Family Resources receives Total Child Grant to help at risk children become successful adults

Sarah Tisinger News

DAVENPORT, Iowa -- Family Resources was the recipient of a $37,000 grant from the Arconic Foundation. This grant created an opportunity to support approximately 30.4% of the annual staff costs associated with our TotalChild project to help look at a child and their family with a holistic service delivery model. Family Resources has two full time Success Managers that have supported 101 Scott County youth to date. The average cost of service delivery for each youth enrolled, including continuing support until they reach 18 years of age, is approximately $3,300.00. 

TotalChild addresses four primary domains of a child's life: Youth (behavioral health, substance abuse, life skills); Family (healthcare, child care, parenting capacity, food, housing safety); Community (family/neighborhood support network); and Education (school attendance, achievement). The TotalChild model is designed to address current system delivery barriers in support of long- term stability. In order to achieve results, we look at a macro view of a child’s life and address all domains to resolve the root of the problem. 

Picture a child with high-risk behaviors – he’s skipping school, staying out late at night, and has been caught drinking alcohol. If we focus on just addressing his immediate behaviors, we might not ever uncover that he is currently homeless, living in a shelter and has witnessed domestic violence. His school attendance is a symptom of his homelessness and his mother is unable to focus on providing adequate supervision because of their current housing crisis. When we work with this family on meeting the immediate need of homelessness first, we are treating the root of the problem that created the circumstances for him to venture down the path of engaging in high-risk behaviors. 

After we address their housing issues, the TotalChild Success Manager will ensure we enroll or engage the mother and youth in other appropriate services in order to continue to provide support for various challenges that could escalate and result in entering back into the crisis of homelessness. TotalChild ensures that services appropriate to meet a family’s holistic needs are in place at the appropriate level and frequency.  

According to the Iowa Department of Education, the overall 2016-2017 drop out rate for the State of Iowa was a reported 1.93%. That year, the largest district in our community, the Davenport Community School District, reported an overall drop out rate of 3.62%, ranking 11th highest among the state’s 333 school districts. These percentages may represent nameless children to most, but not to Family Resources. Many of them are involved in our programs and services due to the vulnerable nature of their living environments such as household criminal activity, drug abuse, domestic violence, child abuse, etc. These are kids that are falling through the cracks of a human services delivery system that addresses only one consumer issue at a time. In addition to poor coordination of services there are several socioeconomic, educational, and mental health challenges children in the Quad Cities experience, leading to a higher likelihood of unsuccessful outcomes as adults. 

Family Resources understands that these children have complex needs.  When they complete community-based services or treatment programs, they may have reached short-term stability in one area of their life but have likely not addressed all of the issues preventing their success. We have learned that sustaining stability is often difficult if these other problems are not addressed. 

A very big THANK YOU to the Arconic Foundation for being a partner in making our community stronger.