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Apr 10, 2017

​Fostering Healthy Families for Young Parents

Starting a family at any age is a life-changing event, but becoming a parent at a young age presents its own unique challenges. To help young parents with this major life-changing transition, Insights Teen Parent Services offers child development and parent education programs through home visiting services.

Insights’ home visiting programs help nurture strong parent-child attachment and promote healthy development for young parents and their children. The program features a “home visitor” who meets with each family in their home weekly. The home visitor initially spends time getting to know the family. “What are your wishes for your child? What are some of the things that you had in your childhood that you want to continue with your child? What are some of the things you do not want your child to experience? According to Emily Berry, an Insights staff, “It is not helpful or effective to be forceful with topics. We want families to enjoy working with us and feel they have a safe space to talk about their parenting celebrations and concerns. This builds a strong trusting relationship and becomes the foundation for information to be shared and received in ways that create meaningful change for families.” There is no requirement to participate in home visiting services, having someone visit them in their home is always a choice.

When getting to know each family’s strengths or challenges, the home visitor pays attention to some of the common factors that may lead to abuse. Sometimes it could be misconceptions of the timing of child’s development behavior. For example, a mom may expect her child to be potty-trained at 18 months when developmentally, it does not happen until closer to 30 months. This unmet expectation can sometimes lead to stress and anger. The home visitor helps identify these stressful moments and offers opportunity to reflect and inform, developing empathy, understanding and coping skills.

A big part of the success between a home visitor and a family is developing trust. It is a gradual process, built over time. Once it is established, a young parent knows they she can have a safe conversation with a home visitor, sharing vulnerabilities and frustrations with parenting. If a parent is frustrated because her child is taking longer to learn how to walk, the home visitor offers specific activities on developing gross motor skills. This type of support can alleviate anger directed at the child and illustrate the fun of learning and mastering a new skill. Emily says, “Our goal is to be there for our young parents, offering tools and resources when requested. And to look for and create opportunities to offer supports and interventions when they will be received and guidance is needed. We build on their strengths and let them envision the type of childhood they want to give their children.”

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May 22, 2017
Scholarships Awarded To Our Youth

On May 17th, the Janus Board of Directors, staff and community members honored 15 youth in our programs who were recipients of our scholarship awards. Now in its sixteenth year, the scholarships open the door to education for our youth by helping to pay for school expenses such as tuition, books and rent.

This year’s scholarship recipients are from an array of Janus programs including Insights Teen Parent Program, Imani House, Changes, Annex I, Harry’s Mother and Hope Partnership. Special thanks to Robert Gootee and Moda Health for their support in launching the Scholarship Fund in 2001 and to Joanne Senders—a generous donor who established the Joanne Senders Scholarship Fund.  

Photo: Left to right: Jeremy Ericksen, Thomas Spisla, Christian Ford, Griffin Thomas, Robert Gootee, Gustavo Portillo-Soto, Fariborz Pakseresht, Dennis Morrow and Dalon Murray. Not pictured: Alejandra Hernandez, Nicholas Schafer, Elishah Eduardo Asbaugh, Johnathan Baker, Cayce French, Robert Miller, Agustin Estrada-Vargas, Ezequiel Vasquez, and Bailey Allman.

May 08, 2017
Youth Voices—In Their Own Words

My experience at Cordero House was one of the most significant events to have happened to me. Let me start with a background of who I am. I came from a small village in the countryside of El Salvador. At a young age, I learned to be independent, going to school and helping with the daily chores. I moved to the city for a very brief moment before flying to the U.S. At first, I felt strange and overwhelmed with everyone and everything around me. As time went by, I found myself in a state of confusion. Alone, I had no one to turn to ask for help. Instead, I did things that to this day I regret. Such events led to me spending time in a youth corrections facility.

May 01, 2017
Employee Spotlight—Angie Corll

Angie knows what it feels like to run away. She did it for years, running away from abusive and neglectful homes, opting for freedom and danger of the streets over security. This life on the run led her down many dark paths for years until she became the kid that no one wanted to take in. Finally, in 1993, with the help of her probation officer, she entered a Janus residential program. That was a turning point. Says Angie, “I was blessed to have been given a second chance.” Now she works as a Youth Care Specialist at our Oak Grove shelter in SW Washington, helping youth who are facing similar life crisis as she did. We talked to Angie to find out how her experiences has prepared her to serve our youth.

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