Every child in a family. Every family in a community. We improve the lives of children by strengthening family & community relationships.
In Hampshire County, BCF trains very special people, they are called Parent Aides. They are caring volunteers who help parents that are in need of support find answers to important questions about their children. Parent Aides also find supports for mothers that want to go back to school or work. Their help is sometimes the difference between a successful outcome for the entire family and disappointment and despair. They listen without judging or criticizing and help when parents are not sure where to turn. Isolation and poverty can be really tough for parents, especially those with no support system. Parent Aides are supervised by qualified social workers at Berkshire Children and Families. In some cases, a Parent Aide is the helping hand that can lift someone out of a bad situation and encourage hope and stability when there is no one else to do so. The Parent Aide Program is funded primarily by the United Way Hampshire County and has been continuously serving Hampshire County since 1981.
Berkshire Children & Families also has an Adoption Program that has been in existence since 1910 in Hampshire County, and 1898 in Berkshire County. Though it has changed considerably through the years, our dedication to serving the children in the custody of the Department of Children and Families is now our main objective. We work hard to ensure that we make the best match between the child and family. The cost of doing the right thing for these children can be a financial burden to BCF because we are not always fully compensated for the time required to make and implement the most appropriate decisions on behalf of these children.
Another program in the Pioneer Valley and all of Western Mass is Healing Homes, an Intensive Foster Care program that serves children in the custody of the Department of Children & Families. The Healing Homes program recruits, trains and supports Foster Parents who work with children that need a higher degree of care due to their special needs and trauma history. The staff at Healing Homes works tirelessly to serve and support children and families to achieve permanency.
The Community Centered Family Support Program provides in-home support to families in Berkshire, Hampshire and Franklin counties. The program focuses on improving home environments, as well as helping parents to access community support and improve communication with their children's schools.
The CBHI Family Partners program provides one-on-one support to parents or caregivers of a child with mental health needs. The family partners work collaboratively with families and members of the community, school and other service providers to achieve the best adjustment for the child in the home and community. BCF collaborates with The Brien Center of Pittsfield, MA, a leading provider of mental health and substance abuse services in Berkshire County, to deliver Family Partner support.
BCF also has three Social Workers stationed at Treehouse in Easthampton to support the community. Treehouse is an adoptive and foster community that operates with the belief that, “It takes a village to raise a child”.