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County Offices

Elko County Programs

Heart and Shield

Parents and children who have experienced domestic violence in the past participate in hands-on activities to foster family bonds, enhance communication and problem solving skills, and focus on healthy relationships. Parents learn about their child’s development, parenting styles, guidance, coping skills and health and wellness while children and youth build friendships, listening and other social and emotional skills. Each session of the 12-week program includes a healthy snack or meal, separate parent and child meetings, family-based activities, a health and wellness tip and a closing activity. Parent interact with one another during the parent meetings through group discussions, role play and other experiential-based activities. Children and youth learn important skills through play, group discussions, theatre arts, games and other hands on activities.

Issue:

Needs assessments in Elko (2012) and Churchill (2004 and 2014) Counties have indicated that domestic violence (DV) prevention is a high-priority issue for county residents. Nevada ranked number one in the nation in the rate of women killed by men in single victim/single offender homicides for 2012. Locally, five Elko County women were murdered by their intimate partners in 2011. Children living in violent homes have an increased risk for abuse. As children witness violence in the home, they develop attitudes about violence and power in relationships which can be passed onto future generations (https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/factsheets/domestic_violence/, 2014). Children who witnessed violence experience long-lasting difficulties such as adult depression, anxiety and trauma-related symptoms (Lilly, Howell & Graham-Bermann, 2011) and increased tolerance for and use of violence in adult relationships (https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/factsheets/domesticviolence.cfm2013). Self-regulation skills such as emotional awareness, anger management, stress management and coping skills, problem solving skills can improve the well-being of children exposed to domestic violence. Strong evidence links parenting competencies such as parental acceptance and responsiveness, maternal warmth, strong parent-child bonds and emotional support to positive outcomes for children exposed to DV. The positive outcomes for children include decreasing the risk of antisocial behavior, lowering the likelihood of running away and teen pregnancy while improving relationships between children and mothers (https://childwelfare.gov/pubs/factsheets/guide-domesticviolence/, 2015).

What Has Been Done:

A five-year Children, Youth and Families At-Risk (CYFAR) grant was awarded in August 2013 to provide an educational program for former domestic violence (DV) survivors and their children in two rural communities - Elko and Fallon, Nevada. Our grant was one of nine accepted submissions in the U.S., and the first awarded for a DV prevention program. Initially funded for $574,000, we have received an additional $33,000 in the first three years, increasing the grant amount to be awarded for 5-years, at this time, to $607,000. The grant, titled Heart and Shield: A Program to End Domestic Violence, addresses three main components: 1) direct education and non-crisis intervention for children and families who have experienced DV, to promote resiliency and strengthen positive future relationships, 2) educate community members and leaders about the impact of DV and create a supportive community in which DV is not tolerated, 3) develop an on-line law enforcement DV training that addresses the dynamics of DV from the 911 call to successful prosecution. The direct education and non-crisis intervention component provides a 12-week education program for children, youth and parents and a monthly family activity to foster attachment and bonding among family members.

Curriculum topics for adults include Team Building/Goal Setting, Communication, Child Development, Parenting Styles, Guidance and Discipline, Family Roles, Problem Solving, Healthy Relationships, Safety Planning and Characteristics of a Strong Family. Age-appropriate curricula for children include the same content areas, but include topics on Emotion Awareness, Empathy, Self-Regulation, Making Friends and Conflict Resolution. An extensive literature review conducted by the program team revealed these topics demonstrate positive impacts to building resilient families following violent situations. The draft curricula is over 400 pages, inclusive of handouts.

Building collaborations with community organizations and agencies has been key to promoting the program and recruiting program participants. Twenty-two presentations about the Heart and Shield program in Elko have been delivered to family court judges, school counselors, child and family social workers, preschool directors and childcare providers, family resource center parenting instructors, mental health counselors, early intervention developmental specialists, preschool mothers’ groups, home visitors and other community stakeholders. The purpose of the community demonstration was to introduce the program and teach people how they can help victims of domestic violence. Agency personnel participated in several Heart and Shield activities in hopes that they can better explain and promote the program to their clientele.

Pam Powell, Churchill County Extension Educator and Jill Baker-Tingey, Elko County Extension Educator submitted a proposal and were invited to serve as panel members for the Data Usage session of the 2015 CYFAR Professional Development Conference.

Impact:

Program efforts have focused on finalizing curriculum for implementation, recruitment of CYFAR participants, and direct education for parents and their children. Completed CYFAR common measure pre-surveys were collected and data was uploaded. A qualitative evaluation was approved through UNR Office of Research Integrity. While not yet administered, CYFAR staff have already observed