It Takes a Family was initiated prior to the actual date that the doors of the clinic were opened in May 2008. The idea of providing mental health services was based on the simple desire to create a realization of the possibility of embracing the outlook of a community with the knowledge and availability of efficient mental health services. The intent to provide much needed services to individuals, families, and communities, as well as to create awareness of the significance of mental health in our communities was truly a passion of the heart. The beginning of our story is filled with much determination and a conscious decision to ensure the availability of mental health with no disturbance in care, while ensuring an efficient continuum of care of services for individuals, families and the community of people with mental health and behavioral health needs.
Like the name It Takes a Family, It Takes a Family’s founders based the start of the agency around the passion for providing quality mental and behavioral health services for individuals, families and communities who suffer from or simply are unaware of mental and behavioral health. The agency was created as a direct response to the decrease of clinical therapeutic in-home services that were available to the community by the state and then diminished as a result of budget cuts. ITAF was determined to create a care system which left the decision and need to participate in therapy in the hands of the families and not with case workers taking financial budgets into consideration. As a result, our first outpatient facility was established and the decision to participate in therapy was place back in the hands of the individuals and families who needed mental health services.
Through steadfast belief in approaching mental health holistically knowing that a collaborative effort with the community empowers families to raise children that builds strong societies and integrates families to create supportive communities, the founders thought that specializations in specific disciplines would effectively provide insight to efficient mental health service delivery. The decision to study these disciplines was concluded due to their like minds and unified goals. ITAF founders were also family members who decided that each person must specialize in an aspect of mental health which would be impactful to the overall contributions of the agency as it impacts a holistic purview of mental health services. The three founders consist of Kemi Adelakun Duke, who has over 25 years in the social service field and earned her master’s in Social Work, Bola Adelakun who has over 17 years in the social service field and though initially studied Biochemistry changed her discipline due to her desire and fascination with the mind which led to her study and completion of her master’s degree in psychology. These two women partnered up with Dr. Ade Adelakun who has over 12 years in the medical field as well as a Medical Degree with a Master’s in Public Health and a residency in adult and child psychiatry. With these three areas of proficiency, the dedication to the full integration of holistic care, which includes understanding community ecology and social advocacy as well as mental health service delivery for individuals and families would be mastered. The summation of their experience includes but is not limited to the knowledge and extensive experience in mental health and social services field, work with children who present with behavioral issues, adults with mental health, psychiatric hospitals, Juvenile detention, substance abuse, children in foster care, sexual offenders to mention a few, as a result, they decided to unite and dedicate their career paths to providing mental and behavioral health services.
After 12 years of service provision and well over a quarter of a million clients served, our goal continues to be effective service provision which is readily available to respective individuals, families, and communities. We hope to continue to employ a holistic perspective in serving individuals, families, and the community to meet the many challenges effectively and productively within today’s scope of “Life Stressors” by providing comprehensive services in a caring environment.
Over the years, ITAF has expanded services to seven sites and 6 counties within the state of New Jersey. Our future goals are to expand out of the state of New Jersey to as many states that is need of the provision of mental health services and awareness. We also continue to partner with community agencies such as child protective services, CMO, crisis and other community agencies.
We are currently working on the development of a strategic marriage/relationship intervention program based on the response to individual and community needs.
Today, ITAF continues to be a forerunner of innovative services and quality of care. Our staff consist of very highly trained professionals with years of professional growth. Our clinicians consist of professionals with independent licensure such as Licensed Clinical Social Workers, Licensed Professional Counselors and Licensed Marriage Family Therapist. We also train professionals until they obtain their independent licensure such as Licensed Social Workers, Licensed Associate Counselors and Licensed Associate Marriage Family Therapist and psychologist. Our medical staff consist of Board Certificate Psychiatrist, Adult and Child Psychiatrist and Advanced Nurse Practitioners. We are more than ever committed to the vision of our founders and to making extraordinary differences in the lives of others well into the future.