At our Racine Community Services location, we offer:
- Family Resource Network
- Child and Family Counseling
- Child Advocacy Center
- Home Visiting
The Racine County Family Resource Network coordinates and expands collaborative services for families with children age 3 and younger and families facing challenges. The network will expand evidence-based home visitation services as well as establish Family Team Meetings as a core community practice.
All services are voluntary and free. The Racine County Family Resource Network is made possible by the Children's Trust Fund. Services are coordinated by Children's Hospital of Wisconsin Community Services, Next Generation Now, Racine County Human Services Department and United Way of Racine County.
The network is a virtual family resource center with the Network Coordinator serving as the primary point of contact. The Network Coordinator creates a partnership with families and direct service providers by helping them find and use community resources. The partnership also provides direct service with the most detailed and current information regarding community program information and eligibility for community referrals for their most vulnerable families.
Families and service providers also may participate in network provider meetings. These meetings are direct connections to community resources that already provide their service of expertise for families with young children. You will:
- Learn about community resources
- Connect and share ideas with other parents and direct service providers
- Discover new ways to address service gaps
- Learn about new trainings and conferences
- Celebrate family success
The Network also uses Family Teaming to help families. That's a planning process that brings people together to make families stronger. Families work with the Network Coordinator, a trained facilitator, to choose people in the family's life to form a "team" and helps the family work with their team to develop and take action on a family plan.
Community Response Program
The Community Response Program is a voluntary program for families who have been reported to Child Protective Services for possible abuse or neglect, and have been screened out at the initial assessment but have requested additional services. The target population is families with children under the age of three. The Community Resource Specialist connects families to the services they need by developing an individual family plan tailored to their strengths and needs. The Community Resource Specialist will:
- Help identify and build on family strengths
- Identify family concerns and sources of support for goal setting
- Provide help and support as goals and needs change
- Support the development of the child(ren)
- Strengthen parenting skills so each parent can be the best parent possible
- Help families connect with long term community resources
Families must be referred by Racine County Child Protective Services.
Home Visiting is a voluntary, in-home parenting support and education program using the Parents As Teachers (PAT) curriculum. Home Visiting is designed to provide parents of young children with the tools they need to perform their role as a child's earliest and most important teachers. The Home Visitor will work together with families to determine goals, locate and access resources and build on the family's unique strengths.
Home Visiting works with families who are either expecting a child and/or have at least one child under the age of three in the home. Home visiting provides in-home visits and activities most often beginning at one visit per week.
Three areas of emphasis families and home visitors will focus together on are:
- Parent-child interaction
- Development-centered parenting
- Family well-being
The RCFRN offers three different types of parenting groups located at Next Generation Now.
Positive Solutions is a six-week class that focuses on helping parents of preschoolers. The classes focus on building positive relationships with children, determining the meaning behind challenging behaviors, understanding age-appropriate limits and expectations, and learning positive discipline techniques.
Parents Interacting With Infants (PIWI)
PIWI is a structured play group that focuses on helping parents with children under the age of three. The classes focus on building positive relationships with children, responding to emotions, and understanding the importance of play for child learning.
Parent Support Group
Parent Support Groups are designed for parents, lead by parents and co-facilitated by staff. The group focuses on various topics that parents are interested in. Parents are encouraged to offer ideas, support one another and provide feedback for future group topics.
Our Racine office provides a range of outpatient counseling services, including:
- Individual and family counseling for children, adolescents and parents
- Adoption therapy
- Trauma-informed therapy
Children's Hospital of Wisconsin Community Services therapists have extensive experience working with children, parents and families, including those involved in the child welfare system.
Mickey Kucak, LCSW, MSW, ACSW, is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. She has provided therapeutic services to children and families of all ages in a wide range of agencies, from the State of Wisconsin to private practice, which include inpatient and outpatient hospital care. Mickey believes that it is important to address all the aspects of a child's life, including school, peers, extended family, etc. Her most recent interest is brain development and the impact of trauma on brain and behavioral functioning. Mickey has over 30 years experience working with children and families. She wants her clients to be comfortable and feel safe while working through issues.
Val J. Lura, MS, LPC, is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater's Counseling Program. She is a a licensed professional counselor in Wisconsin and Illinois. Val has extensive experience working with children and families in the child welfare system. She specializes in providing individual and group counseling to children ages 3-18 who have been subjected to emotional, sexual and physical abuse. Val has experience working with families through the adoption process and with those children who are being reunified with their biological families.
Mary M. Weber, LCSW, is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and has worked as a therapist for 18 years. She specializes in working with children ages 2-18. She provides outpatient psychotherapy with an emphasis on client-centered therapy, as well as behavior modification and cognitive processes. She works with children presenting with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, adjustment difficulties, attachment issues, sexual abuse and trauma. Mary uses a strong, supportive and respectful approach when working with children and families of diverse cultural backgrounds.
Children's Hospital of Wisconsin Community Services is committed to providing the highest possible care to the children and families we serve. We regularly ask clients to give us feedback on how well we are meeting this goal. Here are some comments from Racine families who recently completed an anonymous survey:
- "Always kind and timely and generally concerned."
- "Miss Mickey and Toni are great! I'm sure the rest of the staff is great but those are the only two I know. Thank you to them both for all their help."
- "I love this place."
- "Everyone is very professional and always gives me the right information and help. I'm thankful for them working with my daughters."
- "New to program but excellent results so far!"
Children's Hospital of Wisconsin's Racine County Child Advocacy Center provides assessments to children who may have been harmed. The goal of the center is to protect children from abuse and provide resources to help them heal.
In addition to providing case reviews, expert court testimony and professional consultations, the Racine County Child Advocacy Center provides the following services:
- Child abuse assessment: The assessment process includes a complete medical examination and an interview by a social worker who is specially trained to work with traumatized children. All work is carefully documented on videotape or DVD to meet judicial standards.
- Referral: Following assessment, suspected victims of abuse will be referred by center staff members to counselors, health professionals and psychiatric and developmental rehabilitation specialists in their communities who can help them recover.
- Case tracking and data collection: The center tracks outcomes on all cases for evaluation and services. Information tracked includes types of maltreatment, relationship of the alleged offender to the child, child protection outcomes and exposure to domestic violence.
- Professional and community education: The center provides ongoing training to law enforcement officers, social workers, physicians, nurses and other professionals in Racine County, and facilitates the sharing of research in investigative techniques.