A Story of Hope
While the incidence of domestic violence is always too high, with the stress and isolation of COVID-19, data are showing that reported crimes have increased by over 40 percent.
I work with families who have young children. When a mom experiences domestic violence, her children are affected. Not only are they scared, confused, ashamed, and isolated, they are incredibly insecure and without support, experience long-term physical and emotional effects. They also have a traumatized mom.
One mom I helped has a 3-year-old and 7-year-old. They all suffered domestic violence while living with the father. The children regularly experienced and witnessed verbal, emotional, and physical abuse. Mom made the decision to make a change and advocate for herself and her children. I worked with them to stay in our culturally specific women and children’s shelter, Casa Esperanza. Soon after, Mom was accepted into a low-income apartment. To finally have a place to call home for her children was such an incredible accomplishment.
Mom found a part-time position as a customer service employee which soon became a full-time position. I helped the family enroll in DHS/Employment Related Day Care services so mom could work and pay their rent, bills and other needs. We were also able to assist with basic needs such as rent assistance, food boxes, hygiene products, diapers and wipes, and free internet through Comcast.
The 7-year-old son is in elementary school and the 3-year-old is in child care while mom works. This type of trauma doesn’t usually go away without professional help. We worked to get the kids in mental health therapy to address the trauma.
I continue to work with them as mom and the kids suffer the after effects of living in a home with domestic violence. We expect, because we acted quickly, that a full recovery will occur. It is so rewarding to really help families. It takes time, caring, and resources.
“I have permanent nerve damage in my arm because my dad used to throw knives at me,” recounts 15 year-old Benjamin, one of our children of incarcerated parents (CIP) kiddos. “I never really had a childhood because as young as five years old, I was expected to take care of my younger siblings. I was angry a lot and showed it because that’s how my dad acted.”
Benjamin has been a part of our CIP program for several years. Northwest Family Services’ CIP staff provide constant support for the children and families/guardians. On a 10-point scale that measures childhood trauma, our CIP children have an average score of 9. This means they are more likely to engage in risky behavior and their future health is in jeopardy. That is where we comes in to provide support, skills, resources, love, and build resiliency and hope. And it works!
Benjamin is one of hundreds that we have supported. “I love football. NWFS connected me with Coach Jeff to be my mentor. He has taught me to be what it means to be a man. I’m doing well in school now, I have goals, playing football, and the CIP team took myself and some other kids to tour a university. No one in my family has gone to college, but I want to go now – be the first one. They help me in so many ways I can’t even describe how it feels that they care so much. I’m a different person.”
Our CIP students face countless burdens every day; most of them experience homelessness and food insecurity – School is the last thing on their list because they are just trying to survive. Our program offers long-term support that includes a caring, stable community that connects them with many resources along with a solid mentor, just like Coach Jeff. We start working with them as early as kindergarten. We provide an 8-week program for young children in Kindergarten-4th grade called, “Big Challenges.” Here are a few comments from the little ones: “I don’t want this group to end. I feel safe talking here.” “We get to talk about how we feel and you understand us.” “I like everything! Mostly the support from everyone – I thought I was the only one with a mom in jail.” This short intervention allows a space for the children to express themselves and to “feel they aren’t alone.” It removes the stigma. Unfortunately, the funding was significantly cut, so we had to drop the program for younger children and reduce the number of children and youth served.
Veronica joined our mentoring program when she was in seventh grade and had recently been removed from her mother’s care due to sever neglect. Veronica was timid and shy and struggled to make friends at her new school after she was placed into her foster home. As the years past, Veronica grew into a remarkable young woman. Veronica’s foster family turned into a guardianship arrangement and she began to call the family members by traditional titles like ‘mom’ and ‘brother.’ Veronica’s foster parents gave birth to two sons which she has been the big sister to every moment of their lives. During her time in our program Veronica was able to access extra-curricular activities like competitive cheerleading. Veronica graduated from Milwaukie High School June 2018, where she is the first in her biological family to do so. Veronica started her first job at doing childcare during parenting classes at NWFS. Veronica developed an incredible work ethic and found a new sense of independence. Working as a childcare provider gave her an important opportunity to develop hard and soft job skills that will serve her for the rest of her life. Veronica decided to find another job and applied at Old Navy in April of 2018. Veronica’s transition into early adulthood and her resiliency are truly noteworthy as she completed her senior year while holding down two jobs and planning for her future. Veronica is currently enrolled at Clackamas Community College and will start studying criminal justice in the fall. Veronica’s future goals include becoming a police officer and being a foster mother. Veronica is an amazing example for other kids, a support to younger students, a future mentor for our program, and a true inspiration to all that are lucky enough to know her.
