A signature statement throughout all of Family Service Society is “when you know better, you do better.” This is how we challenge ourselves to always be learning and improving.
When You Know Better, You Do Better
Our continuous improvement path leads us to seek the best possible solutions for clients including those from Hands of Hope who are domestic violence, stalking and sexual assault victims and survivors. Five years ago we set out to learn more about how to better serve this population as we could see that residential shelter based services were less and less in demand in our community while incidences of domestic violence, stalking and sexual assault were not similarly on the decline.
Programs in Iowa and the state of Washington had pivoted to mobile based advocacy and were seeing exponentially more individuals served and more effectively served. Over the last two years, in our own office, the outreach advocate was seeing significant growth in clients served as the shelter spent more and more nights empty. It was time to learn more.
We talked to survivors during facilitated focus groups and heard directly from them about what they actually needed. Wow! We were missing the mark. They needed fast access to independence—a confidential case manager to give them guidance and be a caring support, help getting personal documents and money together for housing, reliable transportation, access to clinical counseling and a safe place to attend groups.
It was time for us to make a decision—now that we knew better, we had to do better.
As of September 1st, the Flannery Keal Home will no longer be providing residential care and instead will be called the Flannery Keal Center and home to all of our domestic violence, stalking and sexual assault services. Mobile advocates are active and in the field meeting with victims and survivors wherever they feel safe and ready to receive services. Groups are available and free individual therapy services can be arranged. Advocates are trained and ready to assist victims and survivors with everything from safety planning to attending court hearings when needed. They are available for law enforcement to call to scenes and the hospital to contact when victims arrive at the ER.
Based upon the results of those organizations across the nation who have gone before us, we also expect to serve two to four times more individuals. Currently, residential shelter based services serve less than 5% of all victims.* That’s not good enough. We know better. It’s time we do better.
Thank you for your continued support of all our programs and services and particularly Hands of Hope as we make this critical and meaningful change to better service victims and survivors. We’re very excited about this change and know many questions will arise. Please go to our frequently asked questions page to learn more about the change. If you happen to have questions not answered by those already noted on the website, please send your question directly to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will respond as soon as I’m able.
Together we know better and we’re doing better.
* Information provided by ICADV