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Helping Hands – Social Service Agencies in Kansas City facilitated by Barbara Dooley

Recorded Winter 2022

You will be sent a link to the private YouTube Playlist.


Recorded Winter 2022

You will be sent a link to the private YouTube Playlist.

Every day we are confronted with information about problems in our community. Often the need seems so great we decide not to seek more information and dismiss thinking about it. Perhaps we wonder if anyone is addressing the issue.

This class will take a look at 4 local resources that are responding to these issues.


Week 1: January 19 | Neighbors in Need |Presenter: Barbara Dooley

This session will provide an overview of some of the pressing problems in the greater Kansas City Metropolitan area. The nature of the problem and its prevalence will be examined. Subsequent sessions will focus on social agencies’ responses.

Barbara Dooley, Ph.D., spent her professional career working in a variety of human services jobs that focused on advocacy and services for children and their families. Upon graduation from the University of Alabama she began her career teaching special needs children. After receiving her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan she was involved in planning and supervising programs to prevent child abuse. Dr. Dooley spent the last 20 years of her career as Director of Madison County Tennessee Juvenile Court Services. In that capacity she was responsible for a department of county government that provided a continuum of programs for youth who came to the attention of the Juvenile Court.

Week 2: January 26 | Avenue of Life – Session 1 of 2 | Presenter: Cameron Erlandson

How do we bring about actual change to a complex issue? In this session Cameron will give an overview of a strategy that reduced student homelessness in Wyandotte County by more than 50% in three years. He will share the insights learned as well as share how we can use this strategy to bring about change with any complex social issue like human trafficking, environmental change, criminal justice reform, and others.

Cameron Erlandson is the Chief Operating Officer at Avenue of Life. He has a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership from Regent University and more than 20 years of experience in leadership of nonprofit agencies. Avenue of Life focuses on community building and helping children and families move out of poverty and into stability toward success. Avenue of Life serves as the lead agency of more than 50 other organizations (both nonprofit, for profit, as well as government agencies and institutions) to reduce poverty in Wyandotte County.

Week 3: February 2 | Avenue of Life – Session 2 of 2 | Presenter: Cameron Erlandson

What is homelessness and how do we provide help for those most impacted? In this session Cameron will address the various causes and definitions of homelessness. He will also address the challenges faced in our foster care system and how to create opportunities for those young people aging out of foster care.

Week 4: February 9 | TIES (Team for Infants Exposed to Substance Abuse) and Amethyst Place |Presenter: Oneta Templeton

Maternal substance abuse for women who are pregnant or parents of young children complicates outcomes for babies and families. The TIES (Team for Infants Exposed to Substance Abuse) Program in the Social Work Department at Children’s Mercy provides intensive, home-based partnership with affected families to address substance abuse, parenting, physical and behavioral health of parents and children, and stabilization of income and housing as needed.

A community partner in this effort is Amethyst Place. It provides supported housing, family empowerment and therapeutic services for women in recovery and their children on a campus in midtown. Both programs believe partnering with parents to offer support and stability, provide information, help solve problems, and build parenting skills in a baby’s earliest years will have significant return.

Oneta Templeton, LCSW, LSCSW is Manager of Community Programs in the Social Work Department at Children’s Mercy Hospital. She oversees the hospital’s home-based family support programs including Healthy Families Children’s Mercy and the TIES Program. Ms. Templeton has over 35 years’ experience in community-based social work and provides administrative, clinical and reflective supervision to home visitors in multiple roles. She was also a founding board member of Amethyst Place, a supportive housing program for families.

Week 5: February 16 | Della Lamb Refugee Resettlement Program | Presenter: Cori Wallace

Della Lamb Community Services has the privilege of serving and investing in children and families who represent a beautiful array of humanity. Della Lamb’s refugee clients represent multiple nationalities, languages, and incomes. Arriving to a new land and community after an arduous journey, they are faced with unique challenges. Della Lamb’s mission is to empower their clients to secure needed education and employment, so they can progress toward self-sufficiency.

This presentation will explore Della Lamb’s 125 years of service to those in need in Kansas City. The conversation will focus on the work of refugee resettlement and how you can help to welcome our newest community members.

Cori Wallace is the engagement director for Della Lamb Community Services in Kansas City, Missouri and serves as their chief advocate and fundraiser. She has equal passion for relational connection and administrative discipline. As an avid Kansas Citian, she invites others to share their time, talent and treasures with and through Della Lamb for the progress of the city she loves.

Week 6: February 23 | Solace House – Kansas City Hospice and Palliative Care | Presenters: Iman Williams Christians, Ph.D., Director of Grief Programs

Despite death being inevitable, most people avoid learning about and discussing end-of-life care, whether for themselves or a loved one. However, discussing end-of-life care options and grief support services can be empowering and reduce the uncertainty and fear that often come along with a process that all of us will eventually face. This session will demystify the many options of end-of-life care and grief support services. It will also highlight resources including Solace House and practical strategies on how to support a loved one who is grieving.

Dr. Iman Williams Christians came to Kansas City Hospice from Lost and Found Grief Center in Springfield, MO where she was the Chief Clinical Officer. She graduated with a B.S. in Psychology with a minor in Spanish from Oklahoma State University and obtained her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Jackson State University. She is trained in three evidenced-based trauma therapies and certified in EMDR and Prolonged Exposure.

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