Great Start Collaborative Partner Spotlight: Arbor Circle
Arbor Circle has been at the Collaborative table since 2006 and an early childhood partner in the community prior to the GSC’s founding. Their programs support not only children but the whole family. We sat down with Susan Chang, Susan Sheppard, and Taylor Greenfield to learn more about Arbor Circle and how children and families are supported through their services.
Arbor Circle’s mission is to transform the lives of children, adults, and families facing mental health, substance use and family concerns in a caring partnership with our clients and diverse community. There are six different programs offered in Kent county’s early childhood system:
- Keep Early Education Positive (KEEP): A comprehensive support and consultation to childcare providers, teachers, and parents when a child ages 0-5 is facing any kind of difficulty in childcare or preschool. KEEP provides intervention and support so that children have a more successful experience in their early education.
- Infant & Toddler Development Services (ITDS): Parents learn more about themselves and their children, discover new ways to build relationships with their infants, and receive guidance for a variety of behavioral concerns and parental issues. These issues may include depression, anxiety, or fears, and can be addressed through counseling, case management, and more. Until recently the program was only eligible for families with Medicaid. ITDS recently received additional funding from RB5 millage funds to enable families to participate regardless of insurance.
- Healthy Families: Expectant mothers and parents of young children under the age of 3 are given the support and encouragement they need to help their baby be healthier, safer, and better prepared for a lifetime of learning. In-home services assist children in meeting developmental milestones and accessing appropriate health care.
- Parent Nurturing Group: Families with children in the foster care system working with foster care agencies to have their child return home. The program offers a structured series of parenting education and supervised parent-child activity time.
- Strong Beginnings: In-home therapy and case management services for pregnant or parenting African American or Latino women with mental health or substance use concerns. Individual and group support is provided, along with coordination of mental health services and psychiatric services. This program is offered in partnership with the Maternal Infant Health Program.
- North Kent Parenting Services: Group services focused on parenting skills and support for northern Kent County families. Specialized group available for teen parents. Services are focused on Rockford, Cedar Springs, and Sparta.
Arbor Circle takes a no wrong door approach with enrolling families in resources. Families can call the intake line and staff will help connect them to the program that fits their needs and wants best. The whole family can receive services through Arbor Circle. For more information about additional services click on the button to visit their site.
Arbor Circle incorporates parent feedback at multiple levels in their work. From feedback at individual sessions to surveys and focus groups, family’s input is heard and incorporated into changes that make their services best tailored to the needs of families and children.
As GSC members Arbor Circle values much about their membership. The sense of partnership and collaboration in a space where all are working on a common goal to support the community is one rewarding benefit of membership. The amazing people from across our community that come together at the table is reflective of the adage, it truly takes a village to raise a child. It is apparent at workgroup and membership meetings alike those involved in the GSC are motivated to help families by actively working to change systems that impact families the most. The work the GSC spends behind the scenes to keep the collaborative community work moving forward is a value to our community.
Thank you, Arbor Circle for your years of partnership and all you do for families in our community!