FAMILY LIAISON PROGRAM
Racial disparities and inequitable treatment persist for African American families involved with child protection. Village Arms seeks to keep our families whole by eliminating inequitable practice through our Family Liaison Program.
Here to support your family
Facing Child Protection creates anxiety and stress; don't do it alone. A family liaison from Village Arms can work with your family during your child protection case. Family liaisons provide culturally specific services to African American families in Hennepin County.
We work to deter families from court involvement, out of home placement and termination of parental rights. We explore alternatives that utilize community and familial supports to foster child safety, in home service provision and family reunification.
What to expect
When Child Protection Services (CPS) receives a report of suspected child abuse, they first check to see if it meets statutory requirements. If the report meets requirements, CPS assigns a Family Investigation or Family Assessment and a social worker is assigned to work with the family and explore the reported harm. That’s where we come in.
During the investigation or assessment process, Village Arms works with the parents and the social worker to create a safety plan. This ensures that the child(ren) are safe within their family so that removal, placement, and court involvement are not necessary. During safety planning, parents will have the opportunity to identify and include their support network of family and friends. Regular family meetings are held to openly discuss safety risks and to update the safety plan as needed. This means parents feel supported while safety is built for the child(ren).
How to participate
If you are of African American heritage and have an open child protection case in Hennepin County, contact your social worker or attorney and request a Village Arms Family Liaison. They will put us in touch!
The Hennepin County Adult Representation Services Department provides high quality legal representation at no cost to clients who are parents, guardians or custodians involved in child protection cases, individuals disputing paternity or parents facing contempt for failing to pay child support. Eligibility depends on income and other criteria. Please call 612-348-7012 to discuss eligibility.
OUR GUIDING PRINCIPLES
Sanctity of the African American Family Keeping African American families together is paramount and children cannot be seen as separate from their families.
Empowerment African American families can create their own solutions
Respect and humility African American families are the experts on themselves and we must learn from their wisdom and experiences.
Innovation African American families are unique and need individualized, creative services and support
Restorative practices African American families are coping with historical trauma and we must deliver services in a way that dismantles systemic racism and promotes healing.