At Canopy Children’s Solutions (Canopy), our mission is to help children thrive and families overcome extraordinary challenges. Through Canopy’s in-CIRCLE solution, we provide comprehensive home and community-based family preservation, reunification and support solutions for children and families.
in-CIRCLE’s unique services are designed to remove the harm from the child, rather than removing the child from their families, or to assist with the reunification of children with their families. By partnering with Child Protection Services (CPS), in-CIRCLE aims to eliminate the risks that caused the case to be opened by helping families complete tasks and achieve goals designed to help them successfully thrive on their own. A community-based solution, all in-CIRCLE services are provided at the family’s residence so those without the means of transportation can still receive the help they need.
“We help families get the services they need without putting a strain on the family,” says Charlesia Means, in-CIRCLE Supervisor in Hattiesburg. Charlesia has been with the program since it began and uses her own childhood experiences as motivation to continue helping families in need. “Growing up, experiencing the things that I experienced, I just always wanted to be that person that could help or educate someone else that may be going through something that I went through.”
While the Canopy team members who work with the in-CIRCLE solution see many difficult situations, they see many amazing transformations as well. Charlesia recalled one experience involving a single mother with two children. The mother had the motivation to provide a safe, stable home for her children, but she needed help. When in-CIRCLE became involved, the mother was living in a hotel, having trouble finding employment and her children had been removed from her care. Within a matter of months, she was able to find stable housing, successfully employed and her children were living with her once again.
“That’s what in-CIRCLE can do,” Charlesia says. “We can take someone from a hotel who does n0t have anything, and help them find a job, help them find housing, help them get transportation and help them reunite with their children.”
in-CIRCLE is a 12-week program that offers two additional 12-week extensions for those who need more time. With a case manager that coordinates services, a therapist to assist with challenges such as trauma recovery and relapse prevention (if someone in the family suffers from substance abuse), and a peer support specialist to empower parents to reach their goals – in-CIRCLE is building stronger communities by building stronger families. in-CIRCLE also partners with other solutions provided by Canopy, such as the Behavioral Health Clinics and Mississippi Youth Programs Around the Clock (MYPAC) solution, to ensure each family’s needs are met.
When you throw a rock in a lake, you see an immediate ripple effect. in-CIRCLE causes a similar ripple effect in the communities it supports. In 2021, this solution safely diverted 1,168 children from entering the foster care system. Families who have received in-CIRCLE services had a 96% success rate. Through Canopy’s continuum of care, these families are encircled by people who truly want to help them, and this impact ripples out to strengthen the entire community.
“What I’m doing is really making a difference. I am helping someone,” Charlesia says. “It’s challenging, but rewarding. The pros outweigh the cons every time.”
To learn more about in-CIRCLE, call 601-352-7784 or visit Canopy’s website.
WATCH NOW | Mission Moment from Charlesia