Alex is an amazing resilient 16-year-old high school student. He was referred to NWFS last year as his father was sentenced to four years after years of domestic violence against Alex’s mother. Many times, Alex intervened and he went to them with a lot of trauma. Despite the upheaval at home, as well as being homeless, this young man’s resiliency is awe-inspiring. He has thrived in their program and getting to know him has been a joy. He is an active member in the JROTC program at his local high school and he is passionate about becoming a pilot. Through NWFS' programs they have been able to assist this young man in getting his driver’s license, basketball fees, new clothes, and school supplies and be a constant presence in his life. Recently Alex’s team took first place at the JRTOC competition. Their programs are striving to provide Alex with protective factors that might make the difference for him.
I am a double lung transplant recipient pursuing a career change as a Web Developer. Northwest Family Services has so graciously provided me with a much needed grant to complete web development & design certification. I will forever be grateful to Northwest Family Services for their financial & holistic support.
The SymptoPro Fertility Education course from Northwest Family Services has empowered me as a woman and allowed me to understand more about my own body. I can't believe I did not know these things before. Every woman should have access to this information!
I really enjoyed this course and did not expect to learn as much as I did about MY body! I had heard so many varying things about fertility awareness, but am glad I was able to take the course and learn first hand what it really means!
From a client who took our online SymptoPro Fertility Education course: "Everything about our experience with Northwest Family Services has been wonderful! This is actually the 3rd Fertility Awareness course that we have paid for- the other 2 (taken elsewhere) left us confused and frustrated. We're very happy to have found the SymptoPro Program and have loved working with our instructor! The straightforward rules were clearly explained through the lessons, and the textbook was fantastic and easy to understand!"
This charity has provided me with an amazing opportunity to get a quality education when I needed it most. Financial struggles were all too real, and financial aid was unavailable for the program that I was wanting. NW Family Services made the process of enrolling to both their program incredibly easy. and even assisted me with getting into the college program itself! I could not have done this without their help, and I am so happy I had reached out to them when I did. Even after my certificate was recieved, I was still offered food boxes, and even assistance with job placement! I would highly recommend this charity to anyone!
This is just one of many stories of students who have greatly benefitted from the support that Northwest Family Services can provide. “In the spring of the 2018-2019 school year, I started working with a student, AJ. He was really struggling to keep his grades up. Teachers had referred him to me so that I could help coach him in academic preparedness, organization, and study skills. When I first started working with him, he was failing every class and pretty discouraged. Upon initially meeting with him, I knew that setting small and quickly achievable goals would be beneficial to give him momentum to begin working on some longer-term goals. I would meet with him about once a week or once every other week. During our meetings, we would look at his grades online together, going through each class assignment by assignment. We would set goals for tangible things he would need to raise his grades incrementally. Usually, this consisted of turning in missing work, talking to a teacher after class to ask for a handout that had been lost, or putting reminders in his phone to do his weekly band assignments. He quickly was able to raise nearly all his Fs to Ds, and they continued to improve from there. I would write on a sticky note the concrete things we had agreed upon. He kept it in his binder, and we would review it the next time we met. Though small, he found this practice helpful to have items to consistently check off and keep himself on track. One of the times we met, he looked over at me and said, ‘I wish you had been here when I was in 6th or 7th grade. This would have really helped me then, too.’”
The simplest thing – a positive adult working in the school to offer one-on-one support and coaching to struggling students – made a world of difference in this student’s life, and in the lives of so many. Thank you for what you are doing to support vulnerable youth in our community.
When I met Kate, it was obvious that she had a strong personality that also came with the gift of leadership. She had a lot of questions about the services offered at NWFS and our staff, but did not tell us too much about herself. As the school year progressed, I found out that Kate experienced various challenges at school, such as getting into fights, missing school, and dabbling in marijuana use. But the thing that stood out to me personally was her difficult home life. The school administration informed me that her mother was a single parent who abused alcohol and often left the kids at home alone. Kate’s older brother was frequently in and out of juvenile detention, having stolen a car, and the children in Kate’s family were quite obviously victims of neglect. Kate frequently missed school in order to babysit her younger sister while her mother was absent from the home.
