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Families Plus celebrates 18 years

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Photo submitted Women in Business, a program sponsored by the Delta Area Chamber of Commerce, joins Family Plus in celebrating 18 years of serving children in Delta County.

On Oct. 9, 1998, a brand new way of helping children in challenging circumstances sprouted up in Delta County. The program was designed for underserved and vulnerable children of Delta County and started off modestly providing professional mental health care providers and mentors to only a handful of children. Over the course of the last 18 years, Families Plus has grown to serving approximately 60 children from its office on Grand Avenue in Delta. The driving force behind this outreach to children is the residents of Delta County itself.

"Delta County is amazingly supportive of children. Families Plus is thriving due to all the people here who care about children and who are quick to step up and go the extra mile for them," says Dr. Brenda Holland, founder. "This month, Families Plus is celebrating all of our wonderful children and the hundreds of people over the last 18 years who have been willing to sacrifice for them and delight in them. All of us together are more than enough for the estimated 300 children in Delta County living in challenging circumstances and needing enrichment and extra support. Families Plus looks forward offering something to all of them in the coming years."

The program has experienced rapid growth in the last year, expanding to provide services through DCMH Family Medicine and Stoney Mesa Family Practice. "Thanks to the conscientious effort of the Families Plus staff and volunteers the past year has dramatically increased the support of children and parent health issues. We look forward to continuing our efforts and improving upon whatever is necessary in future years," said Dennis Bollig, board of directors president.

Families Plus is a nonprofit organization that has impacted the lives of 140 children. Over 100 adults have been involved in the signature mentoring program. All those investing in children through Families Plus strongly believe that all children can grow into healthy, educated and self-sufficient adults if they have positive relationships and enriching experiences as they grow.

The organization offers what is known as a system-of-care treatment program, also referred to as a wraparound program. This means that Families Plus coordinates a lot of support to the child. Working from this system-of-care/wraparound model of care, Families Plus draws support from many agencies and individuals in the community. This model is being outlined as the preferred treatment for children. The state of Colorado outlined directions for this model in "The Accountable Collaborative Phase II Concept Paper" released in October 2015. These emerging treatment models emphasize the assistance and treatment that Families Plus has provided for 18 years.

"All of our services could not be provided without the help of willing volunteers from all over Delta County," says Toni Pearson, business manager. These volunteers include board members Dennis Bollig, president; Dave Armlovich, vice president; Al Hale, treasurer; Linda Manley, secretary; Don Chapman, Christopher Cady and Connie Berry.

Dr. John VanDenBerg, internationally known for his role in founding the wraparound systems of assisting children, is a regular consultant to the Families Plus program. Currently the staff consists of 10 full-time and part-time individuals with an AmeriCorp Vista member joining later this year.

You are invited to get involved and make a difference in the life of a child by calling 874-0464 or emailing familiesplus

colorado@gmail.com.

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