When your family experiences trauma, what do you do? How do you heal?
One Metro Detroit organization is working with struggling families to help them mend.
“Black Family Development Incorporated is a 42-year-old family counseling organization,” said CEO Kenyatta Stephens. “We were created as an organization that specialized in evidence-based practices that were intended to strengthen and support African-American families. We are proud to say we serve all families regardless of their ethnic background or racial identity.”
Black Family Development Incorporated’s mission is to build partnerships that strengthen and enhance youth, families and communities. Their services touch families in eastern Wayne County, including Detroit and the Grosse Pointes.
“Our goal is to go where we can to link arms in partnerships with families so we can help them achieve their goals,” said Kenyatta.
And they’ve been able to do just that.
One 16-year-old girl has been working with the organization, undergoing counseling and therapy with her father. Their relationship was off to a rocky start when she moved in with him after her parents split, but the counseling seems to be working.
“At first I couldn’t talk to him at all about anything,” Aniya Amerson said. “I mostly just balled everything up. I really didn’t know how to feel.”
“I was going through a custody battle with Aniya’s mom, and Aniya was having trauma challenges that I myself could not help her with,” said Robert Pettaway, Aniya’s father.
Robert did what any loving parent would do. He sought help through Black Family Development Incorporated, which he found through Aniya’s school.
“It’s better than when I first came to live with him,” Aniya said of their progress. “When I came to Black Family everything changed. They made me feel like I could talk to them. Now I can just sit and talk with him.”
Because of the success their family has seen, Robert is giving back by working for Black Family Development Incorporated to help other families who were once where he and his daughter were.
“We can’t do this alone,” Robert said. “Within any family, any community, any society. We can’t do it alone.”
All of their services are free to families. If you or someone you know needs help dealing with trauma, or for more information about their upcoming fundraiser, visit Black Family Development Incorporated’s website right here.
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