Challenge Assist Ocean State highlighted throughout Nationwide Crime Victims’ Rights Week

When face-to-face therapy sessions were no longer possible for the youngest crime victims in Rhode Island last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Family Service of the Rhode Island (FSRI) project Support Ocean State (Project SOS) developed an innovative approach to Provision of virtual data services.

This year, this innovative effort will be nationally recognized during National Crime Victims’ Rights Week in a video produced by the Department of Justice’s Office of Crime Victims. It will be unveiled on Friday April 23rd during the National Crime Victims’ Service Awards Ceremony, which honors individuals, programs and organizations for their outstanding service in helping victims.

“We needed something to attract our customers to telehealth,” Erin Albanese, SOS director of the project, said in a statement. “It was new for us and our customers. As clinicians, we typically use our offices to provide services with tools and activities for coping skills – things that we no longer had access to. Knowing that we had the resources under the Project SOS program, I decided that we needed to make those resources available to our children. “

Last year, FSRI sent therapy boxes to 70 children, including headphones, art supplies, bubbles, a mindfulness journal and play dough, to safely continue trauma-focused therapy work with service providers. Each clinician has their own box and works with the items provided in the box during the scheduled online sessions.

“It’s humbling,” said Erin Albanese, SOS director of the FSRI project. “It’s also wonderful to be recognized for the work we are so passionate about.”

The FSRI Project SOS Program is a 2019 Office of Crime Victims Fellowship focused on helping children who have suffered loss due to a substance use disorder. Project SOS helps them manage the trauma it causes and works to break the cycle of substance use disorder, educate providers on the effects of substance use disorder on families, and assess the needs of clients, parents and providers. By partnering with CODAC Behavioral Healthcare, Project SOS can connect social workers with the children of adults and parents they work with.

With the grant that finances the SOS project, families without insurance can be looked after.

Watch the full video of the OVC’s featured programs here.

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