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.
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.
Joe Kucak MSW, LCSW, has worked over 30 years in both public and private settings, Joe brings a wealth of counseling experience to our Racine Office. He worked as a School Social Worker, State and County Juvenile Justice Counselor, Foster and Group Home Social Worker, Marriage Counselor, Therapist at several out-patient mental health agencies and, most recently, as an Administrator of Special Education and Student Services for a large neighboring school district. Joe specializes in serving traumatized children, children with significant behavioral disturbance, and children presenting a high degree of learning and/or behavioral problems at school. He will be an Advocate for your child, and honor you, as parents, throughout the counseling process.
Mickey Kucak, LCSW, MSW, ACSW, is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. She has over 30 years of experience providing therapeutic services to children and families of all ages in a wide variety of agencies from the State of Wisconsin to private practice, including inpatient and outpatient mental health clinics, and hospital care. Mickey believes that it is important to address all the aspects of a child's life, including home, school, peers, extended family, etc. She has completed a post graduate program in Family Therapy, and has earned two certificates in Trauma Counseling. She is a graduate of the Infant Mental Health Program at the University of WI-Madison. She is currently studying CPP (Child Parent Psychotherapy). 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 Counseling Program. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Wisconsin and Illinois. Val has extensive experience working with children ages 3-18 and their families struggling with issues such as ADHD, anxiety, depression and adjustment difficulties. She also works with children and teens who have been subjected to emotional, sexual and physical abuse.
Jenny Miller, MSE, LPC, earned a master's degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and is a Licensed Professional Counselor. Jenny's area of interest is in working with adolescents, especially those considered high risk, and their families who are experiencing behavioral and emotional problems related to family relationships, social and identity issues and trauma. Jenny provides individual, family and group counseling for children, adolescents and adults using a strength-based, family-centered approach.
Annie Hysaw, is the Licensed Social Worker in our clinic at SC Johnson Elementary School. She has worked with children and families for 15 years in several different settings including schools, Head Start, Early Intervention, Child Welfare, and Community Mental Health. Mrs. Hysaw specializes in working with children under age 12 and their family. Annie has experience helping children struggling with ADHD, anxiety, depression, loss, foster care placements, trauma experiences, angry and aggressive behaviors, self injury and defiance. A strengths based therapist, Annie works to build a positive, collaborative relationship with families.
Kari Kryshak, MA, SACIT, LPC, is the therapist in our Wadewitz Elementary School clinic. Kari is a graduate of Minnesota State University-Mankato. She has experience working with children and families in the child welfare system, as well as adults. Kari uses cognitive-behavioral and solution-based strategies with individuals and groups to help each individual client realize their full potential. Kari believes in approaching each client as an individual and using personal strengths to help build the skills necessary to improve his or her life.
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!"