Would you describe your home life as chaotic? Whether you are a parent or a child in the home, do you feel like you are alone in your situation and not sure where to look for help if it’s needed? Consider utilizing the help of a Family Navigator, someone with personal knowledge and experience navigating some difficult issues. A Family Navigator’s assistance can boost your ability to meet the challenges specific to your family. The personal support and assistance a Family Navigator offers enables families to thrive despite existing challenges.
Did you know that Groton has a dedicated Family Navigator within our school district? Her name is Bonita Davis, and she works with parents of children with social, emotional or behavioral challenges. The Groton Board of Education approved the piloting of this program and is among a small group of schools that have a Family Navigator on site, acting as support for families and children. This service is provided through the school district, is free of charge and available to all parents of school-age children. Bonita Davis explains, “Many times we forget how important and powerful listening is. As a Family Navigator, I listen a lot, and reflect back to people. I meet them were they are and provide understanding without any kind of expectations. The hope is to build trusting relationships that help parents and families not to feel isolated, and help them find their own voice and confidence.” Groton contracts with the Franziska Rackers Center to provide this service through the Collaborative Solutions Network, a system of care in Tompkins County that incorporates over one hundred fifty participants. “The focus in not to fix kids, but communicate in new ways that support kids and the family.” explained Jaydn McCune, the Director of the Expanding Possibilities project and Program Director of the Lighthouse and Possibilities Programs, both which operate through TST BOCES and Franziska Racker Centers. “The Collaborative Solutions Network acts in a way that builds on strengths to meet needs, and continues to build connections.” The Family Navigator partnership was created to foster the well-being of the community at large, to utilize connections and supports that exist, as well as to develop new opportunities.
Ms. Davis is available to meet with parents and discuss their specific challenges and answer questions. Community members looking for more information about this program may contact Ms. Davis directly at: 607-793-0931, those outside of the Groton community may contact Partnership Coordinator, Sally Manning, at: 607-793-1658.