December 18, 2014

Spotlight on the Residential Counselors – Part 2

Posted in Employees, Residential, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services tagged , , , , , , at 1:54 pm by Lund

One afternoon last week the dining room at Lund’s Glen Road Residential Treatment Center was alive with activity as residential counselors and residents were making paper snowflakes together to celebrate the season and make their rooms and common spaces look festive.  The counselor leading the activity was in and out of the room looking for more scissors and tape to make sure everyone had what they needed.  The residents were quick to ask whether they could take their creations away to hang where they wanted.  Everyone was engaged in completing the activity until it was time for transports to leave to bring the moms to childcare to pick up their children and transition everyone into dinner time and evening activities.  Upstairs in one of the counselor’s offices, two counselors were chatting with a resident who had her baby in the office with her lying in a bassinet happily listening to the goings on and gumming on a teething toy.  Further down the hall another counselor, with a toddler balanced on her hip, was discussing a problem with the washing machine in one of the pods with another resident.  This normal afternoon scene demonstrates the diversity of the requirements of the counselor’s jobs.  There is always something that needs to be done and it could be arts and crafts, parenting support, driving, companionship or even washing machine repair.  This team stays on their toes and does what needs to be done to support the moms and children living at the facility, whatever that might be.

When asked what their favorite part of their job was, celebrating holidays came to forefront for many of the counselors.  “I loved spending time with the few residents who were here over Thanksgiving,” said Audrey Rose. “It felt so special to spend the family day with them and relax with the clients who were present.”  Lauren Ozzella, Residential Shift Supervisor, seconded this appreciation for spending holidays with the clients, “One of my favorite memories is working at Lund on Mother’s Day. Since it can be a bittersweet day for some of our clients we do lots of fun things to make them feel special and appreciated. Last Mother’s Day was great; clients and staff alike had a great time! One of the mom’s actually wished me a Happy Mother’s Day as well. She explained that she believes that counselors are sort of like mothers to them and their children, too, and that she thinks that we also deserve to be appreciated on Mother’s Day. That was so unexpected and touching; it’s something that I will always remember.”

Keep reading to meet some more of Lund’s wonderful residential counselors.

Thomas  Natasha is extremely dedicated to that work that she does as a counselor.  She is a great support to our clients and to her team members alike and is always finding ways to make everyone laugh.

 

 

 

 

Ozzella Lauren  is a fantastic and strong leader on the team.  She is understanding, empathic, positive and motivating. Lauren takes charge and is confident in her abilities. She promotes team morale and cohesiveness.

 

 

 

Manchester J  Jessica is a great asset to the evening and weekend team.  She is straightforward, consistent and reliable.  Jessica is positive, happy and a great person to be around.

 

 

 

 

 

Daugreilh  Ashley  ensures that all runs smoothly on her shift and she is a strong advocate for her staff. Ashley balances compassion with boundary setting and limits with our clients.   She has a witty sense of humor that keeps us all in good spirits!

 

 

 

 

 

Campbell  Sarah has worked for several years as a counselor in the residential program and at IP. Currently Sarah works part-time as a daytime counselor while she completes her BSW/MSW program. Sarah has a huge heart, which is evident through the work that she does with our clients and their children.

 

 

 

 

 

Michaud  Katy makes anyone around her smile! She is positive, calm and has a can do attitude about everything. Nothing rattles Katy she is able to handle most anything that is thrown at her during her shift.

 

 

 

Mumford After working as an overnight counselor and then as a full-time evening counselor, Anna has recently transitioned into a part-time shift while she completes her MSW program. She is fun and creative and is always the first to volunteer to play with the toddlers in the play lab during dinner chores.

 

 

RiversMichaela is part of our weekend evening and overnight team. She is a great team player and always takes the initiative to get things done with a smile on her face. Michaela is kind and compassionate; she is a great support to our clients and does not shy away from challenges.

 

 

Rose Audrey has been working at Lund for two and a half years. She is well known in the counseling department for planning and facilitating our weekend trips and activities. She is kind, caring, patient and is very dedicated to her work.

 

 

JoyceDanielle always goes the extra mile and can be counted on to get things done. Danielle is thorough in everything she does and we never have to worry that something won’t get completed. Danielle is also very very funny. She has a great sense of humor which is appreciated in her work with staff and clients.

