Michael and his family live in a rural northeast Oklahoma community. Due to the pandemic, his family had lost touch with Rose, a Family & Children’s Services specialist who had only been speaking to his parents via telephone. Because of the interruption, they are only able to complete half of their assessment required to start therapy.
But one day, the postal carrier delivers a pleasant surprise – an iPad from Family & Children’s Services. For the first time in months, communication improves between Michael, his parents and Rose. Rose is now able to observe the family’s interactions and provide more complete and relevant feedback to Michael’s parents and their DHS worker. The iPad provides Michael and his family the opportunity to become more fully involved with in-house service needs.
This family is one of several families who benefit from a recent $9,000 Child Welfare Rapid Response grant awarded by the Arnall Family Foundation and matched by the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation.
“It is important for service providers to have all the tools necessary to continue assisting families, and we are pleased to be able to join the Arnall Foundation in responding to complete the F&CS request to help their clients,” said Alana Hughes of the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation.
This grant allowed Family & Children’s Services to purchase iPads with five months of connectivity for 22 Comprehensive Home-Based Services (CHBS) and Intensive Safety Services (ISS) families living in areas with limited access to technology connectivity. The iPads were dispersed to families throughout Adair, Cherokee, Creek, Muskogee Okmulgee, Osage, Pawnee, Pittsburg and Washington counties.
“The goal of our Rapid Response Fund was to ensure that Oklahoma families could remain connected to critical services and support during the pandemic,” said Sue Ann Arnall, president of the Arnall Family Foundation. “We are proud to support Family & Children’s Services in their efforts to quickly deploy iPads to CHBS and ISS clients, as we were especially concerned about the impact on services for those who live in rural communities, where access to technology is a common barrier. Their team recognized that you can’t just “pause” these stabilizing services during such an uncertain time, and we applaud them for their commitment to those they serve.”
One F&CS therapist said, “My small-town clients are able to utilize the iPads to attend virtual meetings. They do not have their own transportation to go to the few meetings that are open, so this allows them to attend as many meetings as they want in a week with the iPad use.”
Yet another benefit Family & Children’s Services can offer to clients thanks to the support of these two organizations.
About the Arnall Family Foundation
Founded in 2015, the Arnall Family Foundation seeks to make lasting, transformative improvements to the systems and programs in Oklahoma County that serve children and families involved with child welfare as well as criminal justice reform. For more information, visit www.arnallfamilyfoundation.org.
About the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation
The Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation (Schusterman) is a global organization that seeks to improve lives, strengthen communities and advance equity. Our philanthropic vision is grounded in a commitment to pursue justice, repair the world and treat all people with dignity and civility. We invest in efforts to improve public education in the United States, strengthen the Jewish people and Israel, and address the needs of marginalized individuals and communities. Established in 1987, the Foundation has offices in Atlanta, GA; Jerusalem, Israel; San Francisco, CA; Tulsa, OK; and Washington, DC. For more information, visit https://www.schusterman.org/.