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News Archives

Talking to Kids About Tragedy

Children don’t think exactly like adults. When discussing this week’s shooting at an Ohio high school, deadly severe storms or other tragedies with children, it’s important to take special care. Carrie Little, program coordinator/educator at Family & Children’s Services, has tips to help parents talk to their children about tragedy.

 

 

 

 

Need professional help in dealing with trauma in your child’s life? We can help. Click here to learn more about trauma treatment services at Family & Children’s Services.

New Ideas in Health Care Benefit Clients, Entire Community – By Dianne Hughes, Program Director, Case Management and Special Projects

We hear a lot these days about the poor state of health in Oklahoma as compared to the rest of the nation. Perhaps you’ve also heard the news that people diagnosed with a serious mental illness are at a higher risk of premature death. Earlier this month, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration/Health Resources Services Administration Center for Integrated Health Solutions explained that these premature deaths are “largely due to complications from untreated, preventable chronic illnesses like obesity, hypertension, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, which are aggravated by poverty-driven health choices, like poor nutrition, lack of exercise, and smoking.”

We at Family & Children’s Services are acutely aware of this problem. Many of our clients don’t have a regular medical doctor. They use the emergency room for their health care or, sadly, forgo needed medical attention. Through a partnership with the George Kaiser Family Foundation and Morton Comprehensive Health Services, Family & Children’s Services took a bold step to help improve the health of our clients by opening a medical clinic in October 2011 inside the Sarah & John Graves Center.  

Currently, the clinic operates one day a week and is available for adults receiving mental health services from Family & Children’s Services. Clinic patients may also receive free medication as prescribed by a Morton medical provider. Patients receive treatment for colds and other minor complaints and serious, chronic illnesses such as high blood pressure and diabetes.

So, can one day a week really help? By mid-February, 281 clients had been seen during the clinic’s 16 operating days. Over 70 percent of those served said they didn’t have a primary care physician and, instead, used to visit hospital emergency rooms for care. More than 20 percent didn’t seek care when sick. But now, these individuals have a resource for getting treatment and, just as important, managing their wellness.

The direct impact on our clients and their loved ones is evident. However, our community as a whole benefits, too, through less crowded emergency rooms and lower health care costs. 

Mental Illness Impacts 1 in 5 Americans, report shows

A new national report reveals that 45.9 million American adults aged 18 or older, or 20 percent of this age group, experienced mental illness in the past year. The rate of mental illness was more than twice as high among those aged 18 to 25 (29.9 percent) than among those aged 50 and older (14.3 percent). Adult women were also more likely than men to have experienced mental illness in the past year (23 percent versus 16.8 percent).

 

To read the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s full news release on the study, click here.

Fun & Free Time Together as a Family

Too often, parents find themselves caught in a game of “gimme” with their children – as in, “Gimme this, Mom.” or “Dad, can you gimme a new video game?” However, how much money you spend on your kids matters less than how much time you spend with them.

Tulsa World Blogger Natalie Mikles has some fantasic ideas for spending time together as a family free or on the cheap. We have a few other suggestions:

Have a board game night. Younger children can be paired up with older kids or parents. Reading game cards reinforces language skills, and moving the pawn and handling money helps with mathematics.

Channel Scheherezade, the fabled Persian storyteller. She told a story that lasted 1,001 nights, ending each night’s session on a suspenseful note. Let every member of the family have an opportunity to tell part of the story you create together.

Go dancing without the stars. Turn on some music and cut a rug on your own rug. It’s a great way to get some exercise and is likely to leave everyone giggling.

Stage your own “Chopped” challenge. Set out an array of motley ingredients, start a timer and tell your little chef to create a culinary masterpiece. Plan to be on hand to help younger children with cutting and any cooking required, but let their creativity guide the final product.

 

 

Do Your Part — By Carrie Little, Family Life Education Program Coordinator

“He isn’t even trying anymore.”

“She doesn’t care.”

 

Sound familiar?  If so, you are not alone.  Many couples go through times when one or both feel that they are the only one “working” on the relationship.  It becomes frustrating to reflect on your relationship and see only those things that you do to make your relationship work.  It can become a habit to focus only on those things that your partner ISN’T doing.  When this habit forms it is likely that other bad habits form in its wake, including bouts of escalation when trying to discuss issues with your partner, or starting sentences that begin with, “You never… ” or “You always… .”

Especially if you have children together, it is important to find ways of relating to one another without damaging your closeness.  One way to begin this process is called “Do Your Part.”  This concept relies greatly on your ability to look closely at your thoughts and actions to bring about change in your relationship.  In other words, in every situation, find a way to do the best you can.  Whether that be choosing not to yell and scream, or choosing to do something nice for your partner even in times of irritation. 

