Opportunities for parents to gain skills and access to resources to assist them on their parenting journey, with the goal to provide children a safe and healthy home life.
Avera Family Wellness focuses on early intervention with children in pre-kindergarten through fifth grade. Students and their families are connected with a family health coordinator to build family connection and stability while identifying and treating the family’s mental health needs. Last year, 216 children and their families took part in the program, attending over 1,800 therapy sessions, resulting in fewer missed days of school, fewer behavioral events and less tardiness. 90% of participants reported an improvement in their mental health.
Bright Start Nurse Home Visitation program, serves low-income, at-risk, first-time moms during pregnancy, after delivery, and through the child’s third birthday. The program provides prenatal, maternal, infant/child health assessments and education, parenting education, mental health services, and assistance with education and transportation. Last year, 89 families were provided with 1,885 nurse home visits and therapy sessions. Of these mothers, 100% received prenatal care and children had a 91% immunization rate by age 2. Research has shown programs that utilize the nurse family partnership model show improved prenatal health, improved school readiness, reduction in arrests for the mother, and reduction in child abuse and neglect.
Sad Isn’t Bad was developed specifically to help children who are experiencing grief. Last year, 46 families participated in a four-week session.
Volunteers of America, Dakotas’ Look Up and Hope program uses a comprehensive wraparound approach to improve the lives of families impacted by maternal incarceration. The program includes home visits with mothers to address parenting concerns, health relationship education, connections between families and community resources that promote self-sufficiency, and more. Last year, 53 families were served through the program.
Housing Stability, Financial Care, and Career Empowerment
Lifting people up through a system that provides crisis financial assistance, resources to achieve stable housing, and opportunities to expand education and career readiness.
The Community Outreach’s Crisis Care program provides information and referrals to local agencies and emergency financial assistance for basic needs items including shelter, utilities, and employment related transportation. Last year, 946 individuals and families received financial assistance and 346 individuals and families received case management support.
The Community Outreach’s Genesis mentoring program pairs volunteer mentors with homeless or near homeless families and individuals to help stabilize them and educate on financial literacy. Last year, 55 households were served through Genesis. Of those that graduated from the program, 100% achieved or maintained permanent housing one year after entering the Genesis program.
Furniture Mission receives donations of gently used furniture and then distributes through social service agency referrals. Last year, 1,438 referrals were served. By ensuring children have a bed to sleep in, they are more likely to succeed in school and have less behavioral issues.
The Glory House’s Case Management provides comprehensive services needed for the transition from a prior setting (incarceration, inpatient treatment or other) to a less structured one. Case managers help clients with everything from obtaining suitable clothes to employment, medical and legal matters. Last year, 35 clients were served, with 17% maintaining safe housing for 12 months.
Inter-Lakes Community Action Partnership’s Heartland House provides transitional housing for homeless families and their children, serving 119 families last year. Of those served, 40% gained financial self-sufficiency and 67% entered permanent stable housing after completing program.
Lutheran Social Services’ Center for Financial Resources helps consumers find solutions to their financial concerns through financial counseling services and debt management programs. Last year, the program served 2,229 people. Of those clients, 97% increased their awareness of their current spending patterns.
Lutheran Social Services’ Re-Entry Services assists individuals who have recently been released from jail or prison to successfully re-integrate into their families and communities. Last year, 55 people completed the work training classes, with 60% finding employment.
REACH Adult Literacy/Tutoring provides 1,200 hours of tutoring to 65 adults in order to improve their reading, writing and living skills. Of those who participate, 87% demonstrate an increase in knowledge and skills.
St. Francis House provides transitional housing and case management, serving 11 families and 467 single individuals last year. 80% of clients increased savings and 85% reported a reduction in debt.
Volunteers of America, Dakota’s Axis 180 provides housing, case management, life skills, employment education assistance, and aftercare services for youth ages 16-21 to help them transition from homelessness to independence. Last year, 47 youth were served by the program. Of those served and eligible, 92% worked towards their high school diploma or GED.
Care for Victims of Violence and Sexual Assault
A network of support exists for adult and child victims, including shelter and counseling services.
The Crisis Intervention program of Children’s Home Shelter for Family Safety serves the community with a crisis hotline, in person crisis counseling, crisis day care, outreach to emergency rooms, arrest interventions, and more. Last year, 2,519 individuals were served through 16,794 different points of contact. Research shows that crisis intervention decreases distress and improves problem solving.
