By KATIE BORKOWSKI
After 75 years, Catholic Charities is still a growing agency in the Diocese of Sioux City and is looking at “how to reach individuals who are in need and unable to reach out to ask for help,” said Amy Bloch, LISW, executive director.
“The value Catholic Charities brings that may be different than other non-profit agencies is we are Catholic,” she said. “We bring our faith and those values into every decision and program that we offer. We don’t just serve Catholics, we serve because we are Catholic.”
Bloch explained Catholic Charities reaches out to those whom others may turn away from.
“We are a trusted and safe place that families turn to when they are in need,” said Bloch.
Catholic Charities offers mental health outpatient services to individuals, children, couples and families. Bloch and Julie Elbert, LISW, clinical director, along with 20 other supervisors, therapists and staff serve individuals and families in the Diocese of Sioux City.
Other services Catholic Charities offers include:
- Love and Logic parenting classes that are free.
- Adoption Searches are offered to both adoptees and biological parents.
- EAP Services (Employee Assistance Program) provide three to six sessions of mental health therapy through an individual’s employer.
- Community outreach services may assist families who find themselves in a crisis because of life circumstances. Catholic Charities provides them with support, financial assistance and connection to other community resources.
- Pathways to Hope and Healing is a program that provides free mental health assessments for any school-aged child. The goal is to intervene early.
- Community Incident Stress Debriefing helps first responders after a critical incident, accident or tragedy.
“This is an exciting time for us,” said Bloch. “We know that if we do not change and grow, we will not be a viable resource to the community. Our mission is to empower and strengthen families through charity, advocacy and mental health services. We want to be leaders in our communities and advocate for the poor and vulnerable. This includes being a community partner and sitting on local boards.”
She explained the agency’s charity and outreach services need a solid and sustainable plan.
“Poverty is now multi-generational,” said Bloch. “We need to break the cycle – one child and family at a time. We are committed to doing just that.”
The executive director pointed out the need to grow the services Catholic Charities offers to students and in the schools. Forty percent of their clients are children.
“Our vision is to have a mental health therapist in all of our Catholic schools providing services to our kids – both preventative, as well as therapy for children who might otherwise not be able to receive it,” said Bloch. “We have a solid foundation and great shoulders to stand on. We must push ourselves to do more and not be complacent.”
This 75th Anniversary, Bloch said, is a great “springboard for moving us forward, engaging everyone throughout the diocese to join us in noticing those who need our help, support and love.”
The Catholic Charities website provides information about all the services, locations, contact information and what the process is when someone is going in for services.