Teaching Family Homes Campus Development Phase III

Organization Information:

Organization Name:
Teaching Family Homes of Upper Michigan
City & State:
Organization Website:
Organization's Mission Statement

Our Mission:  To provide ethical, cost-effective care to children, families and individuals in need and facilitate self-sufficiency through enhancement of self-esteem, skill development and interpersonal relationships.

Submission Information

Impact Essay

Teaching Family Homes (TFH) is a child and family organization that cares for troubled children and families. Teaching Family Homes was brought to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan in 1981 to help troubled children and families in the region. This private, nonprofit organization began as a single residential group home serving just six children. Over twenty years, Teaching Family Homes has grown to become the largest child welfare organization in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. It has grown by offering new programs at numerous locations around the Upper Peninsula of Michigan as well as providing training and consultation services to school districts and other child care organizations as far away as Hawaii. TFH is a non-sectarian agency that welcomes donations to help fund our operations on behalf of troubled children and families. As a nonprofit organization, it is important to utilize any available resources to their maximum potential. At Teaching Family Homes, Microsoft technology is the foundation of the administrative business; operations would cease to exist without the Microsoft technology that is used on a daily basis. From communication and marketing to Management Information System data collection and Quality Assurance activities, TFH applies multiple facets of Microsoft technology all the time, increasing efficiency in assessing overall quality and effectiveness. [Enhanced quality or impact of service, campaigns or programs.] By recording outcome data based on surveys submitted upon intervention termination, the effectiveness of the services provided by TFH are continually being evaluated and program practices are in turn altered to enhance their quality. In utilizing Access Databases, TFH has the ability to monitor the quality of programs and make the necessary changes to operations in order to improve overall service delivery. Microsoft technology allows Teaching Family Homes to create and publish training materials (Word, Excel, Publisher) and present them to new employees (PowerPoint, Internet Explorer), as well as current employees who may need course refreshers to keep up-to-date on ever-changing policies and procedures to reflect practices based on accreditation standards (CARF-Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities). [Increased reach or impact of services, campaigns or programs as a result of more effective marketing fundraising or educational outreach.] Every year there is an increase in demand for services for abused and neglected children, and with an ever-changing economy comes a decrease in funding services. Not having the ability to count on the State of Michigan or other funding sources; Teaching Family Homes had no other choice than to implement their own means of fundraising. TFH has a long standing history of successful community-based fundraising events that receive a high level of local support. Examples of these include: our annual bike tour known as “Tour Da UP” (Tour the Upper Peninsula), annual benefit concert, softball tournament, and annual “Jack Rabbit Snowshoe Challenge”. By utilizing Microsoft Publisher, Internet Explorer, and the Windows Operating System, the agency has been able to streamline marketing campaigns to reach a larger geographic area. Community members consistently agree that Teaching Family Homes has a much more prevalent media presence now than ever before. Teaching Family Homes has obtained support to develop their Marquette, Michigan campus from the USDA Rural Development program, State of Michigan, Marquette County Board of Commissioners, Marquette County United Way, Lions Club International Foundation, Upper Peninsula Lions Clubs, Sands Township, and very generous community members, to name a few.

  • Program openings and availability of services are sent electronically (Outlook) on a weekly basis.
  • Employees are evaluated annually using questionnaires (Word and Excel) electronically mailed from Microsoft Outlook to consumers and individuals that they work with and for. The numeric scores given on the questionnaires are then recorded in a sophisticated Microsoft Access database and reported in a fashion that shows the employee’s strengths, weaknesses, consumer comments, as well as a bar chart to emphasize their skills, in addition to Access-generated feedback for improvement.
  • A sophisticated treatment tool called a ‘point card’ is used to document daily interactions between staff and youth, providing four ‘target’ skills (individualized to meet youth’s behavioral needs), which they can earn positive or negative points on, depending on their behaviors and interactions on that particular day. The coded interactions are entered into an Access database, where they are then manipulated to provide the staff’s teaching effectiveness, the youth’s behavioral progress, and a summary in report form of the overall program’s teaching utilization.
  • Agency M.I.S. data is presented in (Excel) graph format in Quality Assurance Committee meetings monthly to monitor and guarantee service and program quality and effectiveness. When programs are under standard or agency criteria in any category, they are required to create a documented plan for ‘corrective action’ in which the program staff identify how they will go about making their program practices meet the necessary success rates. The program outcome data collected is then exported into newsletters, annual reports, and other forms of agency educational media.

Teaching Family Homes is requesting funds to support the third phase of campus development. Funding has been secured for the construction of a fourth residential group home and a special education-day treatment school. These are greatly needed to enhance services aimed at addressing the educational, physical, emotional and behavioral needs of the youth in treatment. With the addition of a fourth group home, and increased utilization of the Day Treatment program, the current classroom resources are insufficient. The teachers do not have adequate technology to meet Michigan’s Educational Technology Standards and Expectations nor do they have the adequate capability of carrying out general curriculum preparations and grade/behavior/truancy tracking. We have a wealth of training, parenting, and psychological research information that we would like to make electronically accessible to staff, community members, and parents in the area as well.

Submission Category
Optimize Mission Delivery