Grantee Stories: Pathways to Hope for Children

Author: Judy Salter

Receiving The Women’s Fund COVID-19 support, in May of 2020, was a game changer for the Family Resource Center at Pathways to Hope for Children. The Center provides hope and healing along with child abuse prevention awareness, education, community outreach, youth development, family support, parent leadership, and activities that support its mission to promote a local culture that values all children and families.

Since the shelter-in-place order went into effect, local families have been dealing with tremendous stress. Pathways to Hope for Children (Shasta County’s Child Abuse Prevention Coordinating Council) offers Parent Partner services to the entire community through its multi-faceted Family Resource Center. Since the COVID-19 outbreak, self-referrals into these programs have dramatically increased.

With the grant from The Women’s Fund, Pathways hired Madi Sager, a talented and compassionate young woman who is dedicated to helping families and children navigate these difficult situations.

Since starting with the organization in early July, Madi has been undergoing training in evidence-based practices like Adverse Childhood Experiences, Five Protective Factors, Hope Theory, and Spark Point Jobs Training. In the future, Madi will be trained in Positive Parenting Programs (Triple P), Safe Care, and Parent Café facilitation.

In her words, “Because of the experiences our clients have gone through, there is a need to be trauma-informed and sensitive to better serve them. I have already been able to attend a series of trainings to help (me) better understand the needs of those we work with.”

With Madi on its team, Pathways was able to start a new program called the Hotline for Hope. She is now the primary parent partner answering the hotline, which provides parenting tips, suggestions, and resources to parents struggling through the pandemic. Madi is a listening ear to parents who need an outlet for their frustration.

Madi also proved to be a valuable asset in PATHWAY’S Kindergarten Connection, working with more than 55 youth and 15 adults. Most recently she served as a counselor during Camp HOPE America, helping teens exposed to domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse. These youth had been very negatively affected by the isolation of the pandemic. Madi made a significant impact on the entire camp of 48 campers and 16 young adult counselors.

In Madi’s words again, “When I heard about Pathways to Hope for Children, I knew it was the place for me. I am grateful to The Women’s Fund for providing me this important opportunity. My time at Pathways has given me a perspective on life that I have never had before and for that I am thankful. I look forward to the many other opportunities that this job will present me with. I genuinely enjoy every day I get to spend here and I am excited for what my future with PHC will look like.”