Through this project, called Idaho Thriving Families, a total of six demonstration sites integrated an anti-oppression and social equity framework and the institutionalization of Building Promising Futures: Guidelines for Enhancing Response of Domestic Violence Programs to Children and Youth (Building Promising Futures). The demonstration sites include four local community domestic and sexual violence programs, one tribal domestic and sexual violence program, and one community culturally-specific organization.
Latinx-Specific Service Provision
This project launched the Thriving Families Latinx Campaign that was designed to increase access and improve systems and responses to Latinx abused parents and their children by the integration of a comprehensive anti-oppression and social equity framework. Through a series of listening sessions, comprised of Latinx mothers and children who were survivors of domestic violence, six themes and values were identified and are featured in the campaign: resilience, family, healing, community, cultural pride, and safety. The campaign included posters and handbooks that included information around personal, cultural and structural identities that shape survivors’ experience; forms of domestic violence that Latina and/or Immigrant women experience; themes from the listening sessions; legal remedies and option for immigrant survivors; national hotline numbers and resources specific for Latinx survivors; a list of Idaho domestic violence and sexual assault programs helpline numbers and location; and a list of Spanish-speaking community non-profits. All materials were created with an eye towards honoring Latinx culture and heritage and features captivating imagery cultivated by nationally acclaimed artist and activist Favianna Rodriguez.
Indigenous-Specific Service Provision
The Indigenous Thriving Families Campaign utilized a comprehensive data analysis, using a combination of qualitative and Indigenous Methods and Methodologies of the listening sessions held in three of Idaho’s Federally recognized Tribes and in Boise to learn from urban Indigenous community members impacted by domestic violence. Four themes culminated from the stories and listening sessions: Learn Sovereignty & Jurisdiction, Tribal Site Coordinators as Matriarchs, Elder Mentors, and Access to Ceremony. The dissemination of these themes and lessons learned took place during the Ti Novitawi Kocheukaakwe Virtual Conference on Missing and Murdered Indigenous People that met demonstration site’s individual need to continue to implement culturally-responsive and trauma-informed service and/or anti-oppression framework. The themes served as conduits for storytelling; and through this project, a storytelling podcast, “Stories…In A Good Way,” was created. The purpose of the podcast was to humanize the themes that emerged from the Indigenous listening sessions last year. Rather than a print campaign, the podcast will serve as an ongoing tool for storied connections with programs serving Native American communities. Each story was an illustration of one or a few of each of the themes.
Resettled Community-Specific Service Provision
The Idaho Thriving Families project partnered with a community-based organization, Tidwell Social Work Services & Consulting, Inc. (Tidwell), to build their capacity to integrate support for resettled families impacted by domestic violence through their programming. Tidwell identified, recruited, and trained trusted and respected leaders from the resettled community to serve as Community Support Advisors who helped with the integration of supporting resettled families impacted by domestic violence. In addition, they received parenting resources for families who are experiencing a cultural disconnect with their children and distributed a total of 90 copies of Parenting for Liberation: A Guide for Raising Black Children. The Community Support Advisors selected themes and discussions relevant to the resettled communities and interpreted versions of the Bonus Episodes: Mini Book Series found in the Parenting for Liberation podcast several languages for the Idaho refugee community.
- Improve systems and responses to abused parents and their children and youth exposed to domestic violence from underserved communities
- Coordinate the provision of enhanced services from four community domestic violence program and two culturally specific programs and a model to create meaningful access and culturally responsible services for abused parents and their children from underserved communities, including developing policies and practices that promote positive parent/caregiver and child relationship building using dyadic methods
- Enhance evidence and practice informed strategies, advocacy, and interventions for children and youth from underserved communities exposed to domestic violence.
Outcomes and Accomplishments:
- Built a stronger, more transparent relationship with the Indigenous demonstration site and tribal domestic violence and sexual assault program from across the state. Through this relationship, the Indigenous leaders took a leading role in the integration of the Indigenous-specific projects.
