ASAC’s Heart of Iowa program is grateful to the Iowa Women’s Foundation for our recent grant award to expand our childcare services to additional evening and weekend hours! ASAC’s Heart of Iowa is designed specifically to address the needs of women and children impacted by substance use disorders. The program allows moms and children to remain together so that moms can care for their children while they receive residential treatment. The program provides a variety of services to address the various needs of women and children, including evidenced based substance use disorder treatment, on-site medical care and mental health counseling, and linkages to support services such as education and vocational rehabilitation.
While families are in the Heart of Iowa, children (infant to 18 years of age) are provided onsite licensed childcare, early childhood educational assessment and mental health services, trauma informed care, linkage to mental health care services and enrichment programming. Through funding from IWF, ASAC is able to expand the hours of operation for the licensed childcare program to offer both evening and weekend hours. This in turn allows mothers transitioning toward independent living greater flexibility for job seeking, attending support groups to enhance their recovery efforts, or attending classes to further their education.
In addition, the expanded childcare hours allows an opportunity for a captive audience to provide an evidence based life skills group for children impacted by their past trauma. This group helps build protective factors for the children that breaks the cycle of adverse childhood experiences and builds critical life skills necessary to make healthy decisions and overcome the adversity they have faced.
A patient in our Half Way House program shared the following: “I’m very appreciative of the on-site evening childcare. It’s a win-win for patients and children. In the past, myself and other moms had to bring their infants and young children to evening support groups. Although we made the best of it, it was very distractive and difficult to focus on our recovery needs. With the evening childcare services, I feel a sense of relief and all moms can get the most out of treatment.”
The Heart of Iowa is committed to providing these services in a warm and welcoming patient-centered environment to help women overcome barriers and stabilize families. Our ultimate goal is to help families become healthy and resilient as they transition back to their homes.