When our son was enrolled in the school, Walker embraced our whole family. They welcomed us into a wonderful and supportive community and gave our family the hope we thought we had lost—with four little words: We’re here to help.
Family and Community Integration Services (FCIS) was developed at Walker to provide better ways to help children preserve and maintain permanent connections to a family and community.
Walker FCIS is not a static program, but a dynamic array of individualized services developed to specifically enable the reunification of families at very high risk for extended disruption. Working collaboratively with pre-adoptive and adoptive families, foster families, and biological and kinship families, Walker FCIS will help identify and obtain services that move a child progressively toward permanency with a family—services that use the strengths and skills of each child and family to their full advantage.
All Walker FCIS clients have access to a team of highly skilled and experienced professionals. Each case is reviewed weekly with a Walker team that includes:
- licensed social workers with extensive experience working with high-risk children and their families
- outreach workers who are able to provide up-to-date progress reports and insight into ongoing challenges
- senior-level child care workers who provide observational assessment details obtained during the child’s preliminary placement
- psychologists and psychiatrists who provide consultation as needed
This team works in partnership with families to cooperatively identify the acute needs that have led to a disrupted home life while working to build upon each family member’s strengths. The FCIS team consults with families and professional partners to ask “What is it going to take for this child to live at home and remain in his or her school and community?” Then we work to provide an answer, by creating a functional assessment and identifying barriers, and by finding ways to overcome them through the concrete components of a service plan.
Walker FCIS always seeks to connect a child and family to community, through both formal and informal relationships. To this end, discharge planning begins the moment the child and family are referred to Walker.
With the complex and comprehensive needs of each family in mind, Walker FCIS components are designed to allow maximum flexibility in service delivery. Outreach services are available when the family needs it: during evenings, bedtime, early morning and weekends. The FCIS team will work with families to create and effectively implement strategies to increase the viability of placement permanency.