Group Supports Families, Each Other

It's a lunch gathering with a straightforward goal.

"The whole idea is to have successful families," says Penny Selbee of the Shawnee County Health Agency.

Selbee is among a group of professionals who get together twice a month. All of them work with families, but in different contexts. They come together to talk about how they deal with warning signs in those contexts.

Libby Rosen, a nurse at Stormont-Vail HealthCare, says how a social worker views a situation may be different from a parents as teachers volunteer, a public health nurse, a hospital nurse or even a member of the faith community.

The group hears professional presentations and shares individual case stories, getting ideas and information on spotting problems in families, and helping address them through existing programs or programs our area may need.

"It's very complex, and this group looks at all those complexities," Rosen said, in an effort to make sure area families are getting the right care.

Plus, Selbee said, the group members provide support for each other. She said delivering services in the home can sometimes be overwhelming if you don't realize other professionals are working to back you up.

The Perinatal Association of Kansas is holding a conference for professionals who work with mothers and infants. It's Wednesday, Sept. 15, at Stormont-Vail's Pozez Education Center. Call 354-5994 for registration information. There is a fee to attend.

631 SW Commerce Pl. Topeka, Kansas 66615 phone: 785-272-6397 fax: 785-272-1363 email:
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