Darrell* is funny, patient and ultimately a good father, but that didn’t stop him from becoming addicted to meth. Eventually Darrell was arrested and his 2 year old son, Gabriel*, was removed from his care by the Department of Human Services. Gabriel’s mother was already in prison. Many people would dismiss Darrell as an addict who doesn’t care about his son – but not Four Oaks. The Four Oaks Safety and Permanency team focuses on resolving issues that make the home unsafe for the child, with the ultimate goal of avoiding foster or shelter placement and keeping families together.
The Safety and Permanency staff saw Darrell’s potential and his genuine desire to be a good father to his son. Realizing what was at stake, Darrell was motivated to quit drugs for good and regain custody of Gabriel. This included attending Family Treatment Court, which is a coordinated and supported approach to helping families with drug abuse issues reunite with their children. He moved quickly through the phases and moved into transitional housing at a local substance abuse treatment center.
Because of his success in treatment, Darrell has regained custody of Gabriel. Four Oaks staff provides ongoing family support and perform safety checks at his home. They have also helped Darrell by providing rides and helping him acquire furniture. Most importantly, they have reunited a family. At home, with parents, is the best place for a child. Safety and Permanency staff successfully made reunification a safe option for Darrell and Gabriel.
Four Oaks Safety and Permanency services are offered to any family with a child abuse assessment and/or open case with the Department of Human Services in five Iowa counties: Linn, Johnson, Jones, Benton and Iowa.
*Names changed to protect privacy