By Sarah Rachfal

srachfal@my.madonna.edu

A partnership between the Exchange Club of Livonia and Madonna has birthed the university’s newest program, FamilyCARE.

Managed by Psychology Department faculty, FamilyCARE is an infant mental health program for parents and their babies up to 3 years old. 

FamilyCARE launched this summer with the mission to prevent child abuse and neglect and improve children's mental health outcomes through interventions that strengthen the bond between young children and their parents.  Parents will also learn how their own experiences influence their parenting, how to interpret and understand what their child needs and to respond in a healthy manner.

“The clinic provides treatment for not only students and their families, but people all over the greater tri-county area.  Having a program that focuses on early childhood will help strengthen and support families, which can ultimately prevent child abuse and neglect,” said Amy Halstead, Director of FamilyCARE.

During the first year of this program, donations from the Livonia Exchange Club and individuals will provide for at least 100 intervention sessions, training for both students and faculty and other expenses related to the program. Future plans include the purchase of new equipment, expanding the number of families served, developing and offering education for area mental health professionals and funding a training fellowship to attract highly qualified students.

In future years, FamilyCARE will be expanded to all of Western Wayne County as the need for child abuse prevention is growing rapidly in our area. The increased demand is due to many factors including the number of parents who have problems with drug and/or alcohol abuse.

Facilitated by Psychology Professor Amy Halstead, the FamilyCARE support group is free; however, individual cases will be seen in the clinic based on the ability to pay.  The graduate students currently doing their practicum in the psychological services clinic at MU will be providing individual case treatment under the direct supervision of Halstead as well as their individual, fully licensed supervisors.

The Exchange Club of Livonia was founded in 1941 and has been serving the communities of Western Wayne County for more than 70 years.  In keeping with the core values of the Club - family, community and country - The Exchange Club of Livonia provided $2,500 from its child abuse prevention fund and individual members of the organization have pledged personal funds to support the program. 

The Madonna University Psychological Services Clinic is self-supported, does not receive any funding from the university and does not turn people away.  FamilyCARE can be contacted at (734) 432-5493. 

 

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