OFS Prevention Programs Make a Difference

Many of the presentations that OFS Prevention Specialists give in local schools are done in conjunction with local law enforcement and an officer will often co-present the material.

We recently received the letter shown from an Ozaukee County detective that demonstrates the importance and effectiveness of our Protective Behavior Presentations.

Local Mom Shares her Struggles and Successes

Being a parent can be tough. Even more so if you are a single parent of two boys who both struggle with mental health issues. Meet Jen, a kind-hearted single parent who has two sons, both who have been diagnosed with ADHD and bipolar disorder.

“When I used to tell people what it was like at my house they didn’t always believe me, they probably thought I was crazy. Actually, sometimes I wondered if I was crazy,” Jen shares.

After one of her sons was released from a residential treatment facility. A therapist referred Jen to the Family Steps program. “That was the best thing that happened to us. When your child is released from the hospital it is hard to know the next steps. I wanted to know how to help him. I knew I needed help and support.” Jen met Katie Baud, OFS Family Steps Coordinator. “Katie came to my house so she could observe my son’s behaviors at home. She listened, observed and gave me ideas and suggestions on behavior charts, rewards and consequences, and how to help my son cope with his emotions and control his behavior. She helped me become a better parent.”

In addition to Katie’s home visits, she got Jen and her son Braden enrolled in the CST (Coordinated Services Team) Program at OFS. “It’s been great for Braden to sit at a table with all these adults and hear all the positive things they have to say about him. They talk about how he is doing, what they see as his challenges and ideas for tackling those challenges.”

Jen, being open to ideas and suggestions, also enrolled in OFS’ Incredible Years Program. “I have gained so much support from that program. It is so nice to share information with other parents that are going through similar challenges; to know that I am not alone. I learn so much from them – what they have tried, what has worked and what hasn’t worked. My sons can leave me emotionally exhausted and it was great to hear how other parents deal with the challenges.”

Jen credits the OFS programs with helping both her self-esteem and Braden’s. She has learned how to implement various interventions and well as new parenting strategies. The programs and the support have helped her be a better parent, and the positive effects on Braden have been noted both at home and school as his negative behaviors have reduced significantly.