Parent Aide Programs
Less than 50% of all children removed from their homes by the Department of Child Safety (DCS) are reunified with their birth parents. The goal of Aviva’s Parent Aide Programs is to increase the likelihood of family reunification through supervised visits and supportive parenting strategies. Supervised visitation is the most important service that a family receives when involved with DCS. Parents’ engagement in supervised visits is perhaps the greatest predictor of whether or not a family will reunify. It is important that these visits take place in a setting that promotes positive family interactions. These factors led Aviva to create a one-of-a-kind Visitation Center -a supportive, safe and homelike environment conducive to a positive and nurturing visitation experience for both the parents and the children.
In 2015, Aviva’s Parent Aide Program will be expanding to support the increasing need to provide visitation services for families in Pima County. The completion of our Outdoor Visit Center, featuring a playground, will allow us to host 20% more family visits at our facility. This outdoor playing area will provide another option, in addition to the indoor facility, for families and children to interact. The value of playing in a positive environment can be therapeutic and help with the healing process.
Under contract with The Arizona Department of Economic Security, Aviva supervises close to 1000 court-mandated visits a month between children and parents working a DCS case plan. More than 50 dedicated Parent Aides provide support and encouragement to parents and children helping them maintain and strengthen their bonds. Depending on DCS guidelines, visits are conducted at our Visit Center, in the community or at the parent's home.
Parent Education Program
A caring and committed team of professionals partner one-on-one with parents to identify weaknesses and build on strengths that support their efforts to be “the best parent(s) they can be" while working toward their goal of family reunification. Parent Aides provide support, parenting education, mentoring and life management skills. They also address families' specific needs by referring them to other community resources as needed. This program recognizes that many of the parents served have also been victims of neglect and abuse, and works to educate the parents about the cycle of abuse, focusing on the goal to change. Established in 2012, this program has worked with 66 families on their DCS case plans and successfully aided in the reunification of 33 families so far.