Family Connection of Warren County Celebrates 31 Years of ServicePrint This Post
Family Connection of Warren County, Inc. will celebrate 31 years of service to families and children in Warren County on August 29, 2020. Family Connection of Warren County is an integral part of Georgia Family Connection, which is the only statewide network of its kind in this country that is dedicated to the health and well-being of families, children and communities.
“This anniversary represents a significant milestone for us,” said Emma Sinkfield, executive director of Warren County Family of Families Family Connection, a public-private partnership that is a part of the Family Connection statewide network. “It’s a testament to our unwavering commitment of working toward measurably better outcomes for everyone. We strive to mold healthy children who are primed for school and succeed when they get there; families who are stable, self-sufficient, and productive; and communities that are vibrant, robust, and thriving is our ultimate goal.”
This anniversary is also a testament to the strength of the relationships Family Connection maintains with partners in 14 counties. “What we do is vital, because on any given day thousands of Georgians are sitting at tables across the state focused on improving conditions of the children and families they know best,” said Sinkfield. “One of our core beliefs is that lasting change is local with individual service plans.”
Family Connection of Warren County, Inc. has a unique vantage point—not only to see the big picture, but also to operate effectively at the local level here in Warren County propelled by input from our own local citizens.
“Every community has families that need help at some point,” said Warren County Board Chair Lyn Pesek. “Their conditions improve when caring people come together to provide those folks with tools and opportunities to succeed. Every community has its own unique set of needs, and people rally around their own local needs with greater passion than they do arbitrary program goals assigned by an outside agency. I see this in action when I served on the Warren County Family Connection Collaborative and board. I am appalled to see the same efforts in the small town of Warrenton as I see across the state.”
Back in the early 1990s, conditions for children and families in Warrenton were among the worst in the nation. The private and public sectors—though working hard to improve the lives of our most vulnerable citizens—weren’t working together. Information from a community assessment led to the organization of the Quality of life Association for Warren County Inc., organized in 1989, which is a community based, grassroots, minority led, non-profit organization whose mission was dedicated to improving the life conditions of people in Warren County through support services and education. The association is committed to the development and self-actualization of individuals in need through grassroots efforts at the community level sponsored by public and private partnerships with full participation by local citizens. Local boards are required to consist of a cross-section of community leaders and citizens at large. The board’s responsibilities are to assist in determining high-priority problems and needs, to network with established social service, educational and governmental agencies in order to create a climate in which individuals can participate in bringing about a positive change in their lives and quality improvement in their communities. Our goals are not program driven, but rather, process oriented. Our association does not endorse any single program, but supports a process and structure in which communities and individuals identify goals and objectives and work together for their achievement.
Since 1989, FC, Inc. formerly QUOLA, Inc. has been successful in accomplishing the following programs: serves as the only social services agency that offers support services to DFCS clients, in the first year of inception we provided 225 children under the age of five (about 50% of all children under five) with structured daycare, trained 54 volunteers as parenting assistants and mentors, organized a club for teens-its beginning name was-Teen Connection, today it is called Teens-In-Action, a peer counseling program called Project TACT (Teens Always Concern About Other Teens) which was implemented with the assistance of the local ministerial council organized by our office, offers assistance to teenagers seeking part-time employment and summer jobs, helped fund and initiate the Georgia State PEACH (National Jobs) Program, served as Adult Literacy Agency for Warren County since 1991 and implemented an adult education program called RUSH, organized a Ministerial Association to pool resources and produce coordinated community wide outreach efforts to provide food and clothing as well as Ministerial Counseling services. We coordinated bus transportation to major employment sites for over 300 Warren County citizens to allow them to take advantage of regional job opportunities, brought the first Head start program to Warren County in 15 years, established an educational outreach committee which focuses on promoting student self-esteem, providing awards for accomplishments, and sponsoring school spirited activities, successfully implemented an annual youth day and youth crusade, a yearly family & community day, implemented a welfare to work program that taught Work simulation to individuals leaving the welfare system, played the leading role in bringing Family Connection to Warren County. We also created and implemented a spring break camp for over 105 children and a summer reading camp that now enrolls children referred by the local school system that are struggling with their reading and math classes. Developed and implemented an annual 3-day 2 night youth prevention retreat that is currently in its 15th year. Family Connection of Warren County, Inc., mission and programs supports the goals of our state partner, The Promoting Safe and Stable Families Program that is focus on getting families to self-sufficiency and children to permanency and safety.