 

 

Screen shot 2014-12-16 at 2.09.46 PM  Heidi is the newest member of the counseling team, working weekend mornings. Heidi has great knowledge and skills and jumped into her new position with two feet. Heidi has very quickly become comfortable in her position and is already working with our clients with confidence.

December 16, 2014

Spotlight on the Residential Counselors – Part 1

Posted in Employees, Residential, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services tagged , , , at 2:06 pm by Lund

Lund’s residential treatment program is the only place in Vermont where women can receive treatment for substance abuse or mental health issues while living with their children.  26 women pregnant or parenting women can live with one or two children up to age 5 at Lund’s Glen Road facility.  The program is staffed 24 hours a day to support these women and their families as they manage their own recovery, learn parenting and life skills and work towards self sufficiency.  The residential counselors who work daytime, evening, overnight and weekend shifts are an absolutely essential part of the program and provide all manner of support to the women and children from providing respite during the night, giving parenting support, planning family activities, doing chores, driving to appointments and helping moms deal with all the challenges that arise from parenting or pregnancy.    The counselors have been called the ‘glue that holds the program together.’

Last Friday the counselors held their holiday party sharing treats and exchanging ‘Secret Snowflake’ gifts.  It was unusual for so many of them to be in the same place at the same time as their shifts are often opposite and rarely can everyone be in a room at the same time as someone is usually needed on the residential floors or to accompany clients to appointments.   It was fun to see everyone celebrating and sharing the season together.  By necessity the  counselors work closely together and you can see it in the way they interact with each other.  It is clear that this is a passionate, dedicated and hard working team which of course is hugely beneficial to the families they work with.

Please read on for  ‘Meet the Counselors: Part 1’ and learn more about their work helping children and families to thrive.

JacksonJamie works the morning shift.  She is eager to be involved with resident’s treatment and is gracious in holding limits with them . Jamie is particularly enthusiastic for Saturday morning activities with clients.

 

 

Wood AAbi is hailed as having a perpetually positive attitude and has been commended for her calm and soothing presence during the morning rush.

 

 

 

 

PageKatelynn is a big fan of arts and crafts and she really enjoys engaging clients in art projects to make their time at Lund feel special. Katelynn in quietly determined with clients and supports consistently through challenging times.

 

 

 

ConroyKelsey is a fantastic team player and has worked all different shifts with consistency and reliability.  She is now working as a sub while she is in grad school. Kelsey presents herself with such a calm demeanor and radiates positivity throughout residents and staff member.

 

 

DeweyLaura is always helping out clients either one on one or in a group setting. Laura brings strength in play therapy to the evening team which is evident in her work with our kiddos! Laura is extremely patient and kind and is always willing to go the extra mile for any client.

 

 

 

 

WestBridgette’s passion for this job is evident in all the work she does. Team members describe Bridgette as committed and passionate and always able to make them laugh.

 

 

 

MbayuTeam members believe Francine has a solid “mom” presence for the women here and is always willing to lend a hand. Francine is appreciated for her hard work and her continual smile.

 

 

 

 

LeachDianne is always on the go doing something for other people. Dianne is always able to give great feedback to clients and really grow a bond with them.

 

 

 

Brot Liz is a team player and is often seen at L&D in her favorite spot overlooking Burlington. Liz brings strength in child development to the evening team and is able to help moms in any tricky situation. Liz often has a “can do” attitude that becomes contagious to other staff.

March 31, 2014

“The New Face of Heroin” – Rolling Stone comes to Vermont

Posted in Residential, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services, Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , at 1:33 pm by Lund

There is much discussion this morning about an article in Rolling Stone magazine focusing on heroin use in Vermont.  It’s an eight page spread delving deep into the story of a female addict, now in recovery, as she speaks about her descent from a fully functional, independent life using her considerable talent working with horses, to the craven, hollow existence of an addict sleeping in the back of her car.  The article features interviews with Peter Shumlin, T.J. Donovan, Bob Bick from the Howard Center, and Matthew Birmingham of the Vermont Drug Task Force.  While not offering much in terms of how the problem of heroin and opiate addiction can be solved, the article is well written, relevant and heart wrenching.   It ends with the positive notes in the life of the young woman featured, who is now living at Lund, awaiting the birth of her baby in July.  “I just want to give this baby a home.  My goal is to be a normal, boring person,”  she says.

But the discussion happening is not really about the problem of addiction in Vermont and what the solutions might be, or commenting on the bravery of this young woman as she struggles hard with her disease.  People are almost exclusively talking about the use of the image below on the second page of the article.

