Individuals may come to a parish food pantry for a donation of food, but a closer investigation shows that lack of food is only a small piece of the overall picture. Perhaps the individual needs a GED so they can get a better job.
Or perhaps a history of addiction leads to bad decisions. And maybe there are other problems within the family structure that are also painful to the individual. Three bags of groceries may temporarily stop hunger, but it is not going to address the totality of complex issues that this individual is facing.
In the family strengthening approach, an effort is made to look at the individual’s total situation.
Each of us is a combination of strengths and weaknesses. In the past, helping agencies have focused primarily on problems, deficiencies, and needs. Recent research, however, suggests that the greatest progress can be achieved by focusing on the individual’s strengths.
As Catholics, we affirm that all life is sacred, because all life was created by God, in the image and likeness of God. Our faith also challenges us to be particularly concerned for the weak and most vulnerable. To follow Christ is to reach out in compassion to those in need.
Family strengthening centers will be local. While Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri will have a single Board of Directors and a centralized administrative core, each regional strengthening center will utilize a local advisory committee.