Safe at Home Serves its First Family
In January of 2022, Safe at Home served its first family, enabling the trial reunification of a 13-year-old with her father and brother. Following abuse by another household member, the youth had left her home, ultimately entering foster care. To be reunited with his daughter, Dad had to prove to ODHS that he could keep a safe environment free of future harm. In doing so, Dad had to make life-changing decisions, including separating from abusive relatives and finding his own stable housing - effectively transforming him into a single parent.
Safe at Home's bicultural and biliterate Family Partner worked directly with the ODHS Caseworker to understand the history of the case and her responsibilities in the home to manage the youth's safety during the trial reunification period. The Family Partner's biweekly visits included checking in with the teen and her safety, verifying that her needs were being met, and ensuring that she was doing well mentally and emotionally while confirming that there was no risk of perpetrator contact.
By the end of Safe at Home contact, our Family Partner was able to assist in reunification and help Dad become more self-sufficient by connecting him to community resources and emphasizing the supports he can access during challenging times. Dad was understandable nervous about parenting a 13-year-old girl. With the help of the Marion and Polk Early Learning Hub, we were able to connect Dad with a parent and teen class at the Salvation Army Kroc Center, where he will learn more about parenting as a single Dad- facilitated in Dad’s primary language, Spanish. One of the incentives for families to attend this 10-week course is an annual pass to the Kroc Center, which will give him another outlet to build a stronger relationship with his daughter.
ODHS recently closed the case after Dad proved to the jurisdiction his parenting capability and his commitment to upholding the safety and wellbeing of his children. When Safe at Home's Family Partner ran into him recently at the Kroc Center shortly after, she saw a happy man.