By: Family Service Center Galveston Executive Director Dr. Julie Purser and Development Director Karen McWhorter
About Family Service Center Galveston (FSC): Our mission is to promote the mental health and wellbeing of individuals and families through counseling, education and prevention. FSC believes that the family is the essential institution that when supported, children, adults and communities thrive.
Tell us about the relationship between Family Service Center and the Moody Foundation.
FSC has developed a strong relationship with the Moody Foundation over the last six years. We appreciate the open-door access we have with the Moody Foundation to discuss the Foundation’s interests and concerns and collaboratively develop strategies to address identified community issues. Thank you for your support in our efforts to build resilience throughout Galveston County.
How has your organization pivoted/adapted during the pandemic?
FSC had to quickly go from in-person counseling sessions to telehealth visits, which moved up our timeline to move to a centralized intake and scheduling process. While we initially stayed in contact with our clients via telephone visits, we quickly went to TeleMental Health when clients had access to internet and a computer device. FSC’s clinical team also completed the 26-hour web-based Zuri Institute’s Certificate Program in TeleMental Health and Digital Ethics to ensure our team’s ability to provide TeleMental Health services to clients, especially clients who are victims of trauma.
FSC also obtained the Doxy.me platform to ensure HIPAA compliant TeleMental Health services for our clients, as well as the HIPAA compliant Zoom platform to facilitate the 24/7 Dads curriculum to Fathers and Father Figures. FSC uses the Zoom platform to ensure communication among our team internally and with community partners externally.
We converted all of our intake paperwork to Adobe fillable forms to facilitate virtual client intake. We have experienced challenges with this though because many of our clients do not have access to a tablet or laptop and Adobe forms are not easily completed on cell phones. We are exploring other avenues to make our virtual intake process user-friendly across all types of devices and hope to roll out a new intake process in January 2021.
How have you used the Foundation’s recent grant to serve your community during the pandemic?
Moody Foundation funding ensured FSC’s ability to purchase needed computer equipment (laptops, computer hardware and software) so our team could work remotely, as well as secure needed virtual platforms to facilitate TeleMental Health services.
The Moody Foundation funding also ensured our ability to absorb funding losses due to reduced billing and client numbers during this time, as well as operational support as our Executive Team quickly developed a Business Continuity Plan and updated and created policies and procedures to support remote work from home.
How many people does your organization help every month/year? Has that number changed due to the pandemic?
FSC has experienced a 61% decrease in services in a month-to-month comparison due to schools being closed. Teachers are our biggest school-based referral source. Despite closures and all of the COVID-19-related challenges, since March 2020, FSC has provided 1,276 units of service. In FY2019, FSC provided over 14,900 sessions to support 1,898 unduplicated individuals.
Where can the community go to find more information on how to volunteer, donate to your organization and/or a schedule of upcoming events?
You can visit our website at www.fsc-galveston.org.