What People are Saying
It will be such a loss for our families if we don’t have you as a service provider. My family that came to you guys for their parenting time loved it way more than being in our DHS office. They said that it felt more like family time and they loved how they got to make and eat a meal as a family and the great talks all sitting at a table! The family also loved that they got to help with homework and sometimes get the kids ready for bed and read a story.
I was pumping up my new case family of 6 about the parenting time that they would have been able to have in the family room. They were supposed to be next on the list to enter the family room.
You guys will be so missed, you’re much more than a place to visit for our families!
Thank you for your service,
Natalee Evans, DHS Caseworker, Clackamas County
The Family Room serves as an invaluable asset to foster children and their families. It is a resource that families in Clackamas County desperately need. As a CASA, I have witnessed the drastic difference in how well a child’s visit goes when they have the opportunity to spend time in the Family Room setting. It also allows a child to spend more time with their parents with all of the schedule and time constraints DHS has.
Alyssa Showalter, CASA, Clackamas County
The Family Room has been instrumental in reuniting a child and his father. The Family Room was able to provide availability with the single parent’s work hours which were outside DHS hours and permitted them to form a relationship prior to the child being returned to a parent. Prior to The Family Room, it was difficult, if not impossible, to find a facility that could accommodate a single parent’s work schedule while they were still trying to maintain a safe and reliable home. The personnel and the facilities that they offered during visits were warm and friendly, providing many options for interaction between the child and parent. Without their help, I do not know if the reunification would have taken place.
Alan Steiger, CASA, Clackamas County
I am sorry to hear that The Family Room may be losing its contract. I have only had positive experiences with TFR, and it is an excellent and unique resource for families. The detailed ongoing written parent/child assessments that come out of every visit at TFR are informative, accurate, and helpful to track progress throughout the case. Additionally, the ability for parents to have extended lengths of supervised time with their children that can work around their schedules into the evening is a huge benefit.
Thank you for what you do!
Ali Salzer, CASA, Clackamas County
I absolutely appreciated having a safe and convenient place to visit my CASA family. It is sometimes very difficult to see the parents and children together. At the Family Room, I was able to observe the interaction between the parents and children. It was also instructive to observe the children’s behavior with other adults and their families. I do think it would be a great loss to the families if the Family Room was no longer available.
Gail Waltuch, CASA, Clackamas County
Thank you for all you do to help these families. Hopefully, DHS can find funding for this program. It is such a great idea and has worked for the family I work with better than anything else.
As a CASA for nearly 7 years I have observed many visitations, mostly at the DHS on 82nd. The Family Room offers a homey setting where families can eat together, play games, interact. Recently I noticed a parent, engaged with her phone and not with her young son who was acting out.Â I watched one of the supervisors sit with mother and son, start a conversation and help the mom focus on her son. In some ways, it seems to take the pressure off families to come up with ideas of what to say and do. I also observed therapy rabbits that were brought to the Family Room and children and parents loved this activity. It does not feel like an institution but a safe and friendly environment.Â It would be a great loss to have this program discontinued.
Luanna Meuser, CASA, Clackamas County
I’d be happy to provide feedback about the program. I think that TFR has offered an experience for my family far outside of regular visitation at the DHS office. TFR’s expanded hours helps families receive more visitation time together (rather than the standard 1-hour visit) in a much more natural family-friendly environment. Families are able to move freely throughout the building allowing them to have choices and much more flexibility in an environment that is more natural and home-like than a visit room. Mealtimes at TFR also allows parents to practice parenting skills and encourages parents to use mealtime as a sit-down time with their child/children to interact and increasing bonding. Some parents may have never experienced this type of activity and it teaches them the importance of taking time to have a meal with their children, talk to them about their day, and focus on the children. This is an activity that parents will hopefully implement in their homes when their children return home. The fact that there are staff going between rooms and checking in with parents allows the workers to give prompts and direction when they see a parent struggling with something or needing assistance. This also gives a chance for staff to offer support, praise, and words of encouragement to parents. The documentation from TFR is always prompt and thorough and provides a neutral point-of-view that gives the caseworker a good idea of interactions between parents and children during the visits. The feedback I’ve gotten from parents is that they have found TFR to be a helpful source. I believe that it also helps parents and children feel more comfortable than they would in a traditional visit setting in which they are watched through a two-way mirror. I have only received positive feedback about the program and feel that it is a helpful, useful program.
Elizabeth Schmidt, DHS Caseworker, Washington County