AIA Change Agents

Home | Blog | AIA Change Agents | 2012 | AIA Change Agents – CRADLES

AIA Change Agents – CRADLES

This post a part of an on-going series called AIA Change Agents where we get to know each of the 17 direct service programs funded by the Children’s Bureau under the AIA Act. In this segment, we sat down to chat with Trish Taylor Rivera, Project Director of CRADLES, a program of Austin Recovery, located in Austin, TX.

1) If you had to describe CRADLES in 5 sentences or less, what would you say?

CRADLES provides comprehensive, intensive case management and parent education in a home visiting model.  In addition, we provide parenting education and resource case management to families who are receiving residential substance abuse treatment services.  We have also begun to provide training to our partners in the child welfare field on advocating for children who have experienced trauma.  Referrals come from within our agency as well as from child welfare partners, community-based organizations and medical services.

2) What is your favorite aspect of the work you do? 

Seeing the change in the families and watching the healing of the parent-child relationship.  It is a pleasure and privilege to watch the women grow into confident, independent individuals who know they have the strength and resources to take care of their families.  Knowing that they trust us to enter their lives to assist them in their desire to stop a cycle of substance abuse and other risk factors is an humbling honor.

3)  In the past two years, you’ve teamed up with Austin Recovery, and are currently co-located at a residential substance abuse treatment facility. How has that been? 

It has been a learning experience for us all and has been a good place for us to be located to better serve our families.  We have been able to bring in needed on-site residential parent education services along with training for the residential staff on working to create a nurturing, family-friendly environment.  We have also been able to create a continuum of care for the families as they exit out of treatment, so they may have the support they need to stabilize their household and maintain their sobriety.  We look forward to continue working with Austin Recovery to find new ways to help our families.

4) Does working in Austin provide any challenges in the work you do?

We are lucky in that Austin is a very supportive city when it comes to direct services for those who need assistance.  However, like all areas we face the same challenges of finding affordable housing, running into waiting lists for services, accessing services on a public transportation system, etc.  Outside of that the summer heat and traffic are tough!  It’s hard on staff to be driving around town all day visiting and transporting clients when it’s 100° outside.  It’s also very hard for families using public transportation.

5) If CRADLES were to have a mascot, what would it be?   

For various reasons, a Phoenix!

6)  Question 6 was intentionally left blank. What question were you hoping we’d ask? What would you like to tell us that wasn’t covered?

Not so much a question, but to express how grateful we are, and also the community is, to have this funding in our city.  We serve a unique population with a unique set of services that is unduplicated in the area.  We enjoy strong community relationships and support and know how lucky we are to be an AIA project!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *