Deb Waggoner, director at the Family Opportunity Center, is excited with the direction the center is headed. Since becoming director last October, Waggoner has worked to not only offer services to kids in the court system, but also kids who have mental health struggles or are on the border line.
Waggoner started meeting with Tim Gearhart, of Four County Counseling Center, and found out they were on the same page, wanting to develop and become a resource for Cass County, she said.
“We realized we want to meet the needs and offer a variety of services to kids,” Waggoner said. “We continue to grow and develop. It’s ongoing and is a work in progress.”
Juvenile probation and staff members from Four County Counseling Center are located at the family opportunity center and longtime foundations of the center, Waggoner said.
“We continue to adjust those needs and see how we can work together,” Waggoner said. “One of the goals of the family opportunity center is to be able to alter services to provide a wide variety of needs.”
The family opportunity center continues to be a resource for children of Cass County. A full-time, in-house therapist is now available and this summer, a new set of middle school groups, staffed by Four County, were created.
Counseling staff and therapist and are offered this fall as well. There is a self-esteem group for boys and one for girls which meets after school and a stress management through physical activity class for boys and girls.
“The classes seem to be going well,” Waggoner said. “The parents appreciate it and it gives them skills and techniques to use out in the world.”
Another class that will be offered is a parenting class, which will allow parents to find support and gain techniques and skills. Waggoner said the plan is to continue in the direction the family opportunity center is headed.