The need for our agency was established long ago by a group of concerned citizens. They recognized that domestic violence was a real issue in need of real support and help. In 1982, a group of volunteers created the Domestic Violence Aid Center, now known as Family Crisis Centers.
With the need for domestic violence services driving our desire to expand, we went from serving 4 counties to serving 8 counties. With another expansion, we now serve 17 northwest Iowa counties for domestic violence. Along the way, we were seeing more victims of human trafficking and realized we needed to expand our services to include it.
In 2013, services quickly expanded again as another need was recognized. We worked hard to develop a program that would specialize in working with survivors of homicide and victims of other violent crimes. This program, known as the WISH Unit, serves 29 Iowa counties.
In 2015, the opportunity was given to develop a plan to serve the entire state. Our CEO, Shari Kastein,, dreamed big. She wanted to develop a program that would benefit victims and survivors of crime throughout Iowa, as well as the agencies and programs supporting them. She poured her heart into developing the Iowa Victim Service Call Center, which opened on October 1, 2015. The Call Center can talk to any victim or survivor of crime from anywhere in Iowa. They also work with programs and agencies throughout the state to provide phone relief for meetings, staff shortages and more.
The most recent addition includes Integrated Advocacy Services. This program offers support and advocacy in three separate medical clinics for 17 Iowa counties. Clients can seek support in ways that are discreet and confidential.
What’s next for Family Crisis Centers? We aren’t sure yet, but as long as there is a need, we will seek new ways to fill it.
We are dedicated to serving victims and survivors of crimes. We believe everyone deserves to lead a life free from violence.
As long as there is crime, we will be here to help those who are suffering from it. We will continue to find new ways to make services accessible to all victims of crime in need.
Why do our staff come to work each day? They are passionate about helping those who are hurting from violent crime. Their empathy is unparalleled. They believe in our mission and they fight every day for those who need us. Our jobs are so much more than a paycheck.
Our Core Values
Our leadership staff spent quite a bit of time reflecting on our core values and defining them. Our agency and our staff already embodied these things – we just wanted to get them on paper.
Client Centered| Our clients come first. Meeting them where they are in their journey is a priority. We will always carry our mission forward.
Family| The greatest resource in carrying out our mission is our staff. Our work family positively supports each other and promotes self-care.
Integrity| Honesty, transparency and accountability guide actions and decisions. Reliability preserves trust among clients and coworkers.
Resilience| The ability to adjust and push forward in times of great difficulty. Able to identify, validate and address concerns.
Synergy| Working collectively through positive collaboration. Considerate of others and use time, talent and treasure for the benefit of all.Self-Awareness| Able to communicate personal limits and implement solutions. Positive contributor and empowered through a strong sense of role.