- Partnered with an Indigenous researcher to work closely with the tribal domestic violence and sexual assault service providers to interpret the data of the Indigenous listening sessions. This partnership was a huge shift and priority for the team that allowed for creative storytelling strategies to unfold for both Indigenous communities and mainstream organizations seeking to enhance services to Indigenous women and children.
- Hosted the Ti Novitawi Kocheukaakwe Virtual Conference Honoring Missing and Murdered Indigenous People for 400 registrants and covered a wide range of topics to inform, educate, and increase awareness around the epidemic, including the themes from the listening sessions from Indigenous survivors and their children.
- Create a storytelling podcast that will highlight the themes in the listening sessions and interview findings for domestic violence and sexual assault programs and other service providers.
- Sent Latinx campaign materials to over 200 community organizations, state entities and health care providers and received over 400 online order material requests from programs and organization in Idaho across the country.
- Provided on-going quarterly webinars on Building Promising Futures Practice guidelines and issues related to anti-oppression and social equity, historical and vicarious trauma, and trauma-informed/healing practices for advocates.
- Trained over 100 domestic violence and sexual assault advocates, state-level providers and service providers who work with parents and children impacted by domestic violence through a culturally-specific adapted version of Building Competence and Resilience in Children and Parents: The Advocate as Change Agent (Advocates as Change Agent) with FUTURES and SSAPC faculty. The culturally-adaptive elements of the Advocate as Change Agents training provided a space for participants to go into a deeper self- and organizational-level examination and helped participants identify ways they can enhance or re-create the work with children and families historically marginalized by society who are impacted by domestic violence.
- Provided on-going technical assistance to the project’s demonstration sites that included brainstorming children activities, reviewing curriculum, reviewing activities in campaign handbook, referrals, and tailoring activities that fit the demonstration sites’ needs.
- A demonstration site worked with Idaho STARS (a state-wide agency that ensures childcare standards and issues childcare licenses) to obtain a childcare license in one of their facilities. Because they had the children’s culturally representative books, provided through this project, the demonstration site was able to meet step two of five, and get closer to becoming a license childcare provider. In addition they implemented and identified evidence-informed/evidence-based strategies and trainings specific to youth group settings in high schools and middle schools. They began two pilot groups titled Family Matters, an interactive program that modeled ways caregivers can plan with their children. The groups were held weekly, and attendance ranges from 10 to 15 participants including children. Materials used during the groups are intentionally inexpensive and easily accessible so that families can recreate the activities at home. The activities include children emotion scale coloring/activity book to measure and identify emotions, lavender-infused playdough, gardening, tie-dying and much more. The Family Matters group was the highest attended class at the agency, and was so successful that the agency is going to sustain the group after the end of Thriving Families, and just “get more creative” with group projects when there is no longer grant funding for activities.
- Community-based demonstration site enhanced their efforts with integrating warm referrals to local domestic and sexual assault programs.
- A demonstration site created a summers kids’ program that incorporated activated with children and parents/care givers and implemented the Strong Kids Club curriculum throughout the academic school year. Through this integration of these activities, there was an increased participation with families.
- A demonstration site updated their intake forms that included holidays and cultural dietary needs; implemented safety planning conversation with mothers for them to feel comfortable having safety planning conversations with their own children; integrated children to be an integral part of the shelter touch to make children feel safe in the new environment; ungraded the common shelter area that was more inviting to children of all ages, including adolescents; and updated their policy to accept family members outside of the immediate family who were also directly impacted by domestic violence.
- A demonstration site developed culturally-specific Spanish support groups for mothers impacted by domestic violence.
- Worked with a community-based organization that works closely with resettled communities to build with their capacity to promote positive and supportive parent/caregiver and child relationships to support resettled families impacted by domestic violence through their programming.