After growing a relationship with Kate, she began to discuss with me some of the challenges that the family faced and I knew that we could offer help. Around Thanksgiving time, we were able to partner with the local food pantry in Clackamas County to get their family a turkey. Following that, we continued to get support for Kate’s family through the local food pantry, and I referred Kate to NW Family Services’ alcohol and drug intervention program. The change in Kate’s energy was noticeable. We discussed an opportunity to take Kate to Blooming Boutique, a local Clackamas County non-profit, to receive an entire new wardrobe and hygiene items. Kate was ecstatic! The administration and team at NWFS noticed a positive change in her behavior following the support and resources offered through NWFS. Kate’s mother sent us a letter of appreciation, saying, “I wanted to reach out and thank you for the turkey and letting Kate access your resources. The hygiene items really help us out.”
This year NWFS was able to help Kate and her family succeed by providing different resources through partnering with other local non-profits such as the food pantry, to hygiene items, with the support of Blooming Boutique, as well as utility assistance during the COVID-19 crisis. NWFS was able to help create a consistent, safe, and stable environment for Kate and this family. They continued to stop by frequently to receive support from NWFS staff.
First on the list is to say that Samantha F. of Northwest Family Services is an invaluable resource to all who meet her. The way she interacts with people to ensure that the curriculum of P I O is taken seriously and positively for the families and communities involved is powerful. Much thanks goes out to Samantha for taking the time to be the best resource she can be. Your teachings were well put together and understandable. With your help we all have grown to be better served for our own lives. Having a person such as Samantha F. to guide us as learning individuals was pleasant and welcoming. My thanks and support go to Samantha.
Make sure Samantha is heard and well taken care of, for all the communities sake!
Thank you for the time taken to read this.
Thank you for including me in your Rethinking Job Search workshop.
I have to be honest, I wasn't sure where this was heading after day one. But truth be told my take away list is long.
My "ahh ha" moment was chapter 6 and chapter 11 gives me a greater purpose as I continued my job search and life path.
To sum it up --> thought provoking!
So glad I was a participant
"what lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us" Emerson
"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% what you do with what happens to you" Anonymous
About how NWFS leverages resources for their clients:
Ruth is an outstanding caregiver and was actually chosen as the CAREGIVER OF THE YEAR at Home Instead Senior Care, her employer. She also won the regional award for the Pacific Northwest. Bottom line is she is amazing and often gets up 4+ hours before her shifts to take a bus to get to her clients. She is also the primary caregiver to her disabled husband and her school aged child, whom are living at home. Recently she has been struggling financially and had to actually turn work down because she could not afford the bus money it would have cost to see two separate clients in one day.
Thankfully NWFS was able to provide enough bus tickets for her to go to work and she welled up with tears in her eyes and immediately began thanking them. She could not believe NWFS was giving her tickets and for free! She said the money she saved by getting those tickets allowed her to not only take on more clients, as she so desperately needed too but also freed up some cash for her to buy some essentials for her family.
Thanks again for the fare assistance! NWFS receives a fare relief grant from TRIMET and Ride Connection, thanks to this grant they are making a difference in the lives of people like Ruth.
PIO participant Kenny Aromin posted this review on our Facebook page: "I had an Amazing opportunity to participate in a twelve week parenting coaching series. Learning through a great curriculum identifying skills and steps towards being the best parent I can be. The Instructor Samantha F. was helpful beyond belief. Over the course of the class she promoted a culture of trust and used positive reinforcement around situations that required delicacy. These our our kids we are talking about. I strongly recommend this to any parent looking to learning more about the potential they have. 10/10"
Kelly is a 7th grader at a middle school in Oregon City where Northwest Family Services (NWFS) staff works with high risk students to provide them and their families with much-needed resources. Kelly and her five siblings live with her parents and grandparents in one house. There is little to no money for her to do any extra activities outside of school. The NWFS staff person reached out to the homeless liaison at the school to see if Kelly would be able to get her school softball fee waived so she could participate on the girls' softball team. NWFS heard back that if the mom would fill out the registration form, she would be able to get the fee taken care of. After the registration was taken care of, NWFS heard back from the mom in an e-mail that read, “All done with Kelly's registration! Thank you all so very, very much! You truly have no idea how happy you all have made my Daughter. With all the struggles our family has faced in the last few years, my daughter's beautiful smiles have become increasingly rare. I cannot thank you all enough for allowing us to see her beautiful smile again.”