Family Connection of Warren County, Inc. has been highly recognized for the services given to families and children in Warren and surrounding Counties. We are currently Nationally Accredited through the largest dropout prevention agency in the United States and through the state’s Family Connection Partnership we have proficiency status to accredit our effective, efficient and proficient strategies in serving families and children in Warren County.
The Quality of Life Association, Inc. was established to connect and convene key community members committed to improving the well-being of children and families. The name of the organization was officially changed to Family Connection of Warren County, Inc. in 2018. Since the year of 2000, we have had the privilege of operating on the property of the Roberts Family. Five acres of land was donated cleaned up and named the Estee Roberts Park and we have been allowed to use this property for operations and services for the last 20 years. Estee Roberts and his family have contributed so much to families and children in Warren County. Warren County citizens owe the Roberts family a grand thank you for giving us a place to serve the community when we were forced off county property in 1998. The current local elected officials have also supported and partnered with this organization in providing space, wisdom and support for families and children in Warren County. We have been supported very much by the Mayor and City Council as well as the Chairman and the Board of Commissioners.
Reimagining the Future
“We have a lot to celebrate at Family Connection of Warren County, Inc. said Emma Sinkfield,” “But we also have a lot of work to do. I believe Warren County is poised to do tremendous things for our children and families in the years to come to ensure that this community remains a great place in which to raise children and do business.” During the past 31 years Family Connection of Warren County, Inc. has brought about immeasurable change in this community. We have created and collaborated partnerships that have provided educational support to the entire school system, Job readiness and job search opportunities for individuals, Parenting Classes and Health Education Opportunities, Summer Camps, Spring Break youth retreats, summer camps, board/coalition retreats, financial assistance, transportation and referrals to services outside of the county, and has brought over 36 million dollars into this community economically in the last 31 years with an average of a million dollars per year covering the services given in Warren County.
A couple of examples: through the 21st Century Grant 3.7 million dollars were brought in and 3.4 million was brought in under the work force development program with the assistance of our grant writer the late Mr. Michael Bright. Through free income tax preparation and earned income credit in 2019 alone we brought $486,596 into this community. This program was brought to Warren County through the State Family Connection Partnership which also provided financial literacy and Home Buyers Education. Another partnership with the Community Action Agency brings $240,000.00 into to this community in 2019 to assist with heating bills for the elderly and the general public. Also in the spring of 2019, $100,000 were brought in to assist the elderly citizens 65 and above with cooling their homes during the summer. Our records show that there have been several grants that bring over a million dollars’ worth of services to warren county per year.
A partnership with United Way and Promoting Safe and Stable Families is currently providing a program that is a part of the GET GA reading program for all children to be proficient readers by the third grade. There are many things in place to ensure that our families are able to become and remain self-sufficient. We have a proven record of success after success story full of results coming from Family Connection of Warren County’s Efforts. We appreciate all our partners that provide services to the human side of economic development and we thank our 9 local board members who give their time and efforts to ensure that our community has the hand up in place that is needed by so many.
Our local Collaborative/Coalition consists of more than 60 members that provide needed resources to our families and children. We are so grateful for their help.
Family Connection of Warren County, Inc., supported by Georgia Family Connection Partnership has 31 years of experience grappling with thorny or complex issues, making sense of it all, and getting results—listening, learning, acting, and gaining wisdom along the way. Family Connection of Warren County, Inc. with the assistance of the Family Connection Partnership at the state level will embark on the next quarter century by refreshing its brand and redeveloping its website to better connect families to the resources they need to empower themselves by crafting local solutions based on local, data-driven decisions.
Sinkfield said. “I was born, raised, and educated in this county, and I love it dearly,” she said. “And I feel like it is part of my responsibility, just as a lot of us do, to make sure this county remains a great one for all the children who will come after us.”
If you need a place to donate to help create a strong steady foundation working for the future of Warren county and for tax purposes, please consider Family Connection of Warren County, Inc. I can assure you your dollars will be well spent for a good purpose.
Family Connection is a 501(c)(3) organization and your donations are tax deductible. We have been blessed to remain operational financially because God has opened the hearts of funding sources outside of this community. He has kept us because he knows of our works and he is using our hands to keep his people going as he keeps on providing for those in need in Warren County, “I thank God every day for his grace and mercy” said Emma Sinkfield, “that is why we keep on giving a fish to those in need and the knowledge to learn to fish so one might be able to survive for a lifetime.
Read the story on mcduffieprogress.com.