Why Family Transition Programs? A Q&A with JoAnn Cole

[caption id="attachment_3668" align="alignright" width="200" caption="JoAnn Cole, Senior Director of Campus and Family Ministries for Buckner Children and Family Services"][/caption]

One part of our mission at Buckner is making life better for families and vulnerable children. Our family transition programs, including Buckner Family Place, Family Pathways and My Father’s House, are one way we’re doing that.

So how exactly do these programs help single-parent families? Check out this Q&A with JoAnn Cole, senior director of campus and family ministries for Buckner Children and Family Services, to learn the basics.

Q: What are Buckner Family Transition Programs all about?

A: Buckner Family Transition Programs are transitional living programs designed to address the issues that create barriers to self-sufficiency for single parents. That can include poverty, a lack of education, expensive housing, inaccessible or unaffordable child care and a lack of transportation.

Q: Who is served through Buckner Family Transition Programs?

A: Families headed by single parents can apply for Buckner Family Place, Family Pathways and My Father’s House.

Q: Where are these programs located?

A: Our Buckner Family Place programs are located in Amarillo, Conroe, Lufkin and Midland, Texas. Buckner Family Pathways is located in Dallas, Texas, and My Father’s House is in Lubbock, Texas.

Q: How are Buckner’s programs unique?

A: Buckner provides safe, affordable housing that allows parents to enroll in an educational or vocational program, along with the support system of a full-time social service professional to manage each family’s case.

Case management services include referrals to parenting education, budget training, life skills, individual and group counseling and childcare referrals. Buckner also provides spiritual enrichment activities, which vary from location to location, but might include Bible studies, mentoring or a support group of Christian women. We also provide scholarship assistance as needed.

There are other programs out there that might serve families with housing or education, but we offer a total package of affordable housing, educational criteria, case management, spiritual enrichment and client assistance.

Q: Why is this important?

A: According to the National Center for Children in Poverty, in Texas, 34 percent of young children whose parents lack a college education live in poverty.

Our hope is that by bearing some of the burdens that make life incredibly difficult for single parents, and by facilitating parents’ education and training, the family can then move forward to escape the cycle of poverty and live independently.

For information about some of the other Family Programs Buckner offers, click here.

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