United Way of Clinton County, Iowa wants all residents to maintain or improve their health.
Good health is an essential ingredient for individual success and a thriving community. Healthy kids are more likely to succeed in school. The whole community will flourish when all of our residents have access to public parks, playgrounds, healthy foods, and quality healthcare. We are committed to more than short-term charity for a few; we are committed to lasting solutions that build opportunities for all.
United Way's health goal is to enable indviduals and families to improve their health. This requires increasing access to health care and health insurance but also creating healthy communities, increasing physical activity and access to healthy food,and ensuring that children and families get off to a healthy start.
Building blocks to good health are:
- Access to health care: increasing the number of evidenced-based programs in the community
- Healthy beginnings: increasing acess to prenatal care, providing education to parents and children, and removing barriers to care
- Healthy eating and physical activity: making physical activity accessible and fun, promoting healthy eating and mkaing nutritious food available in schools workplaces, and neighborhoods
Family Resources: Success Story
An adolescent survivor first presented to a hospital after disclosing an incident of sexual assault. The Family Resources SafePath Survivor Resources (SafePath) advocate who responded to the hospital was able to talk with the survivor and subsequently identified her as a survivor of sex trafficking. Braking Traffik received the referral from SafePath and dispatched a Survivor Advocate to meet with the survivor and her family. Since the initial meeting, the Braking Traffik Survivor Advocate has provided a continuum of comprehensive services, constantly assessing in order to meet the survivor’s ever-changing needs. Legal advocacy has been provided as the Survivor Advocate has attended a police interview to support the survivor and has also communicated with the prosecutor and investigators regarding criminal charges being brought against the perpetrator. The Survivor Advocate has also provided institutional advocacy to the survivor as the advocate has attended a DHS interview with the survivor and has attended several school meetings with and on behalf of the survivor. This has been an essential service as the Survivor Advocate has worked with the school district to change their policies and overall response to sexual violence in accordance with Title IX. Educational advocacy was also provided to the survivor as the Survivor Advocate was able to meet with the principal, vice principal, counselor, and teachers to develop a plan that would allow the survivor to complete and turn in late or missing assignments without penalty. The Survivor Advocate also provided essential direct services to the survivor such as assisting the survivor in identifying and utilizing coping skills to assist with anxiety and other symptoms of PTSD such as mindfulness exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, and identifying feelings; conducted trauma informed yoga sessions with the survivor; safety planning (home, school, extracurricular activities); and goal setting. The Survivor Advocate has also been providing on-going emotional support and advocacy to the survivor and her family as it relates to bullying on social media. The family relies heavily on Braking Traffik’s services and expertise in issues related to human trafficking.
As previously mentioned, the school district will be making systemic changes as a result of working with the Braking Traffik Survivor Advocate. The district is making efforts toward Title IX compliance which includes drafting new policies and procedures for the school board and school personnel concerning sexually violent acts against their students, drafting new procedures in response to online bullying, creating internal documents to outline individual plans for students, developing a safety plan for students in crisis because of trauma, as well as coming up with alternative learning environments for perpetrators who have been removed from the only school in the district. The Braking Traffik Survivor Advocate has done such an outstanding job at building a positive working relationship with the school district that they will also be implementing Braking Traffik’s school curriculum, “Any Kid, Anywhere,” for their intermediate and high school students, and have scheduled Braking Traffik to conduct training for administrators, all K-12 teachers and other staff throughout the school district. Because of Braking Traffik serving this one survivor of human sex trafficking, we are able to reach all school district employees and hundreds of students to educate them on the dangers and risks associated with human trafficking, which will potentially lead to additional disclosures and additional survivors having access to services.
In addition to providing training to the school personnel and the students within the school district, the local police department arranged for our Outreach Advocate to conduct professional training to their officers regarding human trafficking. Our training that the officers will receive will directly impact our client as it could lead to her perpetrator’s arrest and possible conviction, and instructs law enforcement to take a survivor-centered, trauma-informed approach when working with survivors of human trafficking.