As of December of 2022, the Family Support Services Department has undergone some transitions as most of the agency has with the merger of 2022.
First and foremost, the Family Support Services Department consists of three services and supports anyone approved by OPWDD with an intellectual or developmental disability who lives with natural supports. Our most popular service is our In-Home Behavior Support Services, which is an up to six months service for families to learn about behavior support for their loved ones living at home. We also have Social Work Services, trainings and groups for family members and individuals to work on a range of emotional and psychological topics. And finally, there is our Social Relationship and Sexual Education program, which is up to 6 months of service working with families and loved ones in a 1:1 capacity, in groups, workshops and sexual consent assessments.
Recently, we added a new part-time Social Work position that was filled by one of Wildwood’s own beloved long time employees, Donna Dorsey. Upon her “retirement” she decided to try something new, and accepted the part time position. Donna has already begun seeing families and individuals in a 1:1 capacity (virtual and in person), and has begun a biweekly Womens’ Group that is held every other Thursday. She is looking forward to creating more groups for families to interact and gain resources from, like a parent group and sibling group!
As December rolled in, long time Family Support Services Coordinator, Michelle Singh, transitioned into her new role in Residential Services, allowing me, a former In-Home Behavior Support Specialist, to move up into the department coordinator role. I am currently the new Family Support Services Coordinator for the department and excited for what is ahead. I have been working to make services more accessible and flexible for families by creating a more inclusive intake process to see if more than one service is appropriate for the family in need. I have also been working on getting more resources for the department to bring in more specialists for workshops, and consultation for the departments as we see families needs become more complex. I am also a Yoga Teacher and I plan on bringing back Yoga sessions for families, once I returns from maternity leave! As for the In-Home Behavior Position, we will be welcoming our new Behaviorist to the team March 20th, 2023! The team is very excited for her to bring 15 years of experience to the team, so stay tuned to learn more about her in a future Wildwood Digest.
As if those two roles in our tiny department weren’t enough change, we also welcomed in a new Community Service Director, Matt McMorris. Matt has been pivotal in helping the department find innovative and creative ways to provide Family Support Services in a hands-on way. He has been crucial to our communication with OPWDD, and other providers to advertise, manage and assist in getting this little departments lofty goals going.