Families can work with Catholic Charities to overcome barriers to meeting goals. The family support services and counseling office helps clients set goals and connects them with resources to help meet those goals.  (Adobe stock)
Families can work with Catholic Charities to overcome barriers to meeting goals. The family support services and counseling office helps clients set goals and connects them with resources to help meet those goals. (Adobe stock)

When a family walks into Catholic Charities for help, they’re given hope. Maybe a single mother needs help getting through her pregnancy. Maybe a family with toddlers needs to find more permanent housing.

The Family Support Services and Counseling office houses numerous programs to provide assistance to families: the intercultural counseling center, the pregnancy and parenting support center, adoption services and the anti-trafficking center. Each of the departments serves its own clients, yet are connected. The common theme among them is the aim to serve clients’ mental, physical and emotional well-being.

“With all the services, our goal is to provide services that promote hope, healing and wellness,” said Heather Zarrilli, director of family support and counseling services for Catholic Charities.

So, if a client comes in through one program, they may be referred to another.

When a client comes in through pregnancy and parenting services, they are given case management to help them to meet their goals. Whether a client’s goal is to get childcare or to get a parent back in school, the case managers will help.

“Our goal is to reduce barriers to what the [clients] hope for,” said Zarrilli.

Typically, clients are served for a year.

“The hope is we’re following the family and providing support accomplishing goals and making progress toward stability and self-sufficiency,” added Zarrilli.

If a family is in need of counseling, they may be referred to the intercultural counseling program, which provides individual and family counseling, culturally specific counseling, medication management, psychiatric evaluation, support groups, peer support and case management.

If a woman is journeying through her pregnancy with Catholic Charities and considering adoption, she may use the program’s adoption services.

And if the client is a victim of human trafficking, he or she may be connected with the anti-human trafficking program. The program provides case management and assistance for clients who are seeking a U.S. T nonimmigrant visa created for victims of human trafficking.

“If people don’t have basic needs met, it’s hard for them to accomplish longer term goals because they’re in survival mode,” said Zarrilli. “We want to help people get access to the basic needs resources, so they can move forward with other goals that they have to increasing stability, health and well-being.”