Partners for Kids (PFK) is all about collaborating with community partners in order to meet the needs of children and their families in Edmonton. One of the community based family therapists involved in the PFK program received a referral from a teacher concerned about a child’s behavior in school. The therapist left phone messages for the single mother, but did not get a call back; after a few weeks the therapist went to the child’s house. The therapist discovered that the mother had a history of negative experiences with authority figures and was suspicious of the therapist and her motives. She opened the door, but did not invite the therapist in. They spent 45 minutes talking on the door step. During this time the therapist helped the mother apply for and obtain childcare for her four young children; she also drove her to the Food Bank to pick up some groceries.
After providing this tangible service, the mother began to meet with the therapist to talk about issues and dynamics in the home. On one visit to the home, the therapist spent time doing dishes with the mom while providing counseling. The school and the mother reported positive changes in the child’s attitude and behaviors and now the mother initiates contact with the therapist.