How We Help
Welcome Home Ministries, over the course of the past decade has developed a peer re-entry model that has not only been credited for our low recidivism rate, but has also been the basis for our replication plan. Presently, WHM has established our model, directed by a peer in two other states. Over the past 6 months, WHM has begun the first stages of replication in three additional states and in the country of Costa Rica.
The implementation of the WHM model for the purposes of this grant will begin at the point of release from incarceration. Prior to release, women are in the precontemplation phase of Stages of Change (Step 1) and are not thinking seriously about changing, and are definitely not interested in receiving help. During this phase, the women begin to experience many physical and emotional problems that bring them to the contemplation phase of Stages of Change (Step 2). During this phase the women are more aware of the personal consequences of their bad has and are dealing with the possibility of receiving WHM services upon release.
As the women reach the action phase in their Stages of Change ( Steps 3 & 4) they believe they do have the ability to change their thinking and their behavior, and have begun to take steps toward interfacing with WHM upon release. The women become aware of WH’s collaboration with county services for duel diagnosis drug and alcohol treatment services, residential treatment programs, and mental health services. If the women decide to receive post release services (Step 5), contact is made with a WHM re-entry coordinator and arrangements are scheduled for a jail pick-up at the time of release, which is one of the most crucial steps in maintaining continuity of care and support for each woman. The initial services offered the women in this grant at the time of release are as follows:
- Transportation to Parole or Probation;
- Transportation to a treatment center;
- One-on-one support during the adjustment to a particular treatment program;
- Goal setting and case management intervention;
- Accompanying the client through the adjustment phase of their program; and
- Specific intervention, support, and encouragement through the adjustment phase into the intervention phase of their program.
Step 6 of the WHM model focuses on the development of service needs. With the peer involvement and support, self assessments are completed to determine specific holistic needs including:
- Mental health services;
- Domestic violence survivor classes;
- Early child molestation therapy;
- Homeless Court for outstanding fines and traffic violations;
- Transportation bus passes;
- Dental restoration;
- Eye glasses; and
- Health services for sexually transmitted diseases.
A valuable component of the peer service model is the realization that the WHM women have themselves experienced the same issues, needs, and frustrations as the women they are supporting.
The following assessment of needs (Step 7), begins with the implementation of the services plan. Community building and the welcome of new women into the WHM family is successful, not only because of the peer interaction, but also as a result of the ongoing contact and support of Welcome Home, and the building of sisterhood.
Phases of the implementation of services plan are as follows:
- Specific referrals and follow-up with mental health services;
- One-on-one counseling and group support with the Behavioral Health Counselor;
- Weekly dual diagnosis and relationship groups held at WHM office and individual program sites;
- Assistance with Homeless Court;
- Availability of monthly bus passes and day trip passes;
- Referral and transportation to dental clinics;
- Provision for eye glasses and vision exams; and
- Specific linkages to health services for sexually transmitted diseases.
The phase of the WHM model that provides the ongoing support of love, understanding, and companionship is provided in (Step 8), our implementation of client mentoring. Following the mentoring training, each mentor completes the following stages of mentoring:
- Peer mentor meets with mentor coordinator to determine the compatible life experiences between mentor and mentee;
- Face-to-Face introduction is provided, accompanied by the Peer Mentor Coordinator;
- Weekly mentoring meetings and activities are established; and
- Ongoing mentor/Mentee reunions are provided for celebration and evaluation purposes.
Step 9 of the WHM model addresses the evaluation of services delivered. In the peer program, the involvement of peer evaluation and refinement is continual. In essence, the women who have traveled the road to recovery are best able to walk side by side with a new woman, and offer the element of experience, strength and hope step by step. The outcomes of the WHM program, have been measured and tabulated as follows:
- Abstinence rate = 96.9 %
- Not returning to custody = 96.9 %
- Employed or in school = 58 %; and
- Demonstrating healthier behaviors = 52 %
The final phase, (Step 10), relates to the analysis of recidivism. WHM has addressed in this grant proposal the need to assist those women who, because of the lack of mental health services, who fall back into drug use and incarceration. This population is identified as our 6 % women. The important part of the WHM model, and the proof that we are making a difference, is the fact that no matter what issues are ongoing in a woman’s life, she will always return to WHM, a place of love, support, and encouragement. We will never give up on them. The reasons why these 6 % women return to WHM are as follows:
- Mental health issues have gone undiagnosed and untreated;
- Mental or physical trauma has entered into a woman’s life;
- Changed behavior has not been accepted as a solution for healing;
- Loss of a woman’s children to the “system”;
- Legal issues become overwhelming;
- Proper medication has been disrupted;
- Self-medicating has begun; or
- Unhealthy relationships have re-entered a women’s life.