Advocates Against Family Violence Staff
Hope, healing, and strength are core values of Advocates Against Family Violence, and those values emanated from Kim Deugan, Executive Director, as she talked about their work, life, challenges, and what’s to come, one recent snowy day in Canyon County.
Kim doesn’t leave the work behind. She is the work. When it’s so woven into the fabric of your life, and how and where you show up, you’ve become an activist. You’re also at greater risk of burn-out, which is why Kim has taken steps to provide a genuine culture of care and support for her entire team – 28 staff, 50 committed volunteers, and 9 board members. Although Kim’s exterior often shows what a go-getter she is, she is also a strong nurturer. These qualities are reflective across the programs and services offered at Advocates Against Family Violence.
Advocates Against Family Violence has a continued commitment to increasing their accessibility and true relevance for survivors from diverse backgrounds, by seeking training on working with under-served and marginalized people, offering bi-lingual services and resources, in-school services to reach youth, rural outreach, top notch childcare, learning services, and much more.
Pulling into the Advocates Against Family Violence campus, you’ll see people sitting in the green space in meditation or playing with their dogs. The emergency shelter is large and old, but is a continued work in progress, with dedicated staff providing support that fosters hope, healing and strength.
Advocates Against Family Violence campus also houses the first Let’s Move Certified child center in Caldwell. It is a happy, safe place.
Kim beamed when describing a recent story. A young man at juvenile Corrections, one of about 8,300 youth reached this year through their teen outreach program, opened up to Kaitlin, the Teen Advocate. She had struck a chord with him, and he was ready to risk feeling hope for something better for his life.
Advocates Against Family Violence was happy to work with him, providing client centered services. “When he was released from Juvenile Corrections, he reached out and asked if we really meant what we said, that we’d help him.” “We said of course!” From there, this young man, having been on the road to some scary and sad places, began counseling, anger management classes, healthy relationships, financial management, and with much work on Advocates Against Family Violence and his part, they are working on getting Colton accepted into a program in Northern Idaho: National Guard Youth Challenge where he will complete school and attain job skills. Kim talked about how some clients stay with you – especially the kids. “We need emancipation in Idaho,” she said. “It’s on my radar. Too many kids don’t have options, and emancipation could help them direct a better future for themselves and get support they need.”
Kim talked about the important work her staff does with campus sexual assault, and the Advocacy Learning Center – an intense 18-month curriculum that is helping facilitate changes Advocates Against Family Violence has been wanting to make.
The biggest change? More and more Advocates Against Family Violence sees their role as community advocates, and are setting up for the transition of what Advocates Against Family Violence will look like. “We are here to build healthier communities. Domestic and sexual violence are community issues – not just OUR issues. We are here to support the community’s efforts in the ways we can. But the entire community is responsible and our role is to increase their engagement, wear the hats that we’re good at, continue providing advocacy and support services, and create change.” Seeing the determination in Kim’s eyes, hearing it in her voice, and knowing how far Advocates Against Family Violence has evolved even in just the past few years – no doubt it will be amazing to witness.