A middle school student, Aleah, who participated in the summer Photovoice program said: “Photovoice gave me a safe place to be this summer and pushed me to get out of my comfort zone. I’m not very good with words and I sometimes have a hard time saying stuff because I’m shy, but I’m really appreciative of how much you guys did for us and for the program.”
Faith Laughlin, a senior at Milwaukie High School, said that “PhotoVoice has helped to get me out of my shell and out of a negative mindset by allowing me a place to go to express myself, stay busy and connect with others in the summertime.”
Vibrant Future Youth Coalition, also known as The Unity Club, is a group of youth interested in creating a healthy, encouraging, and all-embracing atmosphere at their High School and in the community. They represent the youth sector of Vibrant Future Coalition, which works to prevent underage drinking and drug use within the North Clackamas community.
Maven, a 17-year-old Latino girl, was missing school frequently because she was having to babysit her niece and nephew while her sister was out partying and then in rehab for meth addiction. Unity Youth Coalition members gave her advice and support and helped her babysit on the weekends and after school. Maven was able to find supportive and non-judgmental peers and adults who genuinely cared about her, while also getting involved in healthy activities so that she does not have to turn to substances and go down the same path as her sister.
Since the Youth Coalition came into existence, the students have done a lot to change their environments. They helped put on Safety Fairs that highlight the dangers of drunk, drugged, and distracted driving. They have submitted public testimony at numerous public forums in regards to prevention legislation, they’ve helped hold community listening sessions, and they have supported and helped each other navigate through some very difficult times. These are only a few examples of the many ways the group works to make each individual, school, and community better, and change lives along the way.
The Employer Spotlights provide job seekers with an opportunity to meet Human Resource professionals who are interested in giving back! I got a job because I attended one of those great events! Thanks to NWFS and Clackamas Workforce Partnership for organizing those events :)
THANK YOU NOTE faxed to NWFS:
I wanted to send a very heartfelt (yes, I really feel it right now) THANK YOU for the way your Health Navigator helped me through a very struggling time and went above and beyond to help me and my son, this past year. I’m sorry I haven’t won the lottery so I could show my gratitude with more than just words, but I do have those to give so again, THANK YOU so very much. Love and Hugs, Me and my son.
PS To my navigator: I wish you good health, love, and happiness, and pray that God keeps you safe in all that you do. You are a special gift from God in my eyes and the world is so lucky to have you.
If you doubt that I am not being sincere, just know that every time I try to use the computer I risk having one of those awful migraine headaches to do so . . . thank you so much for being the beautiful young lady that you are. Don’t forget to take care of you as you help others like you do. More Hugs.
NW Family Services should be honored to have you as a representative for their cause. You represent them very, very well.
MANY THANKS for all your help!
Your Job Readiness Workshops are very helpful if you are facing unemployment.
Thanks to the Northwest Promise Project I graduated as a CNA! Certified Nursing Assistant!
NWFS' Northwest Promise Career Coach has been working with a student who is pursuing a career in Medical Office Accounting. The client is a first-generation college student and recently graduated, Spring 2019, from Mount Hood Community (MHCC) with her Accounting Assistant Certificate. The next step in achieving her goal is continuing her education at MHCC to pursue her Accounting Clerk Certificate which she will complete Spring 2020. After she completes training, she will be prepared to work in a Medical Office Accounting position!
NW Promise is a training and job search program created to diversify and strengthen the healthcare industry. Each participant will work with a career coach to explore five career paths before choosing to pursue one. The program will help with tuition, books, materials and other support services, so students can be successful. The program will help them get a job in healthcare after they graduate.
Message for Rob Sellers, my career coach:
I wanted to thank you for both the wonderful classes and for getting back with those test results from the class. I have been feeling better both mentally and physically now that I am active about self-improvement and job searching. Thanks again for what you do!
*Rethinking Careers* is a 24 hr course that uses Cognitive Behavioral Techniques to help individuals manage their thinking, their emotions, and ultimately their actions. Job seekers face discouragement and negativity after knocking doors and not getting positive results, so this course helps them stay positive and use their strengths to present better in front of employers.
The NWFS SymptoPro Fertility Education course has caused us to grow as a couple in ways we didn't necessarily expect. Talking about this topic has prepared us for the future and caused us to joyfully anticipate the process once we're married. It has also caused a lot of discussion about our family planning intentions already. There are a lot of things to know and understanding your body (or your wife's body) is always a good thing.
