Jessica is an Arizona native, mom and a successful professional in the structural steel industry.  She also was previously incarcerated.

Through determination and the support of the Second Chance program, she was able to not only find employment, but continue to grow professionally.  In February when her company let her know they were going to have to close, she was able to reach out to supports in the program as well as draw on all she had learned and accomplished.  She ultimately had three offers to choose from.

Jessica shares that Second Chance provided the kind of practical support needed to re-enter the job market – helping her build a resume and job interview preparation – as well as classes that helped her rebuild her confidence and self-esteem.

Jessica shared that she continues to set goals, looking to eventually be promoted to project coordinator at her current company.  She also shared, “I want to be a role model for my son and other ex-convicts by showing them that if you’re determined enough you will succeed.”

Home Visitors Provide Critical Support

In January of this year, a family of three enrolled in Parents as Teachers.  Mom and Dad were concerned about their two-year-old’s language development and mom shared she didn’t feel like she had the tools or knowledge to play with her young child.

Even during the pandemic, the home visitor worked with the family, bringing materials that they played with together during visits, and sharing resources and handouts about child literacy.  Mom worked with her home visitor set a goal of creating a designated play space to store materials, engage in play, and learn how to clean-up when done.  Mom was able to share with the home visitor this would be difficult because there was not money for a play table or bookcases, who then was able to provide suggestions such as Goodwill to resource affordable items.  The family was successful finding all the items – in budget and were able to designate time each day for play.  Over time, daily engagement also now includes reading together.  The language development that was a concern in January is being fostered everyday by the parents know armed with knowledge and support from the home visitor.

Resiliency through Teamwork

Rachel, a Family Support Specialist and Tammy, a DCS Specialist, saw firsthand how a family’s resiliency, coupled with supports, make all the difference.

Both have been working collaboratively with a family for the last four to five months, coordinating visits to ease the impact on the family, maximize their time together, tackle the multiple high-stressors the family is experiencing and provide safety.

Working together, the mother has been able to meet weekly goals, eliminating one stress at a time.  The support, coupled with accountability, has helped mom meet a number of key milestones including clearing a domestic violence charge as well as moving into a clean, beautiful trailer home.  Mom has also found safe stable childcare and caught up with well-child visits.

Mom & Daughter

After a wary start, a mother diagnosed with SMI and daughter are seeing substantial benefits from working collaboratively with a home visitor.  She reads and takes time to deeply understand all the resources her home visitors brings and doesn’t miss doing every activity with her daughter.  She had even gained comfort in reaching out when she needs and asking for additional resources.  The home visitor shared the love she has for her daughter shows and over time, had embraced all the program has to offer.