentions are good,” she added.
In an effort to provided some lower-level education and prevention, though, McCormich said that she will hold an upcoming training called Family Youth Engagement. The first of these training sessions will be held at the Mason County first at the homeless shelter.
“Family Youth Engagement training teaches providers how to work with families and what to expect.”
McCormick talked about about other future trainings, such as Levels of Care training for providers and families, which relates to psychiatric care and treatment of children.
“The training describes each level of care,” she said. “It looks at what a level one is, what do you see in a child’s behavior.”
McCormick said that the training will be provided via a WebCT program, and will be made public so that parents and providers can view it.