To Ravin Brown- Parenting Inside Out Instructor
I just had to say THANK YOU! When I first showed to your class I was DREADING it. I didn't think I could possibly learn anything I hadn't already from just simply being a Mommy myself. Boy was I wrong. AND, not only does it help me feel like what I am calling a "Powerful Parent", but it works in every day life situations as an Adult. The roleplay we did for problem solving and effective communication and solutions helped me with dealing with CPS but it also helped me today in an unfortunate event; normally I would get mad and impulsively respond to the drama and instead I blocked the person off my social media and phone, I coached my own emotions and let myself cry and then get angry and then weighed out pros and cons or responding face to face or just letting it go. Then I sought emotional coaching from my Fiancé and my Mother.
So, in summary, I wanted to pay my respects by telling you this story, because what I'm learning is truly improving my life in a way I didn't think was possible. I am so glad God put you in my life as my "Instructor" (not sure what to call it lol), because you have taught me how to control my own emotions and not have a mad outburst.
A letter from a client who received Family Navigation Services from Olga Rodriguez, NWFS family Navigator:
Hello, my name is Romi and I would like to share my story. I was in a financial bind, leaving one job to start a new one and had a week lapse between jobs. I was late on my rent, and an angel, Ms. Olga, called to let me know a former advocate, Amy, asked her to give me a call to see if there was anything she could assist us with. I took a deep breath and knew this was a God sending me a blessing. Ms. Olga came to meet with me. I told her my family dilemma and right away took me to Programa Hispano where I could apply for rent assistance. Ms Olga also took me to food pantries so my family could eat and have clothes. She also helped us with bus tickets so I could get to work. We are so very grateful and blessed to know that there is help from good people who care. Thank you to all caregivers involved in assisting my family. You all saved my heart from breaking and letting my kids down. I am now lifted and in good spirits.
I can't thank you enough Olga and your team of help!!!
Romi and Family
Jenny was a student in our program last school year, and she came to me this year seeking help with transportation. I checked in with her occasionally last year, but she had great grades and attendance, was connected with ongoing counseling services and support, so I didn’t meet with her too often. This school year, her family has had some financial difficulties, and her boyfriend was displaced from his home so her family took him in an are currently supporting him. With two other siblings already, their family is now struggling to support everyone, and as the oldest sister, she has gotten a job to help support everyone. She’s only 16 years old, and has to work about 4 days a week after school, and since both parents work, she has to ride the bus to and from work every day. All she asked was for a month-long bus pass to get to her new job, and after that she would purchase her own bus passes going forward, so I applied for a scholarship through a local foundation to purchase a month pass through Trimet. Instead of just a month pass, they awarded her $100 loaded onto a Youth HOP pass, and I was able to give that to her. She was so surprised at the amount and extremely grateful, and let me know how much of a huge help that will be for her and her family!
Northwest Family Services was honored with a Clackamas County Community 2018 Impact Award for their efforts to address the causes and conditions of poverty. The award was presented by the Clackamas County Board of County Commissioners. Northwest Family Services board members, staff, and a community partner are shown in the photo. It is a well deserved honor for all the work this amazing organization does for the greater community.
Iliana, Ericka, and NW Family Serivces,
Thank you all for supporting my education through an IDA account. The education I've gained with your help will serve my family infinitely.
I would like to thank NWFS again for their help in my employment search. I had my phone interview yesterday and it went great. I won't know the results until next week. However, I stood as suggested and took my "confident" stance I learned in class . What I learned in your workshop was invaluable. Even if this job does not come through, after your resume workshop and interview workshop I feel like I have tools to succeed.
Heather, a mother of five children, was initially referred to Yina, a Family Resource Coordinator for Northwest Family Services, a local church. Heather was in immediate need of several resources, she needed a lot of support. The mother was going through financial instability and was at a high risk of losing her home. She assistance to apply for health insurance for her oldest son, help connecting to a mental health provider for her seven-year-old daughter, transportation, food resources, GED classes, parenting and adult education. Yina was there to help there to help navigate complex systems with a highly traumatized family.
The family was successfully connected with resources. The Mom was able to successfully move into a more comfortable home, was connected to mental health services, was informed of GED classes and the registration process, local food pantries, parenting classes and got to apply on health insurance for her son. From chaos to stability, the family is now in a stable and supportive home.
NWFS honored for school partnership
Northwest Family Services CEO Rose Fuller accepted the Growing Great People award from the Gladstone School District for the organization's long-term partnership with the district.
