Samara Musselman, a member of the Family Lifeline Board of Directors, feels connected to Family Lifeline’s work with young children because of both her professional and personal roles. As the Administrative Director for the Family Centers at Bon Secours Virginia Health System, a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) volunteer, and the mother of two young boys, Samara’s background is a natural fit for Family Lifeline.
“I’m amazed by all that Family Lifeline is able to accomplish with a family,” Samara says. “Providing parents with the tools to parents and advocate for their child is so important in the work to help break the cycle of poverty. Going into the home to do the work offers unique opportunities and challenges that other programs do not have.” Samara is especially interested in the way Family Lifeline’s Early Childhood Initiative programs (CHIP, Healthy Families, and Parents as Teachers) impact parents through education and empowerment. She is moved by the ways in which Family Lifeline’s services help parents access early intervention, prevent child abuse and neglect, and find medical homes.
Samara also volunteers with CASA as an advocate.”My work as a CASA volunteer has given me direct experience with the devastating effects of child abuse and neglect, and eventual removal from the home, on a child’s growth and development. Seeing children who suffer years of developmental delays that are 100% preventable is overwhelming. Family Lifeline gets into the home to provide that support that can stop that cycle.”
On top of her work at the Family Centers, her Board membership at Family Lifeline and participation on the Development and Marketing committees, and her service with CASA, Samara and her husband spend their free time enjoying the energy of their two sons – an “unending” energy, she calls it. Their family enjoys skiing and snowboarding in the Winter, and can’t get through the warm seasons without a trip or two to the Outer Banks! Samara’s sons love the ocean, and she enjoys having the time to read on the beach!
Board members like Samara, who believe in the importance of intensive, in-home services for families in our community, make Family Lifeline’s work possible. Family Lifeline staff is “working to help the whole child grow and develop…socially, emotionally, physically and intellectually; and working to help the parent grow as well,” Samara says. “The trickle effect is remarkable as these families influence others in their community and the child is better prepared for the future.”