Family Stories

All family and youth stories were collected as part of the evaluation process for the System of Care Family Advocacy Demonstration Program. See link below for the project report.

PDF RESOURCE: Family Advocacy Demonstration Project Final Report

My family advocate has helped me in so many ways. They helped me learn what was doing was wrong. They have helped my family in so many ways that other people couldn’t do I would strongly recommend that if your having problems with a family member that you take them to MHCD. To me it was the best thing that ever happened to me they fight for you if you don’t think something is right your you don’t agree to a situation they will be the one to fight for you no matter what. When you and your parents get into it always give them a call they can direct you in the right path to where you don’t mess up or end up in jail. I have used my family advocate in so many ways when I was in need of help I always called my family advocate he was always a great person I could go to for help that’s why I think that MHCD will be the greatest program for me it saved me from getting committed into jail I thank them every day for saving me from getting in to deeper trouble. I want to continue staying in MHCD why because when everyone else didn’t believe in me the Family Agency Collaboration did and they are the reason why I am not in jail today so therefore I think they are doing a great job and should continue doing a great job I recommend them to anybody that needs help they will be the best agency for you.

Family Agency Collaboration and the Family Advocate helped my family by going to court with me and my family. By working with people in the juvenile justice system get me on track with court and legal difficulties. They also helped with finding me a job to keep me out of trouble on the streets. I fell behind in school and I needed to get my credits up so they also help me find summer school options. Once I found a school to go to I they help make sure I was doing good in school and checked to see if my grades was on track. I also learned the rights that I have as a citizen which help me because I now know what I can and can’t do and know if I will get in trouble for the certain things I do. I am also interested in black history and I received help and assistance with books and information that was very useful to know my history and culture. This program has helped me become a better and more mature person and I will always use the skills I learned in life so that I can be successful.

My experience with Family Advocate was a life changing experience for me and my family. We learned how to communicate with each other without getting irritated with one another. We learned how to solve our differences in a fashionable manner. My son enjoyed going to the groups and so did my husband. The most impressive of all of our family advocate was very helpful in and out of the court rooms. Our son shared a lot with John and most of all he trusted John. I believe we need this kind of program for our children after all they are our future. Thank you for allowing us to share our life changing experience.

The collaboration has helped our family in many ways. The biggest thing they’ve done for us is taught me to advocate for my family. I can now go into various meeting with the confidence I can assert myself to get what my kids need. They have also educated me in laws and policies and basic mental health. With this knowledge I can be involved with all aspects of Mental Health from community affairs, getting the treatment they need all t he way to the state and federal level. I’ve also learned where to find and how to access the community resources my family needs.

Our family has worked with John Tucker and Erin Flanigan. From day one my child was open and trusting with John. John was the first person to come and see my child in the juvenile detention center and they seemed to immediately bond. My child still view John as the only person throughout this process to whom he can openly converse and trust. He says that John does not pull any games and is open and up front with him. My child is very intelligent and while this is a great strength for him it is also a detriment, he has little to no tolerance for being “talked down to” and appreciates the honesty and forthrightness that John has shown from the beginning. I met with John initially shortly after my child did. He struck me as very intelligent and dedicated. I greatly appreciated the way he dealt with my child and myself. This entire journey has been very difficult and the guidance John has been able to give us is without a doubt one of the most valuable tools we have been given. Shortly after my child was put into a treatment center Erin came into our lives as well. Her insight into the workings of the psychological impact of our journey has been very valuable. She is a definite bonus to our team.  Throughout this process we have from having MHCD, Department of Human Services, MST/Savio House, Probation, lawyers, and many others in our lives. As we have worked through the process my child has learned many things. We have all learned the values in our family and how to work better together. John and Erin have helped in many ways I have no words for. The tension of the holiday season was greatly reduced by the knowledge we all had that they were both available via phone and were a willing ear. At all of our court dates and meetings of varying types, John and Erin have been there. Today we are only working with MHCD and probation. The journey has been long. Knowing the team of John Tucker and Erin Flanigan have been and continue to be on the side of our family and most of all the side of my child is an assess that I cannot put a word value on.

Single mother, dad passed away, boys fight constantly. One youth taking on the role of dad, the other youth grieving and resistant to counseling. Family Advocate referred both youth to Anger Management classes. The Anger Management facilitator decided that family treatment was needed for the boys and both boys and mom are attending therapy together. The boys are learning tips on how to deal with their anger, they fight less, and they are also dealing with the loss of their father. The therapist is going to continue to work with the family for free because she has seen such progress and they are in such need.

When I was contacted by Elizabeth Clausen with Hilltop in regards to my child, I wasn’t sure what to expect. My children and I were having a hard time because their dad had just passed away. Our whole family fell apart and I gave up. The kids were sick a lot-part of the grieving process. My child had gone from perfect attendance to one who didn’t care if he went to school or not. We were given lots of resources and lots of help. The kids are in counseling (individual) and we are in family counseling. We have plans in place to help keep the boys in school. Elizabeth was a great help. She listened. She made suggestions, and she cared. Her help made a difference in our lives.

Family with 2 teenagers, not attending school. Mom and dad not taking youth to school, youth not wanting to attend school. Family evicted from house. Mom and dad are not U.S. citizens and are not working. The family advocate helped the family move to a new community with a better home environment. One of the teens is now playing basketball for the school, received a physical, has improved grades, improved attendance, and has the goal of receiving her high school diploma.

Youth was showing up in the morning, not staying at home at night, scaring his sister, not attending school, and having bizarre behaviors. Since the family advocate has been involved with the family, the youth’s behavior has improved, school attendance has improved, he goes home at night, has been placed on Diversion, has started to attend VISTA (alternative school), is seeing a therapist, and feels the support from all service providers.