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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.

FCS.TODAY: An online digest of Family & Children’s Services news, information, stories and media

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FCS.TODAY is an online digest of Family & Children’s Services (FCS) news, inspirational stories, profiles, video and so much more. Updated for timely news, we encourage you to bookmark

As the largest provider of behavioral health care and family services in Tulsa Oklahoma and surrounding communities, our goal is to provide you with timely news and relevant information highlighting mental wellness, family strengthening, and making our community a better place for all.

We encourage you to bookmark http://fcs.today/, check back often and connect with Family & Children’s Services of Facebook  and Twitter to receive notice and links when new content is added.

Because we know you are busy, stories on this site connect to our monthly eblast newsletters that come straight to your inbox so you can quickly link to stories that interest you. Subscribe under “Email Signup” for timely news.

We hope that you enjoy this digest of news from Family & Children’s Services.

F&CS Participates in Community Forum on Child Abuse

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and  tomorrow’s free community forum, hosted by the Child Protection Coalition, will focus on prevention and offer insight into the changing landscape of child protection in Tulsa County. The two-hour seminar on Tuesday, April 5, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., will be in the Price Turpen Courtroom at the University of Tulsa College of Law.

Child welfare experts will make up a panel to provide an in-depth look at the issues including Christine Marsh, director of child abuse and trauma services; Kelli Mounce, systems of care project director at Indian Health Care Resource Center; Rose Turner, Child Abuse Network managing director, and Crystal Brill, DVIS Children’s Trauma Counseling Program manager.

Tulsa World reporter Ginnie Graham will be the moderator.

Channel 8 covered the forum- click here to read the story.

2016 Community Forum on Child Abuse - Flyer

Tulsa Area United Way Honors FCS with Illuminator Award

A celebration of last year’s United Way campaign, awards for the top employee campaigns at area companies and organizations and an honor for longtime community volunteer Becky Frank highlighted the Annual Live United Awards and Luncheon, presented on Tuesday, Feb. 16, by the Tulsa Area United Way.

Nearly 1,000 guests representing the corporate, philanthropic and nonprofit communities attended the event held at the Cox Business Center, sponsored by Bank of Oklahoma, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma, Frederic Dorwart Lawyers and Schnake Turnbo Frank.

“The annual awards ceremony is a long-standing tradition and an opportunity for the entire Tulsa Area United Way family to come together to recognize the successes of the past year and look forward to this year’s campaign,” said Mark Graham, President and CEO of the Tulsa Area United Way.

In 2015, the Tulsa Area United Way surpassed the largest goal in its 91-year history by raising $26,524,575 for the community.

“This campaign was truly an example of all of us coming together for the greater good,” said Ted Haynes, 2015 campaign chair and president and CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma. “More than 48,000 individuals supported the campaign, in addition to generous companies, foundations and small businesses.”

During this year’s campaign, Family & Children’s Services raised $125,450, recorded 80 percent employee participation and a nine percent overall campaign increase and, as a result, was the award the prestigious Illuminator award.

The campaign was energized by major challenge grants which provided dollar-for-dollar matching opportunities for many contributors, including small and medium-sized businesses, individuals who give at a leadership level of $500 or more annually, and members of the United Way’s Emerging Leaders Society and Women’s Leadership Council. The challenge grants were issued by several local individuals, foundations, and corporations.

The Clydella Hentschel Award for Women in Leadership was presented to longtime local United Way volunteer Becky Frank.

The award was named for Clydella Hentschel, who broke ground as a female community leader in Tulsa and served as co-chair of the Tulsa Area United Way campaign in 1993 along with her husband David Hentschel.

Becky Frank is one of Oklahoma’s highest profile leaders – both in business circles and civic affairs. Like Clydella Hentschel, she has served as a pioneer for female leadership in Oklahoma. She serves as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Schnake Turnbo Frank. She has played a significant leadership role in the state, serving on numerous nonprofit boards. She served as 2013 Chair of the annual Tulsa Area United Way campaign and 2014 Chair of the United Way’s Board of Directors. In 2012, she was Chair of the Board of Directors for the Tulsa Regional Chamber. She is a Founding Member and Past Chair of the Tulsa Area United Way’s Women’s Leadership Council.

Companies and organizations that raised more than $1 million during their 2014 campaigns were presented with the Cornerstone Million Dollar Plus Award, including Bank of Oklahoma, the J.A. and Leta M. Chapman Trusts, ONEOK, QuikTrip and Williams. Pillar Award winning companies and organizations, which raised more than $500,000, included NORDAM, ONE Gas and T.D. Williamson.

The Williams Summit Leadership Award, the Tulsa Area United Way’s most prestigious award for best overall campaign, was awarded to Matrix Service Company, which offered an employee gift matching program, increased its campaign over last year and recorded a large number of leadership donors. In addition, Matrix employees served in a variety of volunteer roles at United Way.

Companies and organizations receiving major awards were Compression Solutions, Inc., Small Business Award; Terra Nitrogen, a CF Industries Company, Mid-Sized Business Award; Samson Resources, Leadership Giving Award; BKD, LLP, Trailblazer Award; Family and Children’s Services and Bristow Social Services, Illuminate Award; Hogan Assessment Systems, Ignite Award, and the U.S. Bankruptcy Court – Eastern District, Combined Federal Campaign Eagle Award.

