Skip to main content

Celebrating the Power of Healing at the 2024 Better Together Luncheon

On May 8, The Family Partnership welcomed guests, staff, and volunteers to our 2024 Better Together fundraising luncheon. Dianne Haulcy, President and CEO, spoke to the healing power of relationships in The Family Partnership’s work. The event also featured inspiring stories from Ms. Linda Wilson, foster mother, and Ae Vang, outpatient therapist, who have partnered together in support of children’s healing.

We invite you to experience some of the best moments from this year’s program below!

Dianne Haulcy, President and CEO, highlights the “tremendous outcomes” achieved as a result of trusting relationships between families and staff.

As a result, together we have achieved tremendous outcomes:

  • 100% of children in our preschool programs graduated kindergarten ready, nearly double the statewide average for children living in low-income households;
  • 89% of youth in mental health counseling reported stronger family relationships; think about how stronger family relationships can help teens navigate those turbulent years; and lastly,
  • 93% of participants in our anti-sex trafficking program, PRIDE, decreased involvement in the commercial sex industry.

Our staff leverage a 2-generation approach and evidence-based practices in the context of trusting relationships. That means we meet people where they are at and we honor their strengths, even as we bring our expertise. When people TFP serves feel seen and their strengths are honored, you’d be amazed how they find a way where there was seemingly no way before. They break through barriers and create new legacies for themselves and their children.”

Ms. Linda Wilson, foster mother, shares how children in her care experience healing at The Family Partnership.

Ms. Linda Wilson has been a foster mother for over 32 years through Hennepin County, serving “more children than she can count.” Over the past twenty years, Ms. Linda has brought many of her children to The Family Partnership for mental health therapy.

Any child who has been taken from their home environment no matter how awful that environment may have been has experienced trauma. Whether from the actions of the home, family or situations or from the actual process and effects of the removal, they have gone through a traumatic experience.

When I first found The Family Partnership about 20 years ago, I knew I’d found a place for my children to experience healing through therapy. Many of my children have benefited tremendously from their time sorting out their emotions and life struggles with support from a therapist. Healing in therapy takes time but within a few months I would notice some positive changes in each of the children. Some changes happened slower than others, but change did happen.

Once, I remember a child who moved around like the tin man from Wizard of Oz, extremely tensed and rigid, totally stand offish and guarded. With support through mental health therapy at The Family Partnership, he slowly started to put down his walls and became more receptive to warm friendly conversations, smiles and interactions with people whom he came in contact with.

I am thankful for therapists like Ms. Ae (Dr. Ae as the kids and I call her) who have helped my children to heal from their heart and head hurts!”

Ae Vang, Outpatient Therapist, describes the way a 2gen approach builds on family strengths and leads to healing.

Ae Vang, MSW, LICSW, is an outpatient therapist with The Family Partnership (pictured here with her family). She works with children, adolescents, and adults, providing services in English and Hmong. Her experiences as the first-generation daughter of Hmong refugees and adult with Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) impacted her decision to become a therapist. She has worked with many children and families, including Ms. Linda’s, utilizing a 2-generation or whole-family approach.

If that system is not stable, their healing process takes longer or in some cases it never starts because parents pull their kids from therapy. Without addressing stressors that parents face, therapy can become just another stressor. However, by utilizing a 2-generation approach, it allows conversations to take place that will not only help the child but the whole family heal.

One preteen client that I worked with had a disability due to illness. They spent a lot of time in isolation, appearing irritable, expressing suicidal ideation, and when asked to draw a self-portrait could only portray themself as a ghost or monster.

At first, I worked with just my client and their mom, but as I got to know the family better it became clear that Dad held the key to my client’s healing. Dad believed himself to be responsible for their disability, even though he made the best-informed decisions he could at the time. This had become his child’s whole identity to him—they were a reminder of his shame.

As I started working with both Mom and Dad on their grief, eventually Dad was able to change the narrative surrounding his family and be the support my client needed to overcome their struggles. Eventually my client graduated from therapy and started high school. Recently I received an update that they made a friend at school, something their parents did not think would happen because they had been a loner since starting kindergarten.

The Family Partnership’s 2gen approach affirms that all families have strengths, and my role as a therapist is to partner with families to build on those strengths.

I am happy to say that by practicing a two-generation approach in my work at The Family Partnership, I am working as a partner with parents towards the goal that nearly all share in bringing their children to therapy: to create a better future for them, and the generations to come.”

Dianne Haulcy announces The Family Partnership is prioritizing early interventions to preserve families and protect children from the trauma of separation.

Dianne Haulcy announces that The Family Partnership is exploring the possibility of becoming a Family Resource Center in South Minneapolis.

Current research shows that toxic stressors like poverty, racism, and other forms of systemic injustice harm a pregnant parent and their baby’s developing brain and nervous system. The earlier we partner with parents and caregivers, the better for their children’s opportunities and outcomes.

As such, we’re exploring the possibility of becoming a designated Family Resource Center in South Minneapolis. This will allow TFP to provide additional services and resources beginning as early as pregnancy and birth that are proven to preserve families and protect children against the trauma of separation.

It’s true that most of the parents and caregivers we serve experience toxic stress, and many have also experienced trauma as children themselves. They want to disrupt the cycle—but they need some support to learn how. After all, “You can’t give what you never got.”

For most people, healing work is too heavy a burden to bear alone. No one should be expected to transmute their own pain, and the pain of their families, communities, and ancestors without support. Our work at The Family Partnership is to meet people where they’re at and honor their strengths—so they can face the past with courage and build toward a future with hope.

Valerie Kaur, in her book See No Stranger, talks about developing a revolutionary type of love that is not a culmination of emotions and romanticism but of “sweet labor,” something we choose to do every day. That is the kind of work all of us at The Family Partnership do, bringing people closer together to do the important work of healing.

Your support helps this generation to heal, so the next generation thrives.

Our partnerships make us strong. Consider a new or increased monthly gift in any amount, and your donation will be DOUBLED up to $50,000 until the end of May!

You can also check out our volunteer opportunities, donate your gently used clothes to our drop-in center, or fulfill items from our PRIDE wishlist on Amazon.

For more information on how to help generational healing in Minneapolis through The Family Partnership, contact Ashley Hemnarine, Development Director.

Explore Other Posts