As an organization dedicated to rigorous evaluation and measurement, Get IN Chicago spends a great deal of time tracking long-term outcomes of our groups, schools, and neighborhoods.  We devise strategies to help our grantees reach greater numbers each year and look for trends showing large-scale impact.  We are committed to determining what works.

But we also know that while we crunch the numbers, our grantees are making enormous strides.  The time, conversations, and guidance that they provide to our youth and parents can change the course of a life.  This support, which our grantees give throughmentoring, teaching, tutoring, therapy, and more, might not always be easily measurable – but it is always invaluable.

Throughout the year, Get IN Chicago asks grantees to send us updates about the young men, women, and parents in our funded programs. In the spirit of the holidays, we hope to share a few of these snapshots over the next few weeks.

Please join us in celebrating the accomplishments of our program participants – and thanking the workers who make these successes possible each and every day!

Parent Group 4 graduation 1.16

Congratulations to the January 2016 graduates of the Family Focus B-PROUD parent program in Humboldt Park!

Family Focus
Core Programming – Parent Engagement

This winter, Family Focus, Inc. will continue its B-PROUD parenting program, expanding their reach to 200 parents in Englewood, Humboldt Park, and North Lawndale.  B-PROUD aims to shape a set of parenting skills that will contribute to their childrens’ long-term success in school, in relationships and in achieving life goals.

A parent (Francesca*) was recently referred to Family Focus’ Lawndale Center by the Department of Family and Child Services (DFCS) due to allegations of verbal and physical abuse by her 16 year-old-son. At first, Francesca had no interest in participating in the parenting group. However, after attending a few sessions, she began to engage in dialogue.  She shared that her son was out of control, disrespectful to all authority, constantly fighting with his siblings, and had also been physical abusive to her.

During the Communication Module, Francesca closely listened to other parents and took notes about effective ways to communicate. That evening, she went home and reflected. She decided to try the suggestions of the other parents.

Soon, she realized that both she and her son were talking at each other versus to each other. Her fellow parent participants had suggested that she give her son one-on-one time in a pleasant atmosphere, offering him a space where he would be more comfortable sharing. With this new space and understanding, the next time Francesca went to visit her son, she was able to express her feelings and allowed him to do the same. She listened to him. They both apologized and have since vowed to keep the lines of communicate open.

Since starting this program, Francesca has built new relationship with her son. She says she now refers our program to everyone—even in the DCFS office waiting room.

*name changed

summer program

Participants from Family Focus pose with their children in summer 2015 (photo via Family Focus)