This does not mean you can change your relationship on your own.  It takes two to make a relationship work over time.  However, if both you and your partner begin a daily practice of “Do Your Part,” the need for each to focus on the other’s bad behavior will cease.  This involves trust.  You have to trust that your partner is doing everything he or she can to make your relationship and family life work, and vice versa.  This also involves a lot of respect and kindness, both toward yourself and your partner.

“Do Your Part” can change the tone of your relationship.  You will begin to process events in a different way.  Instead of automatically going toward the one thing your partner did wrong, you will be thinking in “I” statements instead.  Like, “What could I have done to make that conversation better?”  or, “What could I do today to make my relationship stronger?” 

 

If you would like to learn more about “Do Your Part,” and other concepts and skills to make your relationship strong, Family & Children’s Services offers a free class called Forever. For Real. In this class, couples learn together the skills needed to create a lasting and loving partnership.

Calling All Retailers: Clear Your Racks!

Family & Children’s Services is asking local retailers to clear their racks. The agency’s popular warehouse sale fundraising event is just around the corner – and merchandise is needed!

F&CS will host its ninth annual Abersons & Friends Warehouse Sale on March 28-30, 2012, at its central office, 650 S. Peoria Avenue. Proceeds of the sale will help F&CS provide counseling, treatment and support services to children who’ve been abused, families in crisis and individuals faced with overwhelming problems or mental illness.

Local merchants can support the effort by donating unsold stock – including home décor, housewares; women’s, men’s and children’s clothing; accessories and more – to F&CS. The agency will coordinate pick up from stores. Participating merchants may take a tax deduction for any items they donate, will be listed in promotional materials and – best of all! – will have more room on their racks to display the latest spring merchandise. 

Nearly 35 stores and hundreds of bargain-loving shoppers participated in last year’s Abersons & Friends Warehouse Sale. To get more information or schedule a pick up date, contact Rochelle Dowdell, the F&CS special events coordinator, at 918.560.1115 or rdowdell@fcsok.org.

OU College of Arts and Sciences Honors F&CS CEO Gail Lapidus

Three University of Oklahoma alumni, including Family & Children’s Services CEO Gail Lapidus, will be recognized for their accomplishments by the university’s largest college, the College of Arts and Sciences.

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Photo Courtesy of Tulsa People Magazine

Gail P. Lapidus, ’79 MSW, is the executive director and chief executive officer of Family and Children’s Services, a human services provider in the Tulsa, Oklahoma, area. She has been with the agency for 40 years, serving as director since 1986. It has grown to a staff of more than 500, and has been recognized for its services.

Among several awards and honors, Lapidus was named a Woman of Distinction by the Tulsa Business Journal in 2011; received the ONE Award on behalf of the center from the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits in 2004; received the Pinnacle Award from the Mayor’s Commission on the Status of Women and the Tulsa Women’s Foundation in 2010.

Her record of service includes serving on the OU Zarrow School of Social Work Board of Visitors, the Tulsa Institute for Trauma Abuse and Neglect, the Oklahoma State University Tulsa Associates Board for Human Environmental Sciences, the Tulsa Area United Way Long Range Planning Committee, and the Tulsa County Planning and Coordinating Board for Services to Children and Youth.

Homer Paul, ’54 BA History, hails from Pauls Valley, founded by his great-great grandfather. While attending OU, he was a member of the Naval ROTC on campus. Following graduation, he joined the United States Marines and achieved the rank of Battalion Commander. He participated in the Navy Marine Corps landing exercise in Iwo Jima on the eleventh anniversary of the original battle and spent three days on the island.

Paul has had a distinguished banking career, having started his career at Liberty National Bank in business development, and retiring as president of Citizens Security Bank in Bixby, Oklahoma. His service to the community includes chair of the Oklahoma Finance Authorities; former president of the Oklahoma Bankers Association; Boy Scouts of America-Oklahoma City Council board member; trustee, National Fraternity Phi Gamma Delta Educational Endowment; chair of the Oklahoma Blood Institute Foundation; board member of the Chickasaw Nations Industries; Rotarian for more than 50 years; and board member for the United States Marine Corps Coordinating Council of Oklahoma.

Brandi Coyner, ’05 BS Zoology, has been named the inaugural College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Young Alumna. Coyner is a curatorial associate in mammals and genomic resources at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History. A native of Chandler, Oklahoma, Coyner grew to love mammalogy while attending the Oklahoma Biological Station as an undergraduate at the University of Oklahoma. Her undergraduate research was recognized by the Texas Society of Mammalogists and the American Society of Mammalogists. In 2010, Coyner was recognized as one of the top three doctoral students at Oklahoma State University; she received the Albert R. and Alma Shadle Award from the American Society of Mammalogists, which recognizes graduate students for their contributions, service and potential with the American Society of Mammalogists.

