|Supporting Parents and Healthy Families|
| Franklin County Area United Way's mission is to provide health and human services in four areas: Strengthening Families, Nurturing Children, Assisting the Elderly and Disabled, and Providing Emergency Assistance. Strengthening families is a key priority for United Way, which is why we partnered with Grace's Place in 2013. Grace's Place is a crisis nursery that cares for children up to the age of twelve when their family is experiencing a crisis and they are not able to care for their children themselves. Grace's Place is able to care for children 24 hours a day for up to five consecutive days at no cost to the families.|
"There are no criteria to receive help here, the only thing is that they [families] are experiencing a crisis. We don't ask for socio-economic information, where the families live, or other things like that. We really try to just focus on the family and the crisis that they are currently experiencing. It is very important to us that people know that, because you could make a million dollars a year, you could live in Franklin County, and not have anyone to call upon to help care for your children."
- Amanda Jones, Executive Director Grace's Place Building stronger, healthier communities takes teamwork. Grace's Place joined the United Way as a member agency in 2013 and quickly became part of the network of sharing resources and referrals. UW member agencies, such as ALIVE, Crider Health Center, and Loving Hearts refer their clients to Grace's Place when they need respite care or are experiencing a crisis. In turn, when families need help with diapers, clothing, food, utility bills, etc., staff at Grace's Place refers them to other member agencies such as Pregnancy Assistance Center in Washington or Community Outreach in Gerald. Grace's Place has developed partnerships with other agencies to provide the most comprehensive support to families possible.
"We work hand-in-hand with those agencies so we know what they can provide and they know how we can help families. It is very important that, when we are referring families, we know what those agencies can provide and what they will require from the families, such as social security cards or drivers licenses, when the families ask them for assistance. We try to help streamline the process of receiving help to save everyone time and energy."
-Amanda Jones In addition to being there for families during times of crisis, Grace's Place also offers respite care to families. Studies show that when parental stress is elevated, the risk of abuse or neglect goes up. Many people have no family or close friends they can call on to care for their children when they are stressed and need a break. Grace's Place provides a safe, happy haven where children are well-cared for so their parents can take care of themselves without feeling guilty. Grace's Place is a wonderful example of how United Way partners with agencies to strengthen families and nurture children.