Rolling Stone April 2014

Comments on Facebook have called the picture offensive, distasteful, misleading and “an insult to the hard working sugar makers in Vermont”.  Two local TV news stations are running pieces on the picture and the reactions it is provoking.  Their facebook newsfeeds are alive with outrage and argument.  Sadly, it seems that the words of the article and the problems of heroin addiction in Vermont are being largely ignored.

There are so many things in Vermont to be proud of and the tradition of maple syrup production is one of them but people in Vermont reading this article should be proud of the work that Lund is doing as well.   136 women in the community and 80 women and their 93 children  at our residential treatment center benefited last year from integrated family-centered treatment for substance abuse and mental health issues.  Lund has been serving Vermont’s most vulnerable children and families since 1890.  That is a tradition to be proud of as well.  Let the discussion be about more than this image.

 

January 28, 2014

Lund Goes to the Statehouse!

Posted in Board of Trustees Spotlight, Events, Project Family, Residential, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services, Volunteer Spotlight tagged , , , , , , at 2:47 pm by Lund

Staff and board members from Lund hosted a coffee hour at the Statehouse on Tuesday morning to raise awareness amongst legislators about Lund’s integrated, family-centered programming for pregnant and parenting women and the impact it has statewide. Lund provides treatment, education, family support and adoption services to over 4,250 people from 1,500 families statewide annually. With a mission to help children and families thrive, Lund helps break the cycles of poverty, addiction and abuse through enduring and nationally acclaimed public-private partnerships.

Statehouse

Lund staff and board members at the Statehouse

Later Tuesday morning, Kim Coe, Director of Residential and Community Treatment Services at Lund testified to the House Committee on Human Services on the topic “Opiate Addiction Treatment Programs”. Here she described Lund’s treatment program as well as stressing the need for integrated, family-centered services for pregnant and parenting women struggling with substance abuse disorders. “Addiction is a disease that profoundly affects the entire family system; it cannot be treated effectively without using a family-centered approach. Lund recognizes the critical importance of concurrently treating women for substance abuse while also developing employment and life skills, providing parenting supports and access to educational services. Lund individualizes treatment in response to the needs of the individual as well as the family,” says Coe.

Lund is on the only residential treatment center in Vermont where a woman can receive treatment without separation from her young children, which can be a prohibitive concern for many women as they seek help for substance abuse disorders.

Also on Tuesday, Courtney Farrell, Assistant Director of Residential and Community Treatment Services at Lund testified to the Senate Committee on Health and Welfare on Lund’s substance abuse treatment programming. The committee will also hear from a young mother currently engaged in treatment at Lund to gain a first hand insight. Both committees were interested in hearing what might be missing from treatment programs currently offered in the state so that focus can be put into comprehensive solutions. Farrell, Coe and other experienced clinicians and counselors at Lund applaud the Governor’s initiatives as laid out in his recent State of the State Address, “We are very pleased that the Governor is committing dollars to address this public health issue, and while increased resources are critical, the thoughtful and intentional implementation of services will be as important to ensure the investment pays off,” says Coe.

Lund believes it is crucial to build on the strength of the current system while also investing in the following key areas.

• Ensure a multigenerational treatment approach in breaking cycles of addiction and poverty.

• Provide effective outreach and early intervention. An effective screening and assessment process requires strong collaboration and a holistic perspective. There is not a “one size fits all” approach to assessments that will meet the needs of all people.

• Implement continuing care plans that recognize treatment for addiction must be flexible and responsive to the nature of the disease, which is chronic and relapses should be expected and planned for.

• Address systematic barriers to treatment. Ensure that families are not caught in the middle of conflicting mandates and demands from State Agencies and community providers.

• Offer seamless transition of services for families throughout the continuum of care.

The most vulnerable victims of increased opiate use in the state are children. Children impacted by parental substance abuse are more likely to experience maltreatment and lack the essential care necessary for their well-being. Families affected by parental substance abuse need early identification and timely access to effective treatment to optimize recovery and avoid family disruption.The Governor’s focus on this pervasive problem is a practical and timely call to action to help Vermont families combat opiate addiction.

November 25, 2013

We need you to help children and families thrive!

