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June 16, 2014

Community forum creates system of care for local families

Ada —

Nearly 20 local community service agencies have joined together to host “It Takes a Whole Village to ‘Foster’ a Change” forum at 10 a.m. to noon Friday, June 20 at the Pontotoc Technology Center. The free forum is being offered to the community as part of the statewide Communities of Care initiative kick-off event.

Communities of Care representative Bonnie Keeley, MS, LPC, project director of Pontotoc and Seminole Systems of Care, Multi-County Counseling, Inc., explains the purpose of the forum is to raise awareness of the number families in the community struggling through traumatic events. 

These events often weaken the family structure and end with children being taken into the foster care system. Helping these families on the front end is an investment that results in stronger communities.

“Working together we can build stronger, healthier communities. We want our friends and neighbors to join us Friday and gain a better understanding of what community services are available and how even the smallest commitment of time and resources can help strengthen our community,” Keeley said.

 The free event will include food, prize drawings, guest speakers, information about local community services and a live music performance by Injunuity.

Community leader Sandy Poe, director of Parent Involvement, English Language Learner Services and Homeless Liaison for Ada City Schools, has taken an active role in the event because she believes the entire community plays a role in the overall health, safety and well-being of all local children and families. 

Poe said, “I am part of this effort by the Communities of Care initiative because I care about the future of our children, the future of our community. I am encouraging everyone to step up and commit to adding value to the quality of life for all of us.”

As a leading agency in the Communities of Care Initiative, the Department of Human Services invites everyone to attend the forum and gain a better understanding of how everyone can get involved and help build a stronger community by working together to keep children out of the state’s foster care system and keep those in the system in loving, caring homes. 

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