Arrows Family Services is changing lives, one family at a time

15 Apr 2023

New Business, News, Economic Development, Community

    Recognizing the need for local supervised parenting time services, Shannon Wegner founded Arrows Family Services, a 501(c)3 charitable non-profit organization, in November 2021.

    While the main office is located in Milaca (Mille Lacs County), Arrows Family Services opened an additional location in Little Falls (Morrison County) in September 2022.

    “Morrison County has just been so welcoming to us, and our agency. It has been such a positive experience,” Wegner said.

    Services offered by Arrows Family Services include supervised parenting time, parent education, transportation, safe exchange, supervised sibling visitation, parent/caregiver support and adoption/foster/kinship support.

    As services are provided in either of the centers, at home or in the community, Wegner said the agency’s services are offered in Benton and Sherburne counties, as well. It all comes down to meeting individual needs as each family situation is different, she said.

    “We provide the services either in our office, in the home or in a community setting. We go and supervise the parenting time and really, we’re just there to ensure the safety of all parties,” Wegner said.

    Arrows Family Services offers parent coaching or parent education, which is implemented into the supervised visits. It’s a way to help parents learn new, positive parenting skills, Wegner said.

    The goal with providing services is to help build the relationship between family members. Since many clients have a limited support system, Wegner said Arrows Family Services strives to be a place of encouragement.

    “It’s helping them feel successful and if that means in their home, or in the community, if they have a favorite coffee shop or they’re more comfortable at the library, we have those conversations with the family and the social worker and make sure that we can make those accommodations safely,” she said.

    How visits are set up, Wegner said, depends on where they take place. At both locations in Milaca and Little Falls, cameras capture the interactions. There are also different entrance and exit points available.

    For instance, if there is a no contact order in place, the visits are staggered, so the visiting party arrives through one entrance about 15 minutes early, while the children arrive near or on the scheduled time and through a different entrance, Wegner said...

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