Vivian packed her belongings and two kids into the car and she left. She was done with him pushing her around. She’d had enough of the yelling, the threats, the slaps, and worse. Mostly, she was done telling her 8-year-old daughter Emma and 7-year-old son Ethan that everything was fine.
Vivian left her home and her life behind, and came to San Francisco to start over. Alone in a new city, she didn’t know where to turn, so she called the TALK Line, a 24/7 hotline for parents and caregivers. The Prevention Center volunteer who answered the call connected Vivian with temporary shelter and emergency food.
Vivian had been bruised and bloodied, a victim of both domestic abuse and abuse as a child, but she was resilient and determined to build a better life for herself and her children.
Once settled in San Francisco, Ethan began acting out in school and Emma became withdrawn. They were not only dealing with the upheaval of moving, a new school, and a new life, but also with witnessing violence against their mother, first-hand. Vivian struggled with how to be her best parent and feared lashing out.
The family enrolled in a Prevention Center pilot program, Integrated Family Services, and was surrounded by a team dedicated to building up protective factors that would keep them safe and help them to heal individually and as a family.
Now, two year’s since that call, Vivian, Emma, and Ethan are one of the first families that have “graduated” from the program, and they are thriving.
This is just one of the 100 families in our Integrated Families Services program here at the Prevention Center. The program launched two years ago, and is proving to be a successful new way to help families grow strong and stay safe.
Here are some initial results:
- After six months of services, 75% of families improve protective factors (parental resilience, parenting knowledge, social connections, support for basic needs, and children’s social and emotional competence)
- Currently, we are seeing the greatest improvements in parental resilience and parenting knowledge with 60-80% of families improving in this area
- Families are now beginning to “graduate” from the program after receiving services for 12-18 months with at least 10% “graduating” by year’s end
We’re excited about the promise of this program, and of course, we continue to work with the community, with our government partners, and with families in our numerous other programs and services to keep San Francisco’s kids safe.
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