ONE Gas, Inc., received the Community Service Award for exceptional volunteerism, financial support and sponsorships.

Of the more than 500 companies and organizations that received awards at the ceremony, several earned Best of the Best Awards, including American Red Cross – Tulsa Area Chapter and Blood Services, AmeriTrust Corporation, AVB Bank, BancFirst – Jenks, BKD, LLP, Bristow Social Services, Caring Community Friends, Inc., Central National Bank, Child Abuse Network, City of Tulsa Auditing Department, Compression Solutions, Inc., Creek County Literacy Program, Crowe & Dunlevy, Attorneys and Counselors at Law, D & L Oil Tools, DVIS, Eastern Oklahoma Donated Dental Services, First Oklahoma Bank, Frederic Dorwart Lawyers, Girl Scouts of Eastern Oklahoma, GlobalHealth, Inc., Goodwill Industries of Tulsa, Green Country Storm Shelters, LLC, Jim Norton Chevrolet, KPMG, LLP, Magellan Midstream Partners, LP, Neosource, Inc., ONE Gas, Inc., ONEOK, The Parent Child Center of Tulsa, Patriot Bank, Samson Energy Company, LLC, Schnake Turnbo Frank, Senior Star Living, Southwestern Payroll Service, Inc., T.D. Williamson, Inc., TSHA – Total Source for Hearing-loss and Access, Tulsa Area United Way, Tulsa CARES, Tulsa CASA, Inc., Tulsa County, including Human Resources, Information Technology, Social Services and the Tulsa Area Emergency Management Agency, Tulsa New Holland, Valley National Bank, and World Travel Services, LLC.

Major sponsors of the 2015 United Way campaign included Tulsa World Media Company, Bank of Oklahoma, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma, Frederic Dorwart Lawyers, Hillcrest Healthcare System, Osage Casino and WPX Energy.

Co-Chairs of this year’s 2016 campaign are Steve Bradshaw, president of the Bank of Oklahoma, and his wife Marla Bradshaw, community volunteer. Haynes will serve as president of the United Way board of directors, succeeding Dr. Gerry Clancy of the University of Tulsa.

In the last 91 years, the Tulsa Area United Way has invested nearly $1 billion in the community.

The Tulsa Area United Way serves more than 500,000 people each year through its 60 partner agencies and several community-wide collaborative programs, in the areas of education, health and safety, and financial stability.

Tickets on Sale for F&CS Abersons & Friends Warehouse Sale Preview Party

Shopping for a good cause has never been so much fun. Today’s Tulsa World Style Scene  featured the Family & Children’s Services Abersons & Friends warehouse sale Feb. 24-26 at Family & Children’s Services, 650 S. Peoria Ave. The event benefits the agency’s life-changing programs.

A preview sale will be held 4-7 p.m. Feb. 24. Tickets are $35 in advance and $40 at the door. Early-bird shoppers will be able to buy designer shoes, clothes, housewares and more from dozens of stores marked up to 85 percent off.

BUY PREVIEW PARTY TICKETS HERE

Literal love – F&CS installs Little Free Library at Graves Center

DSC_4212 croppedTULSA, Okla. — Family & Children’s Services has joined a worldwide literacy craze inspired by a turn-of-the-century steel magnate turned philanthropist.

F&CS’ outpatient clinic and pharmacy, the Sarah and John Graves Center at 2325 S. Harvard Ave., is the site of a Little Free Library, where anyone can drop off a book to donate to someone else, or browse for a new book to read, “paying it forward” for booklovers everywhere.

“I thought this was such a fun way to promote literacy,” said Mimi Tarrasch, director of F&CS’ Women in Recovery Program, “particularly for the many people utilizing the services at Family and Children’s and for the neighboring community.”

The library is a hand-crafted replica of the multi-story building, and it’s home to books for people of all ages and backgrounds.

Tarrasch urged Tulsans to come check it out today.

The libraries, which began in 2009, operate under the “take a book, leave a book” philosophy.

Their website, www.littlefreelibrary.org, traces their beginnings back to a social enterprise project in a Wisconsin man’s front yard, where he built a miniature schoolhouse on a pole with a “free books” sign that his neighbors loved so much, he made more.

It is estimated to have grown to more than 25,000 such libraries worldwide since, shattering the founders’ goal of surpassing philanthropist and steel magnate Andrew Carnegie, who famously sponsored the construction of more than 1,600 free public libraries across the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

F&CS’ Little Free Library will be checked regularly by its staff to be sure it stays full.

Come by, and see what you can find, and don’t forget to bring a good read with you.

Non 24-7 F&CS locations to close 5 p.m. Monday due to weather

All non-24-7 F&CS facilities, programs and services will close at 5 p.m. today due to the weather. Any classes or meetings that take place after 5 are canceled.

F&CS will return to normal business hours Tuesday.

For questions or more information, please call 918-587-9471.