Posted in Adoption, Foster Care Program, Kids-A-Part, Lund Early Childhood Program (LECP), Residential tagged , , , , , , , , at 9:11 am by Lund

As the season of Thanksgiving comes upon us, we at Lund are so grateful for the supporter of our generous friends and donors who have supported us over the years.  We could not do the work that we do without contributions from individuals, foundations and corporations.  When you give a gift to Lund you are directly supporting the many programs and services that Lund provides to over 4800 women, men and children every year.   Thank you for your support.

“I can’t say thank you enough to Lund, to my team specifically and to all the people who give time and money to keep this program running every day.  This program saved my life and my daughter’s life together.”    Lund client.

We are again asking for your support this year as we look to raise over $100,000 during our end of year appeal.   We need you.

MAKE A DONATION TO LUND.

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Please click the links below to read the stories of women, children and families who are directly supported by your donation.

Hailey, Max and Chantelle’s Story – Hailey is a single mom to a 3 year old girl and a 4 year old boy struggling to provide a stable home for the family.  Lund’s Early Childhood Program represents the only stability in their lives.

Dana’s Story – Dana’s adoptive mom struggled with Dana’s attachment issues and the trauma of her past but has the family has received hope and support through Lund’s Post Permanency Counseling.

Kelli, Chris and Jeff’s Story – Kelli worries about her sons during her incarceration but Lund’s Kids-A-Part program helps to ease the pain of separation.

Denise and Jayden’s Story – Denise came straight from jail, nine months pregnant with her son, to Lund’s residential treatment center where she found the help she so desperately needed.

Tina and Sienna’s Story – Tina found out what living really meant when she and her daughter arrived at Lund.

July 29, 2013

“We need a lot more music makers in the world” – Music Together at Lund

Posted in Employees, Residential, Volunteer Spotlight tagged , , , , , , , , , at 12:30 pm by Lund

There is something going on in the blue pod at the residential treatment center at Glen Road.   Voices, clapping, laughing and chatter all wind their way from behind the closed door and out into the hallway.  It is a Thursday morning and some of the residents and their children are participating in a Music Together class led by Joanna May.

On entering the room, you see Joanna in the middle of a circle of three moms, two staff members and seven children.  The adults are all singing and the children are joining in the way that feels best to them.  One little boy wanders away from the circle and his mom tries to call him back.  “It’s OK,” says Joanna.  “He’ll do what he wants to do.”  Everyone is smiling and the atmosphere in the room is friendly, joyful and as calm as can be expected with that many kids and the promise of musical instruments to soon be brought out.

Music Together is a internationally recognized musical education program for babies, toddlers and young children based on the principles that all children can learn to sing in tune, keep a beat and participate with confidence in the music of their culture.   Music Together emphasizes the actual process of making music, not just passively receiving it from recorded sources.  The program relies on adults joining in and being positive role models for the children by actively making music.  As Joanna explains, “A Music Together class is really for both the parents and the children.  There are so many lessons and benefits embedded in each class, but the biggest one for the children may be that they’re given the chance to explore with all their senses, at their own pace, in their own way, in a setting that’s physically and emotionally safe, fun and stimulating. It’s really important, also, that their parent is with them, as a touchstone.”

Joanna brings out the triangles next and adapts the movements based on the how the children are responding.  One little girl covers her ears and Joanna encourages everyone to play softly.  Another boy is gripping the side of his triangle and Joanna invites everyone to do the same and to listen to how the sound is different.  When it is time to put the triangles away Joanna sings goodbye and thank you to them as the children all put them back into the basket.  “It’s a good tip for when it’s time to put toys away,” she tells the moms.

The triangle makes very different sounds when held in different positions and so there is a discernible effect on the instrument from the child's actions.

The triangle makes very different sounds when held in different positions and so there is a discernible effect on the instrument from the child’s actions.

For Joanna, this is one of the most important aspects of the class – providing the moms with tools that they can use to get through parenting challenges.   “One of the moms told me that her daughter started singing one of the Music Together songs while they were taking a walk with the stroller. They then started changing the words based on what they were seeing and doing on the walk. This same mom said she had made up a “Good Job” song that she would sing the first part of, and her kids could sing the response. This is really what the songs are intended for.  This mom had discovered a way of communicating and strengthening her bond with her very young children that was spontaneous, positive and was getting them through transitions in their day.”

