The mission of ChildFirst Services, Inc. is to provide individually based quality services to children, youth and underserved populations.
ChildFirst Services, Inc. (CFS) (formerly known as Spectrum Human Services, Inc.) was founded in 1993 by President/CEO Dr. Nathaniel J. Williams. Growing up in placement himself, Dr. Williams dreamt of running his own residential program. With his first-hand experience of group residences and foster care, Dr. Williams knew exactly what programs and services he wanted to offer children in placement.
CFS continues to ideal practices of well-trained staff, small residential settings and individualized program plans. Additionally, we have made a commitment to keeping siblings together whenever possible, at times having up to five siblings in our programs, and working to maintain the healthy bonds of family.
ChildFirst Services, Inc. is an affiliate of HumanWorks Affiliates, Inc. (HWA). HWA has a proud, 30-year history of providing services to people who are dually diagnosed with Mental Health and/or Mental Retardation diagnoses. We have also been successful in providing residential, therapeutic, and vocational services for dependent children.
The primary goal of ChildFirst Services, Inc. is to empower children and families to reach their potential. Children are placed in our agency through county Children and Youth agencies. There are a multitude of reasons these children cannot remain within their family unit. ChildFirst is dedicated to preserving families by offering services that encourage introspection, growth and healing. Our goal is for children to gain insight into the nature of their problems and to gain the skills necessary to overcome their problems and be able to return to their families.
Some children will not be able to return to their families for various reasons. In these cases, we offer services to enable children to live on their own after discharge from the system.
In all cases, we recognize that the family of origin is an important member of our team and we partner with families whenever possible to work together in the best interest of the child. We strive to maintain close contact with families in a number of ways, one of the most important being participation in the child’s Individual Service Plan (ISP). The ISP is the basis for all service provision. The child, their family members and/or guardian, the county caseworker, and a ChildFirst caseworker develop a plan addressing the child’s goals over a six month period while in ChildFirst. The family’s input is critical as they may have steps necessary for their child to be re-integrated into the family unit.
- Providing a safe and humane environment for the children we serve.
- Utilizing the most innovative methods, procedures, and technologies that are available in supporting children.
- Emphasizing team-work principles.
- Creating opportunities for children to develop to their potential in growth, improvement, and independence.
- Encouraging the development of supports in the community.
- Delivering services that emphasize self-determination, individuality, flexibility, and accessibility.
- Promoting an approach that is structured, person-centered, empowering, culturally appropriate, and confidential in nature.
- Focusing on the strengths and assets of children to promote dignity.
The values outlined above are the foundation and principles upon which we have built successful programs for children, youth, and adolescents. Our deep and abiding concern for the health and well-being of children is demonstrated by the quality of those programs. A walk through one of our residences would instantly reveal that while we place a high premium on old-fashioned values such as hard work, discipline, and personal appearance, we also believe very strongly in the dignity of the human spirit. Our programs are structured so as to provide children a safe, secure place to grow and develop.
The current population we serve includes children who have a long history of emotional disturbances and physical and emotional abuse. We have a reputation of accepting and successfully treating children who present challenging behaviors. Our history is that we will accept that challenge and demonstrate a “do whatever it takes” attitude to support that child.
All of the services provided by ChildFirst are values based. This means that we encourage children to go beyond the surface and delve into their feelings and problems with an effort to instill ideas, strategies and decision making skills which are based on the ideas of integrity, honesty and respect for self and others. We strive for children to set high personal standards for themselves and to develop goals that are realistic and attainable. The tool we use to help children reach their potential is called the “Navigator of Life”. All of our services are based on this concept.