Amy Fouse, MS, PLPC, NCC
3055 E. Division
Springfield, MO 65802
The Bio-Parent Advocacy Program is a new pilot program launching under Council of Churches in 2023. It seeks to serve 25+ parents a year who have open Greene County Children's Division cases. The program provides support, classes, and counseling services for parents as they work toward maintaining or regaining custody of their children, with the goal of increasing family reunifications and reducing time for children in care.
The Bio-Parent Advocacy Program is a new program provided through a local grant from the Musgrave Foundation through Community Foundation of the Ozarks. This program is not a part of Children’s Division. It operates to help specifically support families by supporting and engaging parents. Participants in the program come through a variety of community partner referrals. Participants can self-refer, as well.
How We Help
The Bio-Parent Advocacy program seeks to support mothers (and fathers) with open Children’s Division cases in practical ways. The program seeks to meet immediate needs and uncover primary causes of family instability, often rooted in unstable identity and unprocessed trauma through relationship. Addressing these kinds of issues in a holistic way and reducing barriers makes this program unique. The Bio-Parent Advocacy program provides:
- one-on-one counseling/coaching
- support groups
- parenting & relationship classes
- advocacy at FST meetings & court
Greene County currently has low reunification rates, currently with a little less than half of children coming into care eventually reunited with their parents. This program seeks to provide parental support and advocacy needed to increase reunifications and encourage ongoing stability for children and their parents.
Parents who have Children’s Division involvement are often without the support and access to services they need to provide a pathway for healing and reunification with their children. The Bio-Parent Advocacy program provides counseling services, easily accessible classes, support, and advocacy that help provide real help and hope for parents in difficult situations.
For Children's Division/State of MO/Tax Payers:
A family with children in care is costly, in time and resources. The Bio-Parent Advocacy program helps reduce the burden and costs for the state by providing parental support and attempting to reduce the time that children are in care, freeing up funds and case worker time for other endeavors.
For the Community
Healthy reunited families aren’t just good for families; it is good for our community! By helping provide support and advocacy to keep families together or reunite them as quickly as is safely possible, we are creating a healthier and happier community.
Areas of Focus
Live the Best Life
How does a participant get involved?
Entry at any point, access to classes online, and a trauma focus are important features of this program. Transportation, paperwork, shame, and long waiting lists are often significant barriers for parents in our community seeking assistance. This program is designed to allow easy access to classes and services when a client is ready for them. Participants may access the full program or only the parts that make most sense for them and their unique situation and needs.
Individuals interested in finding out more or participating in the program can reach out to the Bio Parent Advocate for coaching/counseling needs or to attend a class or support group.