Family Matters

This presentation will explore what it means to be not only a family within the foster care system, but a Black family within the foster care system. This presentation is centered around the idea of shifting the perspective from a deficit orientation to one of a strength-based model. You will learn how to see Black families as Allies and how you can promote and grow a relationship based on trust and understanding. This presentation will also promote the need for more Black mental health practitioners because representation is highly important as we move forward in this state and nation.

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Learning Objectives

  1. Participants will learn about the state of Blacks in the foster care system from a Black perspective.
  2. Participants will learn how to assist Black families by becoming Allies.
  3. Participants are asked to trust and support Black led providers as they support Black families.

Jacquelyn Hunt, LPC, SAC

Speaker Bio

Jacquelyn Hunt works as a Mental Health/Clinical Substance Abuse Specialist, and has over 20 years experience.  Jacquelyn has made it her life's mission to bring awareness and acceptance of the disease of addiction and mental illness that plagues many in our society, especially in predominantly marginalized communities and BIPOC.  She has dedicated her life’s work to bridging the gap between those living in those marginalized communities and the much needed access to health/mental health and addiction services. 

Jacquelyn’s own struggles and personal testimony of overcoming addiction, poverty, homelessness, incarceration, and loosing her children to the foster care system and much more, to become the caring compassionate service professional that she has become.  It has laid a foundation for her, her approach to assisting others, and helping to build them up to believe that they too can overcome!

She is a fierce advocate for those who are experiencing Substance Use Disorders and works to find the appropriate levels of treatment to combat their addictions. Jacquelyn has created her own unique approach to helping her community by providing services, programs, and events which promote overall wellness especially at critical times when people may be at a greater risk of increased life stressors, triggers related to trauma, substance abuse, depression, anxiety, and in some instances suicidal ideation.

Through many partnerships with other community, social service agencies, and her church Fountain of Life Covenant Church, she has been able to assist individuals and families by providing resources that help families move from HOPELESS to HOPEFUL!  Especially during the COVID-19 Pandemic, her work is critical to the communities which she serves and families are able to thrive as a result.

Currently she is growing her private practice Cultural Recovery Options For Families ( CROFF) Case management, Consulting, and Counseling, where she is the primary Mental Health and SUBSTANCE Use Disorder Therapist.  Her practice provides culturally relevant interventions and counseling.  Jacquelyn is also the CEO/ Fonder of the newly established Non Profit FOSTER (Families Overcoming Struggles To Encourage Restoration) where she has created events that provide additional support at critical times in the lives of the marginalized. The Pre Mother’s Day Brunch honors mothers, especially those with young children who lack the resources to shower them with gifts. The Back 2 Skool Bash is a big Labor Day Cookout that provides a new back pack filled with all the supplies needed at the appropriate grade level, new shoes, new outfit, new hair salon services, and empowerment speakers to prepare marginalized children for the new school year.  The Black Education Matters Summit, brings school administrators, teachers, parents, and students together to hear about the school district’s policies, allow parents/students to share concerns and expectations, and to meet teachers. And finally, the Dinner w/Soul Santa. Provides a soul food dinner, family arts and craft activities, songs, dance, and a visit from a rapping 6’6” Santa in shades com-let’s with gifts and goodie bags. 

She also works as a Community Engagement Specialist in Southwest Madison communities through the Justified Anger Initiative under the Nehemiah Center for Leadership Development, and as a Case Manager at Arc Project Respect.  She brings her voice and that of the community which she serves to the many committees which she serves through the City of Madison, including Dane County Equal Opportunity Commission, Madison Police Civilian Oversight Committee, and the African American Opioid Coalition. 

Jacquelyn has received many awards and honors, including but not limited to the most recent being honored at the 2021 International Women’s Day Celebration as one of their Community Trailblazers; named as the 2020 Nan Chaney  March For Justice Award Recipient; in 2017 she was named one of Madison 365’s Most Influential African Americans in the /State of Wisconsin; and in 2016 she was awarded Madison Alumni Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc’s  Humanitarian Award. She was most recently selected as a 2021 YWCA Madison Woman of Distinction and was featured in the Cap Times Q&A section on June 2.

Jacquelyn is the mother of seven and grandma to seven amazing grandchildren.  She loves Old Skool R&B music and dancing, she loves to travel, and just kick back with family and friends playing Bid Whist and bowling. And her favorites include indulging in self care with a pampering a massage/facial, and chillaxin in the hot tub!