Letters to the Editor

Building community and well-being through social services

We all benefit when we make sure everyone reaches their personal capabilities. Maximizing the potential of the people who are our neighbors ensures that our communities remain vibrant places to live, work, and play. To keep our society functioning, and even thriving, we must develop systems to help support people in strengthening their well-being.

Much like constructing a home that will withstand all types of weather, building well-being requires a variety of materials, like community resources, social relationships, and opportunities to thrive. Just as one would turn to knowledgeable specialists to build a house, our community relies on organizations whose purpose is to help build well-being. These are called “human services” or “social services” organizations. They are set up not only to make repairs when well-being starts to break down, but also to build a strong foundation in the first place, and to maintain this strength over time.

Caritas Family Solutions, formerly Catholic Social Services, has been a premier social services agency in Southern Illinois for the past 70 years — providing support for thousands of individuals, children, and families who are seeking to build a stronger foundation before, during or after weathering the storms of life.

Services provided by Caritas Family Solutions promote well-being for people regardless of what stage of life they are in and what obstacle they are facing. These services include: Adoption and Pregnancy Care, Community Integrated Living Arrangements for developmentally disabled adults, Counseling, Foster Care, Multisystemic Therapy for Juvenile Offenders, Senior Community Service Employment Program and assisted living for low-income seniors, and St. John Bosco Children’s Center for abused and neglected children.

As the largest provider of foster care services in Southern Illinois, Caritas Family Solutions currently manages more than 1,000 youth in care. These children attend school, soccer camp, and church with other children — yet they need the encouragement from a dedicated case manager, and a loving family to open their home and their hearts, to help them heal and build their happiness and security for the future.

If poverty rates and crime rates increase, the need for services provided by Caritas Family Solutions also increases. For instance, individuals, children, and families experiencing a loss of income may need counseling services to help them cope with added stress instead of taking it out on their children.

When the building materials for well-being are not available, people and communities can falter. Just as poor construction can make a house unstable, the well-being of people who have not received proper support in life can be threatened when they do not have the social relationships, community resources, and opportunities to thrive.

Our communities are stronger when we all support well-being. Since 1947, Caritas Family Solutions has provided a foundation and has continued to grow to meet community needs. Last year alone, the agency supported 4,500 individuals, children, and families in reaching their full potential. Caritas invites you to join in their efforts to strengthen communities. Please visit caritasfamilysolutions.org for more information.

According to their website, Caritas Family Solutions is a licensed child welfare and family service agency providing adoption and counseling services throughout Southern Illinois.