"The nonprofit provides several services in Gladstone schools," said Lennie Bjornsen, director of student and family supports. "Their focus is stabilizing families, providing support and enrichment to at-risk middle school students, and reducing teen drug use."
NWFS provides two Family Resource Coordinators — one at the Gladstone Center for Children & Families and one at Kraxberger Middle School. They serve as social service navigators, helping families connect with resources for housing, jobs, education, transportation and health care.
NWFS's PreventNet program at Kraxberger provides group sessions for at-risk girls and boys as well as the KAOS after-school and summer-enrichment programs, including a soccer camp.
NWFS also funds an alcohol/drug counselor who works one-on-one with secondary students during the school day.
They provide essential services to the local community that help the community thrive:)
This is an amazing non profit and I am honored to work for such an amazing company. The director of this place is beyond amazing and is able to take time aside and show each person how much she cares for each and every one of us. This company is open to suggestions and wants to continue to improve which I think many places seriously lack in that aspect. I have worked here for about two years now and I cannot believe the things that I have seen happen and how amazing it is to work for a nonprofit who not only cares about the community but also cares about their employees. We have the most amazing staff, most of who are over qualified for the jobs they do. They are all caring people who work hard and care about the people that they work with. I truly believe that if you are treated well in a company that it helps you to treat others around you even better. This place is amazing and I don't even have the words to explain how great it is.
I have now worked for NWFS for 6 months and I absolutely love it! My supervisors are AMAZING and always super supportive! My coworkers are always so amazing and have been so helpful with teaching me my new position. I love everything about this job and am so happy to be a part of it!
The following is an email written to NWFS by a client that took our Parenting Inside Out class
"This is a letter to the boss of Samantha Furlow.
First on the list is to say that Samantha is an invaluable resource to all who meet her. The way she interacts with people to ensure that the curriculum of P I O is taken seriously and positively for the families and communities involved is powerful. Much thanks goes out to Samantha for taking the time to be the best resource she can be. Your teachings were well put together and understandable. With your help we all have grown to be better served for our own lives. Having a person such as Samantha Furlow to guide us as learning individuals was pleasant and welcoming. My thanks and support go to Samantha.
Make sure Samantha is heard and well taken care of, for all the communities sake!
Thank you for the time taken to read this."
NWFS is filled with devoted public servants grateful to serve the community. NWFS fills the gaps for children, families, and individuals in need of support. NWFS is present in schools, faith based communities, social services, community corrections and much more.
Everyday I watch the 70+ employees that make up NWFS go out of their way to provide compassion, support, education, empathy, and respect to the communities that make up the Portland metro area.
I’ve worked for NWFS for five years, during that time I’ve been honored to work with a dedicated, committed staff who work extremely hard, often beyond their scheduled work hours! They believe in the agency mission and are committed to being agents of change. I’ve also had the opportunity, and been encouraged to grow as a professional. The agency culture is dynamic with a variety of grant programs, meeting so many different types of needs, all of which are focused on supporting the needs & growth of individuals and families, often in crisis. I feel gratified to work in a place that reflects my interests and values. I like learning about other cultures, and in a natural way sharing meals & learning about staff from other cultures.
At the end of the day, I go home feeling and knowing that I have made a difference.
As a local pastor I have used the Northwest Family services to come in and do a work shop for our marriages (couples) and I was impressed with the material, personnel, partnership and over all willingness to serve our community.
Excellent WorkSource Clackamas class topics, plus session leaders are very knowledgeable and committed to the course subject material.
After being laid off earlier this year, I was fortunate to find the career workshops provided by Northwest Family Services. While my previous employer did provide employment assistance with a national outplacement firm, it was primarily through web-based seminars, which I found to have limited impact.
Having attended many of the career workshops offered by Northwest Family Services, I found them to be an ideal resource for my job search. I am particularly impressed with our facilitator, Rob Seemann, who brings a passion to his work, and really goes above and beyond with every class in order to address issues common to the group, as well as individual coaching and insights. Great job Rob, and to Northwest Family Services!
After meeting Rob Seemann and Lily Yurchenko of Northwest Family Services and attending their WorkSource workshops, I highly recommend them to other Clackamas County and Oregon residents. Rob is an excellent instructor who provides straightforward advice based on years of experience. He thoroughly listens to each individual who attends his classes and personalizes the suggestions he offers to match their current situation, which is exactly what people need to be successful with their career goals. Lily is an efficient administrator who is personable, professional and obviously well-organized. I have told several of my friends to attend these classes to learn more about valuable tips they could use to help strengthen their job search efforts.