Coyner’s research has led to the description of four mammal species new to sciences, and she recently began writing her first book, titled “The Mammals of Argentina.” She enjoys working at the museum, filling that time with lectures to student groups, behind-the-scenes tours for guests, or explaining advanced genetic techniques to high school students.

All three alumni will present lectures open to the public on Thursday, Feb. 26, and will be honored at a banquet on Friday, Feb. 27. For more information or to purchase tickets to the banquet, contact Kristi Morgan at (405) 325-2347 or kcain@ou.edu.

Family & Children’s Services Providing Parenting Classes in Jail

A pilot program designed to teach female inmates at the David L. Moss Correction Center how to become a better parents is finding tremendous success. The Active Parenting evidence based curriculum classes, which are recognized by the court system, span eight weeks and focus on relationship-building skills, blended families and problem solving, among other things. Classes are funded through grant from the George Kaiser Family Foundation and since beginning last September, attendance has quadrupled.

 

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Inmates may attend parenting classes three times a week at David L. Moss Correctional Center.

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Tulsa County Sheriff Sargeant Stacie Holloday and Family & Children’s Services licensed parent educator Lauren Alvarez-Gould.

 

George Kaiser Family Foundation Announces $460,000 Grant to Family & Children’s Services

The George Kaiser Family Foundation has announced $6.3 million in grants to nearly 80 Tulsa-area agencies, including a $460,000 grant for The Children’s Center at Family & Children’s Services.

The Children’s Center at Family & Children’s Services works tirelessly to assure that every at-risk, underserved child suffering from mental, emotional and behavioral disorders has the opportunity for quality counseling and mental health services. The goals are to improve child well-being, improve overall functioning, reduce problem severity, reduce trauma symptoms and increase hopefulness. The following five programs make up The Children’s Center at Family & Children’s Services:

  •  Children’s Mental Health Clinic: Children who are bullied; have depression, anxiety, poor social skills and self-esteem, problems with self-control and anger; have ADHD; and experience school failure receive high quality, individually tailored treatment. An array of evidence-based services provided in an office setting helps children reduce the severity of their problems, improves day to day functioning and increases hopefulness. Clinical therapists provide:  individual child therapy, play therapy, group therapy, family therapy and anger management services.
  • Children’s School-Based Mental Health: Mental health disorders can significantly affect children’s ability to function in the classroom, both behaviorally and academically. To reduce barriers to care and optimize the likelihood of school success, Family & Children’s Services extends its’ reach into 33 local at-risk schools. Clinical therapists provide individually tailored assessment and treatment services as well as teacher consultation and crisis intervention services to reduce the severity of children’s problems, improve day to day functioning and increase hopefulness.
  •  Child Abuse and Trauma Treatment Services: Children experiencing the devastating traumatic consequences of child abuse, severe neglect and other traumas receive state of the art trauma-informed treatment in a healing environment. Clinical therapists provide three distinct evidence based trauma treatment programs to heal children from their trauma and improve child and family functioning. Clinical therapists provide:  assessment, child therapy, family therapy, play therapy, group therapy, expert witness testimony and court reporting services.
  • Child Psychiatry Services: Children and adolescents with serious mental, emotional and behavioral disorders and who are being treated by an F&CS therapist can get expert help from our Child Psychiatrist. Psychiatric evaluation and differential diagnosis, family consultation, and when indicated, medication services are offered to reduce symptoms, to improve emotional and behavioral stability, to optimize functioning in children with ADHD and to improve school success. A specialized case manager and registered medical assistant assist in optimizing scheduling and access and in meeting family needs.
  •  Children’s Mobile Crisis Services:  Children and teens who feel out of control or have thoughts of suicide or hurting others can get help from our specialized crisis services. Specialized teams conduct telephone risk assessment and, if needed, mobile assessment and intervention to de-escalate the situation, while working to facilitate a safe outcome and linkage to services. As a result, lives are saved and children are diverted from costly hospitalization and detention.

Children are remarkably resilient when they get the help they need. Children and youth thrive when they feel safe and supported. For each child, Family & Children’s Services  help build the skills needed for success in life, family, school and community; thus providing them with the childhood they deserve.

 

Read the Tulsa World story here

Read the News on 6 story here

Donate Items, Help Family & Children’s Services

Value Thrift Store, located at 11th and Memorial in Tulsa, has partnered with Family & Children’s Services to financially support its services and programs. Your donations will, in turn, help F&CS clients. Your donations can be picked up at your doorstep. A tax receipt is given for all donated items, and F&CS receives a flat rate for each donation collected.

Call 918.832.9134 for more information or to schedule a pick-up with Value Thrift.