- Increase state and national-level collaboration and technical assistance on evidence and practice informed approaches to preventing and responding to children and youth impacted by domestic violence through 2 major state conferences with over 1,000 participants.
- Hosted a multi-racial group of 37 members from across Idaho came together to explore a healing journey that deepened our relationship with one another that created a culture that was committed to unlearning colonized practices and embracing and celebrating the richness of the group’s differences and similarities through storytelling and connection.
- Hosted a healing training for demonstration sites and domestic violence and sexual assault programs, totaling 50 participants. This gathering drew the wisdom of the community to co-create a blueprint for wellness against the backdrop of racism and intersection with other forms of oppression-induced trauma: creating healthy boundaries, and healthy expressions of grief, pain and joy that allowed for healing and a space to fall in love with our community and ourselves more deeply—or for the first time. Participants received tools and information on how parents can talk to their children about things that matter and learn the impact that domestic violence has on children and on the parent-child relationship and received a free copy of Dr. Joi Lewis’ book, Healing: The Act of Radical Self-Care.
- Thriving Families staff, internal researcher and evaluation team worked collaboratively toward less academic approach to outcome measurables and evaluation plan using a mix of qualitative and Indigenous research methodology.
Examples of Impact:
Impact on Demonstration Sites
“It’s just not what they’re going through in that moment…we’re unpacking a lot of [previous trauma] with them and their families as well.”
“The families didn’t see [the preschool advocate] really as threatening. It was more like, “Oh, this is what we got at preschool today. “Oh they handed out these cute parenting books,” or “Oh, they gave us this book to bring home, and it’s in Spanish and we can read it to our family.”
“The Advocates as Change Agents training was one of the best trainings I’ve had in years. It was purposeful and it forced us to examine what cultural pieces have been missing in our entire organization.”
Impact on Parents
“I wish this was available to me when I was going through my separation. This would have been so helpful. It’s a good place to start thinking of who to contact, what to do, how to understand the dynamic of domestic violence in a way that resonates.”
Impact on other service providers
“While the content of the conference was not directly relation to my (paid work), it was transformative in my understanding of the ways that gender-based violence impact Indigenous communities locally”
Idaho Thriving Families Partners:
The STOP Violence Against Indian Women Program provides services to adolescent and adult Native Americans and/or their significant others living on the Coeur d’Alene Reservation who have been or are presently experiencing domestic violence, sexual assault, elder abuse, stalking, or bullying. The program provides a variety of services, including shelter, crisis intervention, victim and court advocacy, information and resource referrals, technical assistance to agencies, community outreach, education and awareness training, and other forms of client assistance.
ROSE Advocates is located in Weiser, Idaho, and provides services and resources to adults and youth affected by violence in an environment that supports empowerment, self-esteem, and self-worth for its clients. The program provides services in a multicultural manner that attends to the spiritual, emotional, and physical needs of its clients
Safe Passage provides services to adult and youth survivors of domestic and sexual violence in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and surrounding areas. The program provides a number of services, including emergency shelter, victim and court advocacy, training and education, children’s advocacy, counseling, resource referrals, and crisis intervention.
Voices Against Violence
Voices Against Violence is located in Twin Falls, Idaho, and provides services to survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and any other form of violence who live in one of four counties served by the program. A number of supportive services are provided, including shelter, crisis intervention, victim and legal advocacy, counseling and groups, resource and information referrals, and other forms of support.
Advocates Against Family Violence
Advocates Against Family Violence is located in Caldwell, Idaho and provides services to individuals and families affected by violence. The program offers emergency shelter, crisis intervention services, advocacy, outreach, individual and family counseling, education, and resource and information referrals, among other services.
Tidwell Social Work Services & Consulting
Tidwell Social Work Services & Consulting is located in Boise, Idaho, and provides a variety of trauma-informed and culturally relevant services to individuals arriving in the community as refugees or from other cultures. The program services include client-centered counseling, community-based rehabilitation services, case management, family support, peer support, and community building activities, among others.