This organization puts on great programs for regional schools, community, and even the world at large through its website programs such as natural family planning instruction.
One of its programs really changed the way that we interacted with our children in setting appropriate limits for dating. The lasting impact of this organization in improving the lives of program participants is incalculable!
Of all the non-profit organizations that I have supported over the years, none have touched my life more deeply than Northwest Family Services (NWFS). My first involvement was more than 25 years ago when my wife and I attended a FACTS class with our oldest (then 13 yo) daughter. We learned so much over the course of those 4 weekly sessions. Our communication was not only enhanced with that daughter but those sessions helped us set appropriate boundaries and enhanced the character development of all of our seven children. While our family has clearly benefited, the many programs offered by NWFS over more than 3 decades have improved the lives of literally hundreds of thousands of individuals throughout Oregon. Further, its online educational resources, such as its Natural Family Planning curriculum, are being accessed by and benefiting individuals and couples all over the world. NWFS is clearly an Oregon non-profit jewel!
Great place to receive services!
Everyone is always very helpful.
I did a Mental Health Peer Support Specialist training with NWFS and it was the best experience I could have asked for. The staff is amazing at what they do and they show they are passionate about improving the quality of life of every person and promoting empowerment. I hope to be able to attend other trainings offered by Northwest Family Services in the near future. I miss it already!
I love the trainings offered at Northwest Family! I have had the opportunity to take three trainings through this agency. I have left each training with news skills and tools that I can apply in my work with community members. Not only are the teachers professional, and knowledgeable about mental health, they also understand the work. I have bragged about your trainings, and I hope you continue doing the level of work for our communities. A big thank you!
I attended a training recently and Northwest Family Services and was highly impressed with the staff professionalism, knowledge and personable skills to work with the public and to meet the community's need.
Plain and simple, Northwest Family Services rocks! When offering a workshop to our clients, they were extremely flexible. They changed the normal time and day of the workshop to conform to the needs of our clients, and upon meeting them, they even personalized the content to match the skill set of the group so that they would get more out of the workshop. The participants loved everything about the workshop - the information, the discussions, the activities and the presenters! We so appreciate what Northwest Family Services does everyday to help the community - thank you!!
I have been attending the job search workshops of Northwest Family Services for several time now. Rob Seemann is a great career workshop facilitator, he is very lively, and he imparts wonderful learning skills for job searching. Since the week I attended his workshops, I have been getting a lot of phone calls for in person interviews from HR recruiters from companies I applied for, sometimes once to twice a week, which is a great batting average for me, considering my situation of being laid off from work! I encourage those job seekers to attend Northwest Family Services job search workshops! They will equip you with tools to land your dream job!
NW Family services provided professional advice during my job search that inspired me with confidence in my abilities. The people that run the programs are highly skilled. I'm so thankful that these workshops were available.
The best workshop class I attended was "Resume Writing." I immediately went home and revised my old resume. Within 2 weeks, I was being noticed!! It is a virtual world now and your resume and cover letter are what employers see first!! Made a huge difference for me. Thank you!!
I went to a class on resume preparation and was pleasantly surprised by how good the content was and how thoughtful and involved the instructor was. I plan on attending other classes as well now.
Amazing Work and presentation at KBOO FM from Nelson - Gino Reyes
I have had a professional relationship with this amazing organization for about 30 years. Though they service large numbers, I have always found each on their staff to be genuinely caring and personal in the delivery of services and in their quick attention to all the details related to their work. They are committed to excellence and it shows!
My experience over the past year as a board member and committee team member has given me a inside look to all of the great services and support that NW Family Services provide. This organization and it's dedicated staff provide an invaluable service to our entire community.
This is one amazing, dynamic organization that bolsters Portland-area individuals and families on multiple levels with very few cents of your dollar going to overhead. Check out their free community builder lunch events (see nwfs.org) and learn why you should consider this organization above other worthy outfits. I am honored to serve on the Board and encourage others to support NWFS.
Working with Northwest Family Services as a board member has been a truly rewarding experience. To see the creative, effective poverty solutions designed and implemented for youth and families is exciting, and enriching. The entire staff of NWFS should be commended for their hard work, and pursuit of excellence in service to our communities. Even at a professional level, I am able to see that the director and staff make every dollar count, and are accountable for how each dollar is spent.
NWFS is truly a first-class operation.
I came in to NWFS looking for job assistance. I was greeted by friendly staff and offered to take their Careerfit workshop, and I am so happy that I did. Thanks to their service I was able to get a job in 2 weeks time. Everyone is nice and seems to enjoy helping the community. I am so thankful for all their help and for the services they offer to our community!
My daughter and I had the pleasure of attending a class at providence hospital, put on by NWFS, about puberty, and general sex Ed specifically for girls and their mom's. It was fantastically informative and a great opportunity for my daughter to hear solid information about all the upcoming changes. Loved the healthy and faithful information on a basic intro to the natural process of reproduction and signs of fertility in our body. My daughter was really impressed and wants to know when and how to get NWFS in all the schools. More moms and daughters need to know about this tremendous resource. Thank you for the great, supportive, dignified and faithful work you do in our community.
This place changes lives. The people really care and are committed to doing incredible work helping those in need.
As the coordinator for National Educators to Stop Trafficking (NEST) I get the distinct privilege of receiving success stories from organizations who work in the anti-human trafficking arena and have written prevention curriculum and resources for educators. Here is one about the "Deceptions" program facilitated by NWFS.
“Thank you so much for bringing this program to our school! I was trafficked last year when I was thirteen and had some really bad things happen to me. Girls need to know this is really happening in our community,” says a 14-year-old high school student.
Vancouver Police Department’s, Sergeant John Chapman explains, “Unfortunately, in the past two years local law enforcement has learned that domestic minor sex trafficking is a very real problem that greatly impacts our community. It is very exciting to have a new curriculum presented in our schools that will warn our boys and girls of the dangers and consequences that lurk within innocent locations and relationships. We need to inform our kids and give them skills to recognize threats and retreat.”
Review from Guidestar
This non-profit has helped my family throughout the years. From being in the local middle and high schools where my children went and participated in the afterschool programs and field trips to the parenting and marriage workshops I received. Totally recommend!
Review from Guidestar
I liked working with NW Family Services A&D specialist Casey Palmer because she helped me work through a difficult time when i lost my kids to DHS. She also assisted me into getting into treatment as well as self help meetings in my community.
I think Casey gave me good guidance on resources in the community, in our four months working together, she checked in with me every two weeks and always returned my calls.
Review from Guidestar
I am a public middle school educator who welcomed experts from NW Family Services into my classroom to educate eighth graders about suicide prevention. The teachers were outstanding. The curriculum was comprehensive and appropriate to the age group. They provided empowering information that allowed students to recognize the signs and symptoms of depression, and how to respond. My students were provided with a procedure that emotionally supported them in the event that the curriculum triggered difficult personal feelings. The presenters' knowledge of pedagogy and best teaching practices was very evident, as they kept the students focused and interactive. I am ready to advocate again and again for this tremendously valuable program. I am certain it reached many students directly, and likely will save a life/lives indirectly. Thank you!
Review from Guidestar
Northwest Family Services has provided the very best counseling I have ever had. After many years of going to counseling for help, I am finally able to make progress and feel encouraged and hopeful about my life. I highly recommend them to anyone who needs help or direction.
Review from Guidestar
I've witnessed the staff and volunteers at Northwest Family Services bring stability and joy back to Portland-area families that struggle with life's challenges. This team's genuine concern and love for their neighbors radiates through their daily activities. A few weeks ago I attended a health fair at Milwaukie High School that Northwest Family Services organized. I was impressed at the resources that were provided: everything from free flu shots to free dental care (local dentists actually set up a mobile office and were working on teeth long after the fair was scheduled to end). No doubt that the man who received this dental care is now in a better position both physically and mentally. His new confidence will surely lead to a more successful job interview, which will ultimately lead to family stability. I'm proud to be affiliated with an organization that takes a long-term vision of improving lives, families and our Portland community.
Review from Guidestar
As a kid growing-up in NewarK, NJ with an unstable family situation, there was no organization like NWFS in our community. I was lucky. My mother ensured that I had a strong support network outside of the home. Not many kids have that opportunity. I am honored and privileged to work with an organization that gives children and families the tools to succeed that I didn't have. We roll-up our sleeves up every day and get our hands dirty making significant impacts in the rich soil of people's lives. It doesn't get better than that!
Katrina N. was so helpful and kind during a very abrupt and scary time in my family's life. She truly was an angel that came into help us navigate where to begin to get help with resources when we had no idea where to even begin. I am so thankful for her and Northwest Family Services!!! Thank you, thank you!!!!!