Families With a Future
"In the time that I have known you, you changed my life for the better and gave me a chance to prove myself. Thank you so much.”
With a generous gift from Dick Tarlow in 2006 and again in 2009, the Children’s Aid Society was able to create a unique and progressive program Families with a Future. Families with a Future has empowered many CAS parents to strive for and accomplish some life-long goals.
Working with a Life Coach, individuals establish goals, overcome roadblocks and develop long-term self sufficiency plans. The Life Coach works with participants individually and in group settings. Individual sessions aid in the development of a trusting relationship between the participant and the Life Coach. Monthly workshops help to create a positive support network among the participants and a consistent venue for problem solving. The Life Coach also identifies appropriate resources within and outside CAS when issues such as housing, public benefits, domestic violence, and health insurance, arise, utilizing the OPPCA staff for legal advocacy when needed.
Aside from providing informational resources and support, Families with a Future provides modest cash grants that assist participants on their paths to independence and self-sufficiency. In 2008 we helped a participant by paying an outstanding college tuition bill so she could obtain her transcript and apply to CUNY. Below is an excerpt from her response:
“I just wanted to let you know that everything is good. I registered today for classes as a full time student and I passed that remedial class I was taking with an 85, the third highest score in the class. In the time that I have known you, you changed my life for the better and gave me a chance to prove myself. Thank you so much.”
CAS staff recommends parents for the program, and their applications are reviewed by the Life Coach, who makes the final determination on whether the applicant is eligible for the program. Eligibility parents are:
- Self starters
- Self sufficient