Barbara Martin, director of Urban Core Family Care Community Partnership, recently received the Partners in Faith award from the Rhode Island State Council of Churches for founding the Partners IN Service (PINS) program, an initiative of the Urban Core Family Care Community Partnership (UCFCCP), which is led by Family Service of Rhode Island.
Martin created the PINS program while serving as a juvenile justice specialist at the Vermont State Social and Rehabilitation Services. Previously, she worked as a clinical director at St. Mary’s Home for Children. She holds a B.A. in child development and family relations from the University of Rhode Island and an M.A. in social work from the University of Vermont.
PBN: How is PINS changing the way at-risk youth grow up?
MARTIN: PINS brings together six agencies to work with families with children at risk of abuse and neglect in Providence, Central Falls, Pawtucket and Cranston using a process called Wraparound. Wraparound is a way of working with families that builds on their strengths and mobilizes their relatives, friends and community to help them overcome life’s challenges. That’s where PINS comes in. Members of both faith and business communities join the Wraparound process to support families.
PBN: Is there a PINS case that stands out in particular?
MARTIN: This spring, a devastating fire left three families homeless and without resources. Many of our partners came forward with household goods, clothes, kitchen items, small furniture items, cleaning supplies and financial help for first month’s rent on new apartments. The families were in new homes in a very short amount of time. But, possibly more important, was the lesson to these children about how their community cares about their well-being.
PBN: How have you worked with local businesses and why is it important to incorporate them into this project?
MARTIN: Many of the businesses in the Providence area have missions of social consciousness and are made up of employees who are or want to be actively involved with creating strong, healthy communities. •
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