Catholic Charities Diocese of Kalamazoo mission includes concern for justice for all people, for equal opportunity to employment, services, and volunteering. Persons are employed, provided services and accepted as volunteers without regard to:
- race or color
- ethnicity, descent, nationality or national origin
- religious background or philosophy/religion
- gender or gender identification
- disability, physical and/or mental abilities/characteristics
- marital status
- height or weight
- sexual orientation
- parental status
- membership in any labor organization
- political affiliation
- record of arrest without conviction
- economic circumstance
- any other discriminatory reason
This Equal Opportunity policy applies to employment, internal promotions, training, opportunities for advancement, terminations, relationships with outside vendors and customers, use of contractors and consultants and in dealing with the general public. Practices in recruiting candidates and hiring, transfer and promotion of employees will encourage diversity in the workforce. Practices in promoting agency services will be targeted to eligible persons. Practices in recruiting, accepting and assigning volunteers will encourage diversity in the volunteer workforce.
Catholic Family Services was formed on June 11, 1975 from two Catholic agencies that had provided social services to people of Southwest Michigan. The agency began doing business as Catholic Charities Diocese of Kalamazoo in June 2012. One agency, St. Agnes Foundling Home, had operated uninterruptedly in Kalamazoo by the Sisters of St. Joseph since 1915. That agency served unmarried mothers and their children, families seeking adoptions and other children in need. It was affiliated with Borgess Medical Center, a major health care provider in the community. The other predecessor agency was Catholic Social Services, a family service agency. The Catholic Diocese of Lansing began Catholic Social Services in 1958 as a community service in Kalamazoo. Its mission was to service families under stress, especially those with marriage and child-parent problems.
Mission and Vision
The mission of Catholic Charities Diocese of Kalamazoo is to provide social services in the manner of Jesus Christ with compassion, care and concern for justice to all people in need and to advocate for their welfare calling those of good will to assist in this mission in the Diocese of Kalamazoo.
Frances H. Denny MBA, MSW, LMSW, ACSW
April is Volunteer Appreciation Month! I have the great pleasure to appreciate volunteers all year long! Some of our volunteers are the members of the boards of the three corporations related to Catholic Charities. Volunteers work closely with administrative and management staff and with clients directly. There are a lot of ways to serve.
Just recently, I received a message of hope and loving challenge while sitting in church. I'd like to share it with you. Volunteers are acting on this call.
"Have you thought, really thought, about the extraordinary circumstances of being here today? That you have all been brought to this life at the same time . . . how close you are in proximity of time and place, how different you are from all people who have lived before you and of all people who will come after you? Can you get your mind around this amazing situation? Ponder it. This life is God's give to you and your life is God's gift to each other. Your life is special and has purposes. One of these is to love and serve your brothers and sisters, especially the weak and vulnerable. This is your time to serve one another."
We can join together to make our world more peaceful, more loving, more life-giving. We can provide for all of our babies and walk with those who suffer. Love is not only our best strategy, but also our path to holiness. Please join us as a volunteer.
Catholic Charities is a not-for-profit organization with its own governing body that is incorporated in the State of Michigan and functions within the limits of its by-laws. The Board is responsible for adopting policies, guiding the organizational development through long-term planning, overseeing financial management, and ensuring Catholic Charities’ accountability to the public.
Catholic Charities is committed to excellence -- we strive to provide the highest quality services to our clients and our community. We cannot accomplish this goal without the engagement of our stakeholders. In short, your input is essential as we continue to evaluate and improve our programs and services.
Catholic Charities uses Performance and Quality Improvement (PQI) as an agency-wide tool to evaluate success and improve quality. The agency's management teams and program staff consistently review diverse data and look for means to make our services more responsive to client and community needs. The PQI process requires the development of a formal "Action Plan" if an area of needed improvement or an opportunity for growth are noted. In either event, staff develop logical steps and track implementation to ensure improvements are made and services are strengthened.
How Can You Be A Part of PQI?
If you have comments, information, questions, or ideas to improve the quality of services (or any dimension of the agency), please contact Catholic Charities and share your ideas. You may also submit feedback via the website by clicking here. Please feel free to share your thoughts and help Catholic Charities fulfill our mission and change lives!
Behavior Management Procedures with Clients
Catholic Charities behavior management procedures are based on the principle that all people have the right to be treated with dignity and respect and that all individuals should be seen as people first. Our program presents a system of gradual and graded alternatives for managing people using a combination of nonphysical and physical interaction techniques designed to prevent injury to all participants in an encounter. Catholic Charities does not use any form of physical interaction techniques unless the person is in danger of hurting themselves or others. Catholic Charities teaches that the main goal is to learn how to effectively manage yourself first and then you can more effectively manage other people.
Catholic Charities’ programs place an emphasis on empathic listening and positive interaction and any intervention should maintain a safe environment and prevent the need for restrictive behavior management interventions. Clients are encouraged to take responsibility for their own behavior and the impact it has on their peers.
The agency utilizes a behavioral system that is primarily focused on responding immediately to inappropriate behavior verbally to prevent an escalation of behavior. Residents/clients are only restricted as necessary to provide services, to prevent injury to themselves or others.
Since residents/clients come for services with a variety of issues and concerns it is many times not possible to have the same intervention be effective with different youth. Therefore, a variety of these options may be utilized by themselves, or in conjunction with one another. All approaches in working with youth are to be consistent with appropriate and generally accepted child care and treatment methods.
Preventing problems continues to be the most effective means of dealing with the youth. This is accomplished by:
- Being aware of the monitoring responsibilities the staff has as a prevention tool
- Preventing residents/clients from provoking one another through antagonism or playing staff roles
- Taking time to notice what each youth is interested in as well as their strengths and using that knowledge to help maintain order
- Showing youth that the staff cares about them and their situation through empathic listening
Staff consequating residents for inappropriate behaviors shall observe the following limitations:
- The limitation is the minimum essential to achieve the purposes proposed.
- The limitation is essential to prevent substantial and serious physical and mental harm.
- The limitation is essential to prevent a resident from violating the law.
Residents/clients exhibiting inappropriate behaviors may be addressed in several ways:
- Verbal warnings in front of the group
- Verbal warnings one on one
- Removal from the group for a period no longer than five minutes
- Removal of privileges such as extra non-essential phone calls, outings, etc
- Extra chore assignment
- A writing assignment
- Extension of time periods such as study time, group, etc
- Restraint - the use of approved physical management techniques. Restraint may only be used when all other less restrictive means have been exhausted and the resident is in danger of hurting themselves or others and may only be utilized by staff who are trained and qualified to utilize agency-approved techniques. Consideration of less restrictive means shall be documented in the resident’s record and an Incident Report shall be completed. Incident Reports facilitate the immediate notification of parent or guardian if any physical intervention is used. Every effort should be made to work with the youth through this process, involving them in the decision making when possible. This is often the time when the youth learns the most about their patterns of behavior and the staff has the most opportunity to directly impact change in their lives. It is with this kind of milieu that the youth learns and grows under, not one intended to seek punishment or force reconciliation.
There are circumstances under which a resident/client would be asked to leave the shelter or program. It is acknowledged that all of the following may be subject to individual judgment and interpretation, depending on the severity of an offense, situational factors, and the individual involved. Decisions to terminate residential/program services to a youth/client must involve consultation of the ARK Shelter Supervisor/program supervisor.
- Physically violent behavior that places the staff or resident/client in a situation that may result in harm
- Deliberate excessive damage of property
- Circumstances which make effective intervention unlikely
Prohibited Methods of Discipline/Administering Consequences:
Residents/clients who are exhibiting inappropriate behavior are to be addressed and may be consequated, though this must not involve any form of physical punishment. Obviously, not all situations or circumstances can be covered, so when in doubt, staff is encouraged to consult their co-workers, supervisors, on-call workers, etc. The forms of discipline listed below are prohibited for use at The ARK and any other CFS program under any circumstance:
a. The use of demeaning, shaming or degrading language or activities, ridicule or humiliation
b. Corporal or other physical punishment of any type that inflicts physical or psychological pain
c. The use of aversive stimuli
d. Unnecessary punitive restrictions including cancellation of visits or communication with family as a disciplinary action
e. Punitive work assignments
f. Punishment by peers
g. Forced physical exercise solely for the purpose of eliminating behavior
h. Group punishment or discipline for individual behavior
i. Medication for punishment
j. Chemical, mechanical or physical restraint
k. Extended isolation of the person
l. Deprivation of the person’s right and needs (e.g., meals, hydration, shelter, clothing or essential personal needs, etc.)
m. Denial of opportunity for at least 8 hours of sleep in a 24 hour period
n. Denial of any essential program services
o. Unwarranted use of invasive procedures and activities as a disciplinary action
p. Seclusion - This includes any time a resident is placed in a room alone and prevented from leaving the room by any means.