Each activity in the class is short and changes before the children lose interest and each involves a different sort of movement or interaction.  The drums that come out after a mid-session dance break are very popular.  Everyone sits around them and the babies in bouncy chairs are pulled close so that they can participate too.  The group experiments with tapping, slapping, and banging the drums.  Joanna sings along with the rhythm.  The children join in completely unencumbered by the ‘way it is supposed to be done’ and many of them fall naturally in with the rhythm that the adults are creating.    Experimentation with different instruments and sounds is very important in the class and it also allows for the parents to experience different ways of interacting with their children.  Joanna says, “For the moms at Lund, they’re getting the chance in class to try out some really nice, maybe new, ways of playing and bonding with their children: rocking, dancing, singing to, tickling, call and response, making up silly rhymes, etc. Positive interactions build on themselves, and the more positive ways parents have of interacting with children, the better.”

Feeling the rhythm through fingers, hands and arms.

Feeling the rhythm through fingers, hands and arms.

At the end of the class, Marie Fetterhoff, Children’s Treatment Services Coordinator, is visibly moved by what she has seen. For her the success of the class is really in seeing the interactions change between the parents and the child.  The class is firmly based on being responsive to the children and really listening to them, which are both at the root of attunement between mother and child, something which is emphasized in parenting education in the program.  “It is so wonderful to see mothers and children experience attunement, sometimes for the first time, through the music and activities of Music Together,” says Marie.

It is clear to see while observing the class how much the children respond to music.  The class is full of joy.  “I really believe everyone deserves the chance to experience the simple pleasure of making music,” says Joanna.  “It’s been a privilege to bring this program to Lund, and to a population of families who might not otherwise have the opportunity. I just think we need a lot more music-makers in the world.”

June 10, 2013

Barbara Rachelson Presents on the Vermont Regional Partnership Grant on Capitol Hill

Posted in DCF, Employees, From The Executive Director, Residential, RPG tagged , , , , at 1:20 pm by Lund

Barbara (on far right of presenter's table) at the policy briefing on Capitol Hill.

Barbara (on far right of presenter’s table) at the policy briefing on Capitol Hill.

Thursday June 6th, Washington D.C. – Barbara Rachelson, Executive Director of Lund, spoke to over 110 staffers, including representatives from Congressman Welch and Senator Sanders’ offices, at a Capitol Hill Policy Briefing today on ‘Substance Use Disorders in Child Welfare’. Rachelson’s focus was on the outcomes of the Regional Partnership Grant awarded by the federal government to Lund and the Vermont’s Department of Children and Families Family Services Division’s Burlington District Office (DCF) for implementation between 2007-2012.

“The families we serve have multi-faceted, complex needs. Families are often not only struggling with addiction and mental health disorders, but additionally most of our mothers have experienced significant trauma through domestic violence, child abuse, neglect and poverty. Through Lund’s continuum of services and community partnerships we can provide our mothers and their families with treatment, education and family support services they crucially need for their recovery, as well as for their successful development as parents and productive members of our community,” says Rachelson as she introduced Lund’s programs and services to the audience on Capitol Hill.

Barbara spoke of the positive outcomes of Vermont’s Regional Partnership Grant, “As an RPG grantee from 2007 – 2012, we were able to demonstrate that to ensure the safety, permanency and well-being of children affected by their parent’s substance abuse, our community requires a cross system approach that is intentional about its collaboration and integrated in its service delivery.” Vermont’s RPG addressed systemic and practice challenges that are barriers to optimal family outcomes. Rachelson reported in DC, “The grant enabled Lund to partner with our child welfare agency in a way new to Vermont. The collaborative results of Vermont’s RPG are outstanding. Although child and adult outcomes were significant and positive for families served. It is important to emphasize that the collaborative structures developed have shifted the culture of how systems are currently working together in our community.”

“Families have told us time and time again – the single most important factor for their progress in treatment and improvement in family functioning is having the help available when they need it.  The service delivery model implemented by Vermont’s RPG helps us to meet this need,” said Rachelson to federal policy makers highlighting the important potential of this model to be replicated elsewhere in the state.

Despite the successful outcomes of this grant, funding has not been renewed. Lund and DCF are working to identify new sources of support to continue the positive impact of Vermont’s RPG. The legacies of this grant in the Burlington area are the development of an innovative service delivery model that is the foundation for a more coordinated approach to child welfare for families affected by parental substance use disorders. The children and families who participated in the grant experienced 1) a measureable increase in well being, 2) increased timeliness of treatment and service delivery; and 3) improved case management services for families.