In 2007, Randall Houston, District Attorney (DA) in Autauga County, established a partnership with the Autauga County School System to create and implement the Helping Families Initiative (HFI). The partnership is a collaboration of local law enforcement, healthcare professionals, mental health, social services, faith-based organizations, juvenile justice agencies and other organizations with the primary focus of intervening in the lives of school children who have behavioral concern, but not charged with a criminal offense.
HFI began providing intervention and prevention services to Autauga County students and families in 2007 by implementing the program in all 14 schools.
Many children in our community face insurmountable odds on a daily basis that impede their ability to be successful in school. As a result, children may exhibit unacceptable behaviors in school that result in multiple suspensions. HFI seeks to identify the root of the problem that prevents a child from behaving in an appropriate manner in school.
A comprehensive assessment process is utilized to assist children and their families. Families are linked to services within the community that may address their specific needs and strengthen the family unit as a whole. HFI has developed a partnership with agencies that provide a diverse array of services. Families served are linked to services on a weekly basis.
Referrals to HFI are made by the local school officials. However, parents may also request assistance through this program by contacting the principal of the school.