“BSF/SFI is the vehicle that has assisted me and my family in embracing the amazing role that each of us plays in building and being a strong family. This work has changed how I parent on such a deep level. It is here in BSF/SFI that I learned parenting is part natural and part learned and so the beat goes on. I love the continuous and every evolving journey that is Be STRONG FAMILIES.”
Midwest FFS Team Co-Lead
Senior Trainer & TA Provider
Melissa Neely got involved in organizing and advocating with families several years ago. While doing this work she was invited to the Parent to Parent Support group by way of the University of Illinois’ Psychological Service Center to assist with leadership and development. By attending these meetings she built a rapport with the parents and was elected as President for the leadership and development group named (P3) Parents Promoting Presence.
Since then Ms. Neely has become a powerful voice in the community and has been asked to sit at the table to work in collaboration with various systems in Champaign County. She is a parent that helps find, promote, strengthen, and fine-tune family voice in self-advocacy concerns that will help build a better whole, healthy, and resilient community.
She has served as Parent Co-Convener of the Local Area Network #24, Co-Chair of the Central Region Permanency Enhancement Project, SOFTT (Saving Our Families Together Today), and Region 3 East District Family Advocate for the Illinois Children’s Mental Health Partnership, Parent member of the Child Abuse Prevention Advisory Committee, and Parent Engagement Panelist at the 2011 DCFS Central Region LAN Conference, Parent Speaker at the 2011 DCFS Central Region Workers Conference. Ms. Neely is the eldest of 6, mother of 4 and grandmother of 3.
Joined in 2012.