Value Thrift sells used home furnishings, books, housewares, gift items, CDs, sporting goods, luggage, linens, small appliances, toys and more. The store is located at 11th and Memorial in Tulsa. Store hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

F&CS is not involved in the resale operations of the store or in scheduling pick-ups.

Early Closing December 23- Offices Closed December 24 & 25

Please note, Family & Children’s Services will close at 5pm on Tuesday, December 23. This means there will be no evening classes.

Family & Children’s Services offices will be closed December 24 and December 25.
For emergencies and office closing information, please call 918-587-9471.

Bikes for Tykes Donates 250 Bicycles to Family & Children’s Services

A Christmas giveaway of bicycles to Family and Children’s Services has grown ten-times over the last seven years. Yesterday, Humble Sons Bike Company donated 250 bikes and helmets to Family & Children’s Services’ clients this Christmas.  Two Men and a Truck handled much of the heavy lifting and delivered the three trucks full of bicycles. The first year, Bikes for Tykes donated 22 bicycles.

“It’s a great feeling. Obviously the whole point of doing this is to help kids out, and for kids that might not be getting anything for Christmas, to get a bicycle is a wonderful thing,” said Tommy Chavez, Humble Sons Bike Company. Asbury United Methodist Church also donated 200 brand new coats to Family and Children’s Services through the second year of its Project Sugar Coating.

Watch the News on 6 story here

We are continuing to accept donations for Holiday Assistance. Click here to learn more.

WIR Graduate Opens New Door Thanks to Habitat for Humanity

Watch this News on 6 story as Women in Recovery graduate Crystal Kravis and her family enter their new Habitat for Humanity home for the first time.

There was a time happiness and bright future seemed far away. Crystal’s family was broken by hopelessness and drug addiction. Crystal was in despair and facing incarceration and her children were facing a chaotic future Thankfully, Family & Children’s Services’ Women in Recovery (WIR) program, which is operated in partnership with George Kaiser Family Foundation, was there to provide hope, the courage to change and a path to recovery, ending the generational cycle of trauma and addiction. As she opens a new door in her new home she knows WIR is truly life changing.

Learn more about Women in Recovery program

How can I get involved?

 

8-Year-Old Donates Birthday Presents to Family & Children’s Services

We salute 8 year old Liam Workman! His generous spirit and kind heart show us that kids really care. In lieu or presents, this little guy decided that for his 8th birthday he would like to collect donations for Family & Children’s Services. His invitation noted that Family & Children’s Services was in need of preschool toys, formula, diapers, children’s books, coloring books, crayons and HUGS (hats, underwear, gloves and socks). When asked why he chose to give, rather than receive for his birthday, Liam said, “This is for the kids that don’t have anything. I have plenty of things.”

Liam’s mom, Kelly, explained that their family has long supported Family & Children’s Services. “There is such a great need, with so many parents working hard to just to make ends meet. We are teaching Liam the value of giving back, to bless others and give thanks for what we have.”

Liam’s donated presents are stocking the 2014 Family & Children’s Services Santa Shop. If you would like to make the holidays brighter, please contact us.

 

Liam Bday Gifts

8 year old Liam Workman donated his birthday

presents to Family & Children’s Services Santa Shop.

WinterFest Breakfast with Santa Benefits F&CS

Saturday’s Breakfast with Santa at Arvest WinterFest brought a a taste of the North Pole to Tulsa. Guests enjoyed a delicious breakfast, visits with Santa, face painting and more.

This year’s Breakfast with Santa was presented by BlueStone Natural Resources, a proud partner of Family & Children’s Services. Bluestone encouraged all guests to bring a donation of HUGS (hats, underwear, gloves and scarves) and the response was overwhelming.

Our thanks to BlueStone Natural Resources and all the guests who shared holiday HUGS.

Pictured: Denise and John Redmond with their children, Katie, Abby, Emma and Jake.

Winter Fest Family

 

 

 

YWCA 100 Women of Moxie Honor F&CS CEO Gail Lapidus

[mok-see] noun
1. vigor; verve; pep.
2. courage and aggressiveness; nerve.
3. skill; know-how.

YWCA Tulsa celebrates 100 bold years by honoring 100 extraordinary Tulsa Women with Moxie. In their Centennial year, the YWCA is recognizing 100 trailblazers, hidden heroes and leading ladies. The honorees are women from yesterday and today; they are women from inside and outside the YWCA’s network; they represent a diversity of experience, background, and thought; but they each have made an impact on YWCA’s mission to eliminate racism, empower women and promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.

Congratulations to F&CS CEO Gail Lapidus for her recognition as one of the distinguished 100 Women of Moxie.

GL Moxie
Les Lapidus, Lydia Lapidus, Gail Lapidus