Speaking with today: Tina Bartleson, Executive director
What is the purpose of your organization?
Preventing child abuse.
How is your organization funded? We are funded by community donors, grants, United Way of Rome and special events (Night at the Movies, Get a Jump on Child Abuse, Jim Bishop Memorial Tee Off Against Child Abuse Golf Tournament, Gary Tillman Memorial Clocktower 5k Road Race and Strike out Child Abuse Bowling Tournament).
How did you obtain this position, and why did you pursue this position? This is my second time as the executive director of the FRC. I was first hired from 1994-2001 and resigned after the birth of my first child. I worked for a bit in the national office that oversees the Exchange Parent Aide program before being offered a position to return to the FRC in September 2013. I returned because I strongly believe in the Exchange Parent Aide model of preventing child abuse — it works! I also get to work with an incredibly talented staff and very committed Board of Directors. I’m very fortunate to be a part of this strong organization.
What do you enjoy most acting as a part of this organization? My most favorite part is witnessing how families are transformed as a result of our Exchange Parent Aide services. Often, when we first meet families, they are overwhelmed. Sometimes they are having great troubles interacting with their children — there may be a lot of yelling or excessive physical discipline. However, after participating in our Parent Aide program, we see great transformation — parents feel calmer, become more nurturing, life becomes calmer and we see a decrease in behaviors that can turn abusive. Children are safer as a result of our services, I love seeing people grow ... and our Parent Aides do a remarkable job of helping very vulnerable children and families become stronger.
What is your organization's biggest challenge? As a small non-profit, our biggest challenge is that of time. While we don't have staff that can take on the important and (large) pieces of marketing, event management, or technology, we do have a pool of talented volunteers. The biggest challenge they face is finding time to get to things they want to do for us. Sometimes it takes us all longer to get through projects than we would like.
If the organization uses volunteers, in what capacity? Volunteers help us plan and carry out our various fundraisers each year. Our Board of Directors is also made up of volunteers. We have volunteers to help with clerical duties in the office.
Is there something you would like to say to our readers? Exchange Parent Aide services work.
Prevention makes sense. Come by the center to learn more and let us know if you can help us with some of the administrative tasks that will help us strengthen our services to children and families.
Location: 5 Professional Court, SW
In operation locally: 25 years
Hours: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.