NVFS Provides Peace of Mind

Mental Health

For 8-year-old Annie, the world no longer felt like a safe place. At her school, the social worker noticed Annie’s changing demeanor and personality. She was becoming withdrawn and depressed and her school work was starting to decline. It was clear Annie needed help. Her social worker turned to NVFS.

Together they discovered Annie had been sexually assaulted by her babysitter’s husband. To help her start to heal and rebuild he trust, confidence and connection with others, her NVFS case manager helped her identify activities she liked, including soccer, reading, swimming and dancing. To help the family feel safer, they made a safety plan. Annie’s mother, Julia, also learned to identify signs and symptoms of trauma, and began to report them to Annie’s therapist to help her recover and move forward.

Safety was still of paramount concern for the family, however. Julia was scared to leave Annie and her siblings with a babysitter again, so she cut back her hours at work. Meanwhile, the family had already been struggling to care for Annie’s stepfather’s growing medical needs. Money was tighter than ever. Annie’s case manager realized Annie’s mother was a great fit for NVFS’ Escala program and it would open new opportunities for the whole family. Through the coaching she was provided through Escala, Julia developed a business plan and was supported through the launch of her own home-cleaning business. This would not only provide the family with the financial security they needed, it provided Julia with flexibility and funds to secure safe and stable child care.

Annie now has greater peace of mind, too. The relationships she has developed with her case manager and her teammates have provided the stable and trusting support system she needed to heal. For the first time in a very long time, she felt safe. Her school work began to improve, her smile grew a bit brighter, and her confidence began to emerge, especially as she raced down the soccer field. Additionally, her mother has learned how to be a strong advocate for Annie and her siblings to ensure they always have the support they need.

“With the help of NVFS’ program, I am not scared anymore,” Julia shares. “I now know I can ask for help. I feel like I can actually accomplish things now.”