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AFMC, with funding from the U.S. Department of Justice, recruits and leads a consortium of organizations that are serving people in Hempstead, Howard, Pike, Polk and Sevier counties. Called the Substance Abuse Resource Assistance Coalition (SARAC), the coalition coordinates services for young victims of opioid and substance misuse crime and helps families find resources and services.

Children and youth who are neglected by addicted parents or victimized in their communities are the most vulnerable population impacted by the opioid crisis. Children are caught in the middle without the health care and social service resources they need to build resilience against these upheavals. If you want to find out more or get involved, please submit the contact us form below.

What Does SARAC Do?

SARAC works with the community to strengthen and promote healthy families. SARAC provides families with comprehensive family-centered services for both the child welfare and substance abuse treatment systems in efforts to foster resilience. AFMC manages the SARAC resource center that responds to referrals initiated by community partners such as health care providers, law enforcement agencies, courts and schools. The SARAC resource center also accepts self-referrals which allows families to contact the center for resource assistance without a partner referral.

When children are identified by a care-delivery partner, the partner will submit a referral to the SARAC resource center. SARAC staff will conduct an assessment to identify family needs and local resources. An individualized service coordination plan will be developed to ensure continued access to needed services to maximize healing, recovery and resilience for these children and their families. Resource center staff will assist families of youth ages 0 to 18 years with the following:

  • Identifying and coordinating resources
  • Finding medical providers
  • Employment assistance; and
  • Applying for health insurance, nutrition programs and utility assistance

Use this form to submit a referral.

What Are Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)?

Childhood experiences, positive and negative, have a huge impact on child, family and community development. Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are traumatic events that happen during an individual’s upbringing. More than 15% of adults in Hempstead and Howard and 17% of adults in Pike and Polk counties have experienced four or more ACEs.

SARAC raises community awareness about ACEs and helps to build resilience, specifically among medical and behavioral health providers. AFMC-certified trainers work with SARAC’s frontline partners to provide trauma-informed care training and screening tools. A trauma-informed approach provides a framework that involves understanding, recognizing and responding to trauma’s effect and building a sense of control and empowerment. Also, SARAC offers comprehensive assistance to parents to address behaviors that predispose them to child maltreatment. While individual resilience is important, a community-wide focus on resilience and trauma-informed care will lead to healing.

To learn more about ACEs, please visit https://afmc.org/aces/.

Resource Center

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