Social Work Services
Overview of Fresh Start Social Work Services
Fresh Start’s Social Workers can provide individual support to women as they face various life transitions, seek opportunities for new growth, and set personal and professional development goals. Social Workers work with you one-on-one to help prioritize current needs and create an action plan for accessing community resources and connection to Fresh Start’s own life-enhancing services to support you on the road to empowerment. Attendance at a Your Fresh Start center orientation is required prior to scheduling an appointment with a Social Worker.
Meet Our Social Workers
Kelly Cook, MSW, is one of Fresh Start Women's Foundation's Social Workers. She received both her Bachelor's in Social Work and her Master's in Social Work from Arizona State University and has been employed with Fresh Start since 2012. Kelly is passionate about helping women obtain their personal goals through individual empowerment sessions, action planning and community resources. Kelly also facilitates two of Fresh Start's healthy relationship support groups, "Courage to Change" and "Foundations of Dating".
Liz Avila, MSW, is a Social Worker at Fresh Start Women's Foundation. Elizabeth received her Bachelor's in Social Work from New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, NM and her Master's from Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, TX. Elizabeth is bi-lingual and facilitates the following support groups "La Mujer Hispana" and "Mujeres en Accion". She also faciliates a domestic violence workshop and implemented the "Wonder Years" where both mother and child learn English. Elizabeth's passion is teaching women how to empower themselves and link the women to the resources that will help the women reach their goals.
Merle Salus-Herbig, LCSW. Merle holds a Master's Degree in both Teaching and Social Work from the University of Chicago. She has decades of experience as a Social Worker doing psychotherapy for individuals, families and couples, as well as therapy groups and psycho-educational groups. A subspeciality of hers is gerontology and work with boundaries. She facilitates the two part workshop "Developing Boundaries" and "Continuing Healthy Boundaries" group, "The Women's Group" and "The Second Half" (for women 45 and older).
How Can We Help?
Your Fresh Start
All clients attend a Your Fresh Start orientation session prior to participation in Social Work Services. Your Fresh Start orientation sessions may be facilitated by Social Workers, interns, front desk staff, volunteers, and/or other Fresh Start staff members.
Your Fresh Start is offered:
Mondays from 12 to 1 pm
Tuesdays from 12 to 1 pm
Wednesdays from 12 to 1 pm
Thursdays from 12 to 1 pm
Saturdays from 9:30 to 10:30 am
During an appointment with Social Work Services Staff
One-on-one meetings with Fresh Start Social Workers or interns provide an opportunity to discuss your current needs, receive personal support, and be linked to community resources. They can support you in the creation of a personal action plan to meet your immediate needs and help you set long term goals. Social Workers offer ongoing support as you progress towards your current goals and formulate new goals for the future.
Click here for Community Information & Referral
Support Groups in English
Empowerment Roadmap Groups
The empowerment road map group is a supportive educational group to help you assess your current strengths and develop a road map for achieving your long-term goals. Have you struggled with setting goals in the past? Do you feel like you have goals but don’t know how to achieve them? Do you need support in following through on the goals you have set for yourself? Led by Marja Morgan, MSW, this group will help you identify your personal strengths and resources as well as new opportunities for growth to start you on your road to personal empowerment. This group requires a 6 week commitment and pre-registration before attending. For information call 602-261-7165.
The Women's Group
This group is for anyone looking to be a part of a community of women to share in the joys and sorrows of life. Topics may include: identity, resilience, how beliefs impact feelings and behavior, stress reduction, positive self-statements, and healthy communication. Gather to de-stress, strengthen coping skills, and share support, stories, dreams and goals. For more information contact group facilitator Merle Salus-Herbig, LCSW at 602-261-7172.
The Second Half
This support group is for women over 45 who want to plan the "second half" of their life while examining the path they chose during the first half. . We will take a look at our life journey thus far and "pack" for the next one. This 7-week closed group is limited in size and requires pre-registration before attending. Please call Merle Salus-Herbig, LCSW at 602-261-7172 to register.
Courage to Change
This co-dependency support group examines how self-defeating behaviors including: people pleasing, putting ourselves last, trying to control others choices and behaviors, having low self-esteem and exhibiting patterns of denial affect us. This safe space will allow for open sharing and support to help change these behaviors and learn healthy ways to enhance our relationships in life. For more information contact group facilitator Kelly Cook, MSW at 602-261-7160.
