Family Resource Specialist and Community Health Worker Amy Hagan holds 6-month-old Georgia who visits Wesley House with her family. Her family was connected with Family Resource Specialists who help families navigate through different services and programs.

Wesley House connects families to family resource specialists

Little six-month-old Georgia is the light of everyone’s eye when she visits Wesley House with her parents, Austin and Katherine.  

Complicated divorces and job loss left her parents in a bind.   

“I lost everything,” Austin says. “I haven’t been able to get stable again after all of that.”   

“You can have everything, and a crisis can happen,” Katherine adds.   

Family Resource Specialists (FRS) provide support and guidance to help Wesley House clients and Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas patients navigate through different services and programs available to them. Wesley House is an outreach mission of the First United Methodist Church with integrated health service delivery through CHC/SEK. This includes health education, nursing triage, behavioral health, addiction treatment, primary care, dental and more. 

The FRS team are part of the Patient Engagement team at CHC/SEK. FRS helps improve health outcomes for children and families. They focus on clinical and non-clinical care management and coordination, benefits enrollment, social service navigation, community outreach, home visits, and administering patient-centered education and programming.   

FRS/Community Health Worker Amy Hagan was a single parent and struggled with the cycle of poverty and addiction. Now, she helps other families get the resources they need. 

To Hagan, being someone that parents can trust is the most important part of her job.  

“I do what I can to help them,” she says adding that FRS may be that one connection that they can rely on in their life.  

Having a listening ear and compassion is important for follow-through, Hagan says. From making it to their appointments, completing job applications, housing forms and more. Hagan celebrates clients’ achievements with them no matter how small, encouraging clients to take the next step and to keep going. 

When it comes to clinical care, FRS’s connect with CHC/SEK’s clinical team to find out what patients need, such as medications. 

A family resource specialists’ day-to-day tasks vary. They may go to doctor’s appointments with the family to help watch their other children so the parent(s) can focus on their other child’s healthcare discussion or needs. They may visit with families to make sure the child has hygiene and diapering items such as diapers and wipes.  

FRS team members can also help with clothing, particularly through the Baby4Baby program, a volunteer-based nonprofit which connects patients at CHC/SEK with clothes for children (size preemie to 5T). For convenience and for those who do not have transportation, a family resource specialist may visit the family in the comfort of their own home. 

“We’re someone who they can call and help them through their hardest times,” Hagan said. 

Hagan proudly shared that with just a bit of help, many families the Wesley House serves are working toward better health, finding jobs, landing a home to live in and seeking addiction treatment services.  

It is all possible thanks to teamwork across all the FRS and CHWs, along with other Wesley House and CHC/SEK staff that help make sure families get the care they need, Hagan says.  

“We all pull together and help each other,” Hagan says. “This isn’t a job. This is a family.”  

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