Julia Roberts Goad
WILLIAMSON - During her career as a juvenile parole officer, Cathy Walker Muncy came to know how important it was for families to stay together. She also realized some parents needed support when social services became involved.
So, 15 years ago, Muncy started Family Option Providers, a company that helps families stay together.
The company has opened a branch in Goodman Manor 4th Avenue in Williamson.
A McDowell County native with a Masters Degree in Leadership with a focus on Counseling, a Bachelors Degree in Criminal Justice and certification as a drug and alcohol counselor, sexual abuse counselor and social worker, Muncy’s background gives her insight into the issues affecting families in Southern West Virginia.
“When I was a probation officer, I saw how important the option of having someone help people to find a way to work out their problems,” Muncy said. “So when I got the opportunity, I started a pilot program, then my own agency, the first in the state.”
Family Option Providers’ corporate headquarters is in Beckley, having worked with families in 47 counties in the state. Clients are referred from the Department of Health and Human Services. Often parents have lost custody of their children, Muncy said. The company makes in home visits when they can, which Muncy says is invaluable. They offer counseling, parenting education and safety services. The office in Williamson can also be used for supervised visits when ordered by the court.
The company employs 60 social workers, along with paraprofessionals and therapeutic counselors.
As many of the problems facing families can be traced back to drug and alcohol abuse, Family Options Providers has opened Reality Check, a drug testing service.
Reality Check has offices in six states, providing in office and on site drug screening services to companies as well as individuals.
Owner Leo Muncy said in addition to providing services to DHHR, his company has provided drug testing services to local organizations such as the Mingo County Commission, the City of Williamson, TMK Security and Appalachian Coal Services.
In addition to drug testing services, Reality Check can develop a substance abuse policy tailored to a company’s needs. They provide groups and individual staff training that is required for a business to be recognized by the U.S. Department of Labor as a certified drug free workplace.
Family Options Providers and Reality Check both help fight what Cathy Muncy sees as the biggest problem facing society today: the breakdown of the family unit.
“I truly believe what we do helps preserve families,” she said. “We always put the family first.”