Foundations of Dating
This educational support group is for any woman who is dating, thinking about dating, or getting back into dating after a long-term relationship. In this group we will discuss what to look for in a partner, healthy vs. unhealthy relationships, dating fears, relationship myths and tools that support healthy relationship development. For more information contact group facilitator Kelly Cook, MSW at 602-261-7160.
Continuing Healthy Boundaries
This support group is for women who have completed both Parts I and II of Developing Boundaries. Bring your life experiences in for discussion, as you continue to strengthen your boundaries. Remember developing healthy boundaries is a process, not an event. This group will you progress on your boundary work while getting support from the group. Please register with group facilitator Merle Salus-Herbig, LCSW at 602-261-7162.
Supporting Women in New Growth (SWING)
In SWING join a community of women to combine group discussion with journaling to challenge past experiences, let go of negative thoughts and learn new tools for personal growth. This group requires an 8 week commitment and pre-registration. To register, contact group facilitator Kerri McKinney Caro, LMSW at 602-261-7135.
Women who are experiencing or have experienced domestic violence come together in support of each other. Join this group to share your experiences and learn from others about their journey into leading safer, healthier lives.
Tuesdays, 6 to 7:30 pm
The Healing Journey
Join this safe, confidential and casual group to share your experiences, learn from others, and receive emotional support as you work through the effects of abuse and begin your journey to a healthier, happier life. This group will also help you learn about the effects of abuse on children, how to create trusting, caring relationships and cultivate personal growth and tools and rsources to help you heal, rebuild and move forward.
Thursdays, 11:30 am to 1 pm Facilitated by JCFS Shelter Without Walls Staff
The purpose of this AA group is to encourage women to share experiences, strength, and hope with each other so that they might recover from alcoholism and help others do the same.
Mondays, 6:30 to 7:30 pm (women only)
Grupos De Apoyo
La Mujer Hispana
Le gustaria mejorar la relacion con si misma? Tener mas confianza o simplemente conocer mujeres como usted? Acompanenos en este curso de 10 semanas donde usted aprendera sobere varios temas que afectan a la mujer hispana. Hablaremos sobre temas como: sistema de crianza, depresion, como establecer limites, codependencia, autoestima, y mucho mas. Este es un grupo cerrado y el unico requisite es comprometerse en asistir a las 10 semanas. Despues de las primeras dos semanas el grupo sera cerrado. Para mas informacion llame a Liz Avil al 602-261-7137.
La Comida es necesaria para mantenerse con vida pero para la persona que come compulsivamente el exceso de alimneto es necesario para enfrentar la vida. Si le gustaria bajar de peso y mantenerse en el peso apropiado para tener buena salud, tiene dos opciones, disciplina y recuperacion o el no tener control y desarrolar enfermedades. Ofredido por C.E.A. - H.O.W.
Lunes de 6 - 7:45pm
Sabado de 12 - 2pm
Camino de Sanacion
Le invitamos a unirse a este grupo de apoyo donde podra compartir sus experiencias en un ambiente seguro y confidencial. Aprendera de otras personas y recibira apoyo emocional y de esa manera trabajara los efectos negativos del abuso y asi podra emprender un camino de vida sano y feliz. La ensenanza de este grupo se enfocara en los efectos de abuso en los ninos, crear una relacion de carino, cultivar su crecimiento personal, incrementar recursos que la lleven a la sanidad, reconstruir su vida para seguir adelante. Blanca Cornejo de JCFS.
Cada Miercoles de 5 - 6:30pm
Al-Anon es una hermandad de parientes y amigos de alcoholicos que comparten sus experiencias, Fortaleza y esperanza. Creemos que el alcoholism es una efermedad en la familia, y que un cambio de actitud puede ayudar a la recuperacion. Nos reunimos para aprender una major forma de vida y encontrar la felicidad sea que el alcoholic siga bebiendo o no. tome un momento para preguntarse: "Estas preocupada por el consume de alguien?" "Creciste con un bebedor problema?" Si te identificas con alguna de estas declaraciones, usted podria encontrar Al-Anon util. Solamente para mujeres.
Cada Martes, 5:30 - 7:00pm
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