5 Ways to Build Stronger and Healthier Families Together

In this month's newsletter, we honor Child Abuse Prevention Month and celebrate a major fundraising win!
Child giving a kiss to their caregiver while decorating a picture frame
A child showing love at VOA's photo booth and frame decorating activity table during the Go Blue Day Family Activity Fair.
Child giving a kiss to their caregiver while decorating a picture frame
A child showing love at VOA's photo booth and frame decorating activity table during the Go Blue Day Family Activity Fair.

Below is VOA Alaska’s April 2023 Newsletter. To receive this newsletter and other updates directly to your inbox, sign up here.

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, a time to recognize the importance of families and communities working together to prevent child abuse and neglect. This month, we’re sharing our blog series on the Strengthening Families framework, which presents five protective factors for building healthy and strong families. Check out the descriptions and links for each of these factors and their respective blogs below.

Parent helping child with homework at kitchen table.

#1: Parental Resilience

Being a parent can be stressful! Juggling work, household chores, meeting your children’s needs, and managing the family’s schedules and expenses can be a massive challenge at times. Part of being resilient is realizing that “fixing” things is not always the answer.

Two children painting eggs

#2: Social Connections

This one is all about building your family’s support network—the ones you can turn to for help, that understand your unique personality and needs. When children have these positive relationships in their life, they understand they are worth caring for. They also see firsthand what a healthy relationship looks like.

Parent and child facing each other on couch in conversation

3: Knowledge of Parenting and Child Development

It’s all about understanding developmental milestones, knowing what to expect and when to expect it from your children so you can create healthy environments for them to grow up in.

Family of four speaking with a counselor

#4: Concrete Support in Times of Need

When a family feels overwhelmed or is under a heightened amount of stress, having support in place means they will have the resources available, and the knowledge to access them, to help meet their basic needs.

Child leaning on tree towards camera and laughing

#5: Social and Emotional Competence of Children

Children have unlimited potential—they are always learning ways to manage their feelings and interpersonal connections. When they learn to understand not only their emotions but the emotions of others, they set a foundation of intentional interpersonal interactions for the rest of their lives.

VOA Alaska’s services are tailored to support families and reduce the stress of receiving behavioral healthcare. From our school-based services allowing students to receive on-site support, to offering telehealth services when transportation is a barrier, to our Family Services program, which provides education and therapy for all families in VOA Alaska’s care.

We all have a role to play in protecting the youth of our community and supporting resources that help build up healthy and strong families.

Raise a Ride for Youth: Fundraising Goal Reached to Purchase a Van for Day Treatment Youth!

Graphic with text reading "thank you for your support" with the Rasmuson logo and GCI Give logo, along with a depiction of a van with the VOA Alaska logo on the side.

Thank you to all who participated in our Raise a Ride for Youth campaign! We successfully reached our goal of $45,000 to purchase a vehicle for our Day Treatment youth.

Thank you to Rasmuson Foundation and GCI and the generous individuals listed below for their support and for helping to ensure our youth will have transportation to the care they need!

Debra Rouse

Jane E. Luey

Julia Luey

Lori Landenburger

Jamie Bishop

Jose Centina

Alexandro Cetina

Carolyn Heyman

Go Blue Day: VOA Alaska Joins Community Partners for Family Activity Fair!

Four photo collage. One photo has a Go BLue Day Event Here sign at the gym doorway, one is a child smiling into a camera wearing giant glasses, a child blowing bubbles, and two adults speaking with a staff at the VOA table.

Go Blue Day launches April’s National Child Abuse Prevention Month, with this year’s theme of “Building Together.” On Friday, March 31, VOA Alaska joined Alaska Children’s Trust, Alaska Children’s Museum, and Programs for Infants and Children and many other local family and youth supporting organizations for a Family Activity Fair at the Fairview Rec Center.

VOA connected with families through our always popular photobooth and frame decorating activity. Participants could choose from a range of silly blue props and then decorate a frame with stickers, markers, and other crafts to frame the love and remember the special connections between caregivers and their children.

This Month’s Fundraising Goal: Meal Gift Cards

Qdoba and McDonalds gift cards fanned out in a person's hand

A special thank you to Qdoba and McDonalds for donating 50 gift cards to VOA Alaska! These gift cards will go towards meals with our youth while we serve them in their recovery. Meals are a great way to celebrate milestones with our youth and provide them with an opportunity to get out of the office and engage in conversation over tasty food.

If you would like to donate fast food restaurant gift cards, please contact Juliann Flora at comms@voaak.org.

Or learn about more ways to donate and support our work to end suffering for Alaska’s youth!