Helping families help themselves

Johans discussed how it's easy for people to blame the victims and say that it's their own fault for not working harder or getting their lives together, but in many situations, without help from an outside source, it's impossible.

Northeast Parent and Child Society offers 24 programs, ranging from sexual abuse treatment to foster home placement.

The Children's Shelter is an intermediate facility for children who have to be removed from their homes. They stay at the shelter while professional clinicians evaluate the child and family and recommend the most appropriate long-term living situation for the child.

The goal of the Family Preservation and Re-Unification is to strengthen families so that children who are at risk of being placed in out-of-home care can remain with their natural families, and for children who are already living out of home can be reunited with their families. However, one of the big emphases is on education.

"From our standpoint, education is [often times] the key to pull yourself out of that intergenerational cycle out of poverty," said Alpert. "There are all sorts of forms of education besides high school and college."

Alpert discussed how, in certain situations, professionals will go into someone's home and assess their living situation. For example, they might notice that someone doesn't have an alarm clock, which means their kids can't get up for school on time " so the professionals will make sure the family gets an alarm clock and they'll make sure that the home is cleaned up. They'll help parents and kids budget themselves. Northeast Parent and Child Society will teach the parent or child the necessary skills so that they can become employed.

"That's where the career development programs come in -- job training, job mentors, job expectation, helping people get their GEDs," said Alpert.

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