The Crisis Shelter of Children’s Home Shelter for Family Safety provides women and children fleeing abuse with immediate safe shelter when they are ready or able to leave an abusive situation. Last year, 827 individuals sought shelter for a total of 14,268 shelter days. Of those women staying in the shelter, 93% indicated they developed options for continued safety for when they depart from shelter. Seeking help at the time of a crisis and leaving an abusive relationship will lead to a more positive life for the victim due to the fact that the effects of staying in an abusive relationship include: physical health problems, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and negative economic effects.
The Compass Center’s Counseling Services addresses the psychological, emotional, and physical effects of rape, sexual assault, and domestic violence by providing services to any primary or secondary victim of sexual assault, domestic violence, and/or stalking. Last year, 769 individuals were helped.
The Compass Center’s Education & Prevention program strives to decrease the incidence and prevalence of sexual assault and domestic violence in our region. Last year, 85 trainings and sessions were held, educating 1,087 people. The goal of prevention education sessions is to prevent first-time perpetration of victimization by improving knowledge and attitudes that correspond to the origins of sexual assault, the impact of gender roles, healthy relationships, consent, conflicted resolution, respecting personal boundaries, and skill building for these topics.
The Compass Center’s Victim Advocacy assists victims of violence and sexual assault by providing connections to other community resources, providing safety planning, assist with navigating the court system, help with filing protection orders, and attending hearings. Last year, 238 individuals were served.
Sanford Health’s Child’s Voice Family Advocate provides counseling and other support to child victims of abuse and sexual assault and their non-offending family members. Last year, 231 families were provided with crisis intervention and support, attendance at interviews or case reviews, follow-up care, referrals to mental health and medical care, and other advocacy services. Research shows that ongoing support and access to comprehensive services are critical to a child’s comfort and ability to participate in an ongoing investigation, intervention, and treatment.
Sioux Falls Area CASA recruits volunteers to advocate for abused and neglected children. Last year, 16,763 hours of service were provided and 98% of children served with an advocate did not re-enter the court system. CASA volunteers spend significantly more time with a child than a paid guardian or ad litem/attorney. A child with an advocate is more likely to find a safer, permanent home.
Mental Health Care
A variety of mental health care options are available through United Way funded programs, providing an opportunity to stay well through an affordable and quality service.
Family Services’ Counseling program provides a variety of services including marriage and family, parent/child, alcohol/drugs, depression, anxiety, and stress. Last year 9,365 hours of service were provided to 1,322 individuals including direct client contact, as well as work-related contacts with employers and contact with DSS, courts, schools, etc.
The Heuermann Counseling Clinic through Family Services utilizes volunteer counselors to provide counseling services to clients who are low income and have no other means to pay for services. Last year, 652 hours of counseling service were provided to 91 individuals.
Helpline Center’s Suicide and Crisis Support provides a continuum of services including prevention, intervention, and postvention. This includes a 24/7 crisis call and text center, nationally recognized suicide prevention and intervention trainings, and support and educational classes for people who have lost loved ones to suicide. Last year, 930 people attended educational sessions and an additional 14,072 people were provided with survivor support. Experts agree that suicide is a preventable form of death, and that lives can be saved with implementation of comprehensive, evidence-based suicide risk reduction strategies.
Lutheran Social Services’ Behavioral Health Services serves children, adults, families, and couples who are struggling with a wide array of mental health concerns. Last year 968 people were provided 3,536 hours of counseling. Of those served, 67% of participants reported an improvement in mental health.
Lutheran Social Service’ Family Violence Project offers structured therapy groups for domestic violence offenders to teach safe and healthy relationship skills and help prevent further intimate partner violence. Last year, 244individuals participated in the program. Research of the model for the program shows significant reductions in recidivism for both adult and juvenile offenders.
Volunteers of America, Dakotas’ Counseling Services provided 397 individuals with 8,231 hours of individual, group, and psychiatric services last year.
Community Crisis Resources
By dialing 211, community members are connected to info and resources as well as volunteer opportunities in your community.
Helpline Center’s 211 Community Resources provides callers with information about and referrals to human services for every day needs and in time of crisis. Last year 41,049 calls/emails/texts were answered. Helpline’s 211 is a valuable community-building tool that strengthens social bonds, improves lives, and makes community stronger and safer.
Helpline Center’s Network of Care is a systematic infrastructure created for a coordinated intake system to better serve individuals and provide data for decision making. Last year, local agencies served 4,724 total clients, providing over 7,009 different services.
Helpline Center’s Volunteer Connections program assists Sioux Empire area residents with finding volunteer opportunities and helps volunteer managers by offering educational resources and support. Last year they provided 17,720 total volunteer-related contacts. Research shows that the average value of a volunteer hour is $27.20.