F&CS receives innovation grant

TULSA, Okla. — Family & Children’s Services was one of several Tulsa nonprofits to earn social innovation grants from the Tulsa Area United Way this week.

F&CS’ project is a special 24-7 crisis team to respond to placement issues with children in the foster care system, an issue thrust in to the spotlight with the recent closure of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services Laura Dester Shelter.

For more info on the grants, go here.

F&CS holiday hours begin next week

TULSA, Okla. — All Family & Children’s Services locations, except for the CrisisCare Center, will close 5 p.m. Dec. 23 and not re-open until Dec. 28.

Additionally, those same locations will close at 5 p.m. Dec. 31 and re-open Jan. 4.

F&CS wishes all its clients, staff and supporters a happy holidays.

F&CS, Humble Sons bring smiles to clients and their families

DSC_4297TULSA, Okla. – Dozens of case workers, their clients and children were on hand Wednesday for Family & Children’s Services’ annual Holiday Assistance Program bike giveaway with local charity Humble Sons Bike Co.

The event gave 200 bikes and helmets to families in need for the holiday season, said Humble Sons’ co-founder, Jason Whorton. Volunteers from Asbury United Methodist Church were on hand also, handing out winter coats to children.

The bike donation effort began in 2008 with 22 bikes Whorton’s charity donated to the same program that year.

“This is amazing, especially as we see it grow year after year,” said co-founder Tommy Chavez, as children, their parents, and F&CS staff milled among the bikes, lined up in the American Legion parking lot southeast of F&CS’ central location at 650 S. Peoria Ave.

Chavez established the group with Whorton, his brother-in-law.

“As it’s grown, we get more donations and have more people who want the bikes and need them,” Chavez said.

The bikes went to clients of F&CS Early Childhood Program. It provides family support and mental health services to children and their families in 13 Head Start and Early Head Start sites operated by Community Action Project Tulsa.

Two Men and a Truck delivered the bikes to the American Legion parking lot just southwest of F&CS’ central location at 650 S. Peoria Ave.

F&CS staff lined the bikes up under the afternoon sun, and volunteers matched the children up with bikes right-sized for them, along with helmets, provided by SafeCare, to ensure they ride safely.

Academy Sports and The Burnstein Foundation helped provide the bikes.

Wednesday’s giveaway pushed to 500 the total bikes and helmets given by 500 F&CS and Humble Sons’ bikes to children and families in 2015.

About Family & Children’s Services
For 90 years, Family & Children’s Services has been the place to turn for help with problems that seem overwhelming and too difficult to handle alone. The agency restores children’s well-being, heals victims of abuse, strengthens individuals and families, and provides hope and recovery for adults suffering from mental illness and addictions. Today, its life-changing services help one in six Tulsans.

Family & Children’s Services is a partner agency of the Tulsa Area United Way. F&CS is also a member of the following national organizations: Mental Health Corporations of America and the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare. F&CS is certified with distinction as a community mental health center by the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. F&CS is also certified with distinction as a Community Mental Health Center by the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. Additionally, F&CS is certified by the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services as an Outpatient Alcohol and Drug Treatment Program and certified with distinction as a Gambling Treatment Program.

Tulsa County’s contribution to state female incarceration rate falling

TULSA, Okla. — Oklahoma remains tops for incarcerating women in the United States, but Tulsa County’s contribution to that rate is falling, the Tulsa World’s Ginnie Graham reports.

The story, which you can find here, states that the county’s contribution to that rate has been falling since 2011, except for a jump in 2013 attributed to a move of state prisoners out of county jails.

WIR Grad 1The story  details a number of alternative to incarceration programs in Tulsa, including Women’s Defense Team and Women in Recovery, which Family & Children’s Services operates in partnership with the George Kaiser Family Foundation. The story credits WIR with beginning the momentum toward lowering female incarceration in 2008, the year the program began.

Women in Recovery is an intensive outpatient alternative to incarceration for those facing long prison sentences because of non-violent, drug-related offenses. WIR organizers work with the criminal justice system and others to give its women the supervision they need, along with substance abuse counseling, mental health treatment, education, workforce training and family reunification to ensure they break the cycle of re-offending.

 16 women graduated from the program last June. An additional 17 graduated last October, with 234 graduated since its inception.
F&CS is proud to be a part of the solution and thanks its partners, the George Kaiser Family Foundation, and its commitment to breaking the cycle of inter-generational incarceration.

About Family & Children’s Services

For 90 years, Family & Children’s Services has been the place to turn for help with problems that seem overwhelming and too difficult to handle alone. The agency restores children’s well-being, heals victims of abuse, strengthens individuals and families, and provides hope and recovery for adults suffering from mental illness and addictions. Today, its life-changing services help one in six Tulsans.

Family & Children’s Services is a partner agency of the Tulsa Area United Way. F&CS is also a member of the following national organizations: Mental Health Corporations of America and the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare. F&CS is certified with distinction as a community mental health center by the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. F&CS is also certified with distinction as a Community Mental Health Center by the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. Additionally, F&CS is certified by the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services as an Outpatient Alcohol and Drug Treatment Program and certified with distinction as a Gambling Treatment Program.