Interview Report : A Project Manager At Vashon Alliance For The Reduction Of Substance Abuse

Interview Report : A Project Manager At Vashon Alliance For The Reduction Of Substance Abuse

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Interview report, Lori Means a project manager at Vashon Alliance for the Reduction of Substance Abuse (VARSA) Formerly known as Vashon Youth & Family Services I thought that this coalition met the criteria involved in collaboration efforts.
The public greatly benefits from this coalition in many ways and form from school-based emotional intelligence to aid at risk student programs, individual and family counseling, homeless assistance, parenting support, emergency financial assistance, and substance abuse treatment. They provide services to about 400 families a year; they are also the sole licensed mental health agency on the island.
Are they meeting their goals or fulfilling their mission? They continue to work on reducing the youth alcohol and substance abuse and also have towards positive reinforcements. Like healthy after school programs as well as educating families on short and long term dangers of substance use and abuse. With the legalization of marijuana in the state level the work of prevention and reduction of substance use is getting harder with the opening up of pot stores everywhere in the neighborhoods.

How does it encourage empowerment? Educating the island members on ways to reduce the early initiation to drugs to the youth also using family strengths. They provide parent-coaching workshops for parents and Guiding Good Choices for the Incredible Years for the youth and their peers.
Consider principles of partnerships and challenges in forming collaborations -- how have they, (or why haven 't they) met them? Lori stated at the beginning of the coalition when the community members came together and decided that they needed to for a coalition, it was hard in the fact that they needed to consult amongst themsel...


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...ol emotions when it comes down to anger, frustration and avoid bonds of friendships with clients that could derail their treatment and it’s also an ethical issue when it comes to boundaries. To do a lot of self care to prevent burnout because though it’s rewarding its also challenging.
The most rewarding aspects of her career she said was she started with only three clients and now the coalition serves about 400 families if not more a year. Benefits of putting together a team of staff and watching them thrive and one that is really effective.
What have you learned from this experience so far and what changes would you make if you were starting over? Lori was very passionate about he work she does, I sat with her and watched her write a strategic plan for grant application, she has a background in addiction counselling and whished she had gone to prevention sooner.

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