Mom treated with dignity:
The very first letter we received from a Whole Child Parent.
"In August of 2003, I completed the Whole Child Manatee Profile at Jobs Etc., Bradenton. By the time I came home, I had messages from the organizations that I contacted via the computer. Usually, when I need help, I feel as though I am begging. However, Whole Child changed the process of receiving these services for me. The organizations offered the services and I was able to receive help with my dignity still intact. Thank you for this program".
A Single Mom's Success:
Chinika is a 24 year old single mother from Bradenton. She has two boys, a two year old and a four year old. An Advisor first met her at the Chamber of Commerce Job Fair where the Whole Child Manatee is invited every year to disseminate information about what we do to connect families and community resources. As she walked up to the table she exlaimed, "I saw you on television. I was going to call you!" Needless to say, she received information about Whole Child and decided to fill out a profile right then and there. She also scheduled an appointment for advisor assitance to put together a plan for herself and her family.
Chinika kept her appointment and was referred through the Whole Child Connection to WIC, Jobs Etc., and Manatee County Rural Health Services. She phoned a couple of weeks later thanking us--her four year old got a hearing evaluation, she got a job and she applied and qualified for WIC for her two year old. She is now working on getting affordable housing and, with Goodwill Industries, is looking into a low interest loan on a used vehicle.
Chinika had agreed to speak at the Whole Child Community Breakfast that year, but it coincided with the first day of her new job! She asked that her Whole Child Advisor share her story with everyone and to say "Whole Child really works and my family and I are grateful to all those who helped and treated us with respect". She was also thankful to all of the providers who responded so quickly.
A Spanish speaking grandmother was referred to Whole Child for assistance with her three granddaughters' Medicaid applications. The grandmother spoke no English and was illiterate. She had found herself in the middle of a custody battle between her own daughter and son-in-law. While the parents argued back and forth, the grandmother ended up taking care of the grandchildren, two of whom were under the age of five.
With the assistance of a Spanish speaking Whole Child advisor, the grandmother filled out a Whole Child Profile. She was immediately connected to the Mary Simpson Strong Full Service Center and was provided with emergency food and clothing, and assigned a Community Health Worker. The children were then referred for eye exams and dental appointments. The oldest was placed in after school programming.
It became clear at that point that Grandmother's stress was causing her some physical problems. When asked if she had any health concerns of her own, she began to cry. She had no medical insurance and knew she needed to be healthy if she was to help her granddaughters. She was referred to the We Care Clinic for an appointment, where she would also end up receiving her very first mammogram. Grandmother was also suffering from some respiratory complaints. Through We Care Manatee, she was referred to Manatee County Human Services who determined her eligibility for a referral to a pulmonologist, who she saw the following month.
Soon the whole family--daughter and son-in-law-- began to use the Whole Child Connection and began to work closely with a Whole Child Advisor. The most recent referral was for family counseling at Manatee Glens.