Our founder, Ashley Woodcock wanted to share with you all some of her reflections on the evolution of PWI.
Parenting With Intent was founded in 2011.
PWI has had quite an evolution since its inception. I began by working in coffee shops, out of my car, and at the lunch tables in Child Welfare branch offices. I did my best to make sense of the tangled web that is the Child Welfare system, and I learned so much. I learned that the system is extremely flawed and it that can be profoundly traumatic to children. I also learned that Child Welfare workers are asked to do an impossible job, and that has given me a great sense of empathy and compassion for the many dedicated and wonderful workers. I worked to develop meaningful, trusting and lasting relationships with workers, supervisors and managers. Through these relationships, PWI has been able to emerge and expand because DHS believes in our mission and trusts in our ability to provide helpful and effective services to their youth and their families.
Early in my career, I spent many years providing various supportive, educational and therapeutic services to children and families involved with Child Welfare in a variety of different roles and capacities. My work has always been centered in connection, engagement and collaboration, with the client’s voice being the driving force. I believe that people thrive most when they feel supported and believed in, and that the best work happens when the client/provider relationship remains at the center of the service. These are concepts and values that have informed the mission of PWI and are still very much alive within our program philosophy and practices today.
I created Parenting With Intent with the hope of designing services that could focus on building strong connections with clients in order to better meet their complex needs. I have built this team with people who share my commitment to seeing individuals for their strengths and who believe in the power of healthy relationships. Today in 2019, we are a dynamic, rapidly growing agency that employs more than 30 people and provides services to roughly 150 youth in Foster Care and 40 families involved in Child Welfare. I feel hopeful and excited to think of our future here at PWI. I’m confident that we will continue to listen to our community, challenge the status quo, and create better access to services that best meet the needs of our most vulnerable citizens.
"The people and the work environment are what makes coming to work so enjoyable. Having worked in several nonprofits doing direct service work, I have learned that your community and work environment is what makes or breaks your ability to continue working there. Burnout is huge in social work, but Ashley, the ED of PWI, works very hard to ensure that people can earn a living wage, feel supported by their supervisors and co-workers, and that the work itself is meaningful so people enjoy coming to work and want to stay. ”
– PWI Team Member