Iowa Family-Centered Services Specialist Stacey Boyens Stays Committed to Assisting Mother Keep Family Together

Keeping families together is tough enough when things are going well. But when times are rough, things can get very complicated. That’s when people like Boys Town Iowa’s Stacey Bowens are needed most.

Stacey is a Family-Centered Services Specialist for Boys Town Iowa’s In-Home Family Services®.

She is currently serving a family in the Denison area that has been re-referred for the second time. The family was referred again due to the mother having a drug use relapse and not being able to keep her young children safe. Thus, the children were placed with their father.

Stacey got to work immediately with the mother helping her develop effective safety plans and relapse prevention strategies to assist her in building sobriety. Stacey also aided her in getting into in-patient care, which was much needed for immediate and long-term success.

The mother recently successfully bridged from in-patient care and returned home. Stacey contacted her shortly after she returned, and also worked to ensure that a FIP was in place so she could see her children. Stacey was able to provide the mother with a visit only a day after she returned.

But complications soon appeared.

It wasn’t long after the mother returned home that a CPS investigation took place due to allegations the children had been sexually abused previously while not in services. Visits were stopped immediately.

Stacey advocated for the mother to continue receiving services. Stacey was observed while meeting with the mother – this was a very emotional appointment as Stacey was straight forward with her and discussed things that needed to be talked about. Stacey’s approach was tender and caring, and it was easily seen that she was very comfortable with Stacey even when discussing difficult topics. Stacey worked with her on how to keep child children safe from sexual abuse, and taught her ways to identify warning signs of sexual abuse taking place.

Stacey also taught the mother how to identify positive support and how to set healthy boundaries with negative contacts. The mother reiterated multiple times during the appointment how thankful she was for Stacey and how she appreciates Stacey’s ability to know what the family’s needs are without being told outright.

The CPS investigation is still taking place, but Stacey has continued to advocate for both the mother and the children. The children have identified they want to see their mother. HHS is looking to put visits back in place as they wrap up their investigation. This case may not be close to successful case closure, but Stacey’s immediate advocacy, follow through, teaching efforts and safety planning will help ensure this family continues on the right path.

Stacey’s supervisor completed a direct care quality check with this mother, and she couldn’t have been more appreciative of Stacey.

“Stacey is a Godsend,” the mother said. “I don’t know where I would be without her, and she always knows how to best help our family. Stacey is a good listener, and she helps me address things that I can’t keep avoiding. I am very thankful for her.”