The Family Coaches Program was created in response to Welfare Reform, which became effective in December 1996, and helps individuals gain greater self-reliance through employment and enhanced life skills. Family Coaches Program offers direct services that include a clearinghouse for funds to assist with medical and dental needs, and an automobile donation program that provides vehicles to selected Alabama families.
Recognizing the changes that take place and the potential obstacles for families moving from welfare to work, the Family Coaches Program offers assistance to address employment barriers, with specific attention to transportation and dental and eyecare needs.
Exciting changes in self-reliance take place when transportation barriers are overcome. Having a vehicle makes sustained employment more probable, and allows parents to care for their children and themselves in ways that many of us take for granted. Grocery shopping, medical appointments, secondary education, and parent-teacher meetings are made more possible by having transportation. Thanks to vehicle donations from local families across Alabama, more than 50 Alabama families have received the gift of transportation. The Family Coaches Program has each donated vehicle inspected for road safety. Following the inspection and any minor repairs, a nomination process identifies eligible families that are working hard to acheive greater self-reliance and those that would benefit most from reliable transportation. For each vehicle donated to a family through the Family Coaches Program, the donor can claim the blue book value of their donated vehicle as a tax deduction. This win-win situation makes a notable, positive impact in the lives of so many Alabama families.
In a partnership with the Alabama Business and Professional Women's Foundation, Family Coaches Program has also helped more than 150 Alabama women receive much needed dental or eye care assistance. The Foundation has provided $56,000 in grant funds to Working Matters to assist eligible women.
The Family Coaches Program is a program supported by a collaborative effort between the Alabama Department of Human Resources, Family Guidance Center of Alabama and media partners in Montgomery and Birmingham. The Alabama Department of Human Resources provides the funding for the program while Family Guidance Center supports the program’s development through work with DHR in 34 Alabama counties.
The Family Coaches Program serves the following counties: