Agency Q&A: Family Lifeline
Tell us about your current role and your professional background.
For the past five years, I have been honored to serve as President & CEO of Family Lifeline. Since receiving my MSW in 1990, I have been fortunate to have a variety of clinical and administrative experiences in Greater Richmond’s non-profit sector. For almost 10 years, I have served as Adjunct Faculty in the School of Social Work at Virginia Commonwealth University. My work as a Faculty Liaison supports the education of undergraduate and graduate students to numerous non-profit and governmental agencies throughout the Greater Richmond community. Lastly, I have served on a variety of boards such which include Smart Beginnings RVA, CHIP of Virginia, St. Thomas Day School, Virginia Supportive Housing and The NAMES Project Central Virginia.
What is Family Lifeline’s mission?
We partner with individuals and families at critical points in their lives to strengthen overall wellbeing and independence by delivering intensive home and community based services.
How does Family Lifeline’s work support the Born Healthy component of United Way’s Steps to Success?
Family Lifeline’s Greater Richmond Early Childhood Development Home Visiting Initiative works to assure that children are healthy, well-cared for, safe and ready to succeed in school, work and life. The Initiative seeks healthier babies, healthier moms, engaged dads and stronger families positioned to support and encourage success in their children, beginning with success in school. Family Lifeline’s premise is straight-forward, strengthening at-risk families provides a foundation for success, two generations at a time.
What do you think is the biggest value United Way brings to Family Lifeline?
It goes without saying that FLL benefits enormously from United Way’s faithful financial support but one would be remiss to believe that this is the only way we benefit from the our affiliation with United Way. United Way offers so much more, period. They have consistently supported and contributed to our commitment to engaging new and emerging best practices thereby assuring effective high quality programs. Additionally United Way is a well-respected broker that helps foster partnerships that enhance our work. Perhaps most importantly, United Way effectively helps everyone become aware of and builds upon the strengths, needs and possibilities that surround us in order to create a better quality of life for all in our shared community.
How have needs in our region changed over the past 10 years?
There are two immediate needs that come to mind. Richmond is ever increasingly more culturally and racially diverse. The rapid growth in the Hispanic population has impacted and continues to impact virtually all areas of our community. Secondly, the number of people living at or below the poverty line continues to grow. Not to mention the needs related to housing instability, transportation and food insecurity. We must support individuals and their ability to earn a livable wage, thereby challenging all service providers to find innovative ways to address the increasing needs of an ever larger population. Family Lifeline, as we have throughout our 140 year history, is committed to being flexible and responsive to these ever changing needs.
What 2018 project or initiative has you most excited for the year ahead?
Family Lifeline received an award from Virginia Division of Child and Family Health as a result of a proposal submitted for funding to successfully embed a Parents as Teachers team into the VCU Health Outpatient Pediatric practice. Home visiting services will be provided at the homes of patients served by VCU Health. Family Lifeline is both excited and enthusiastic about this first time initiative to work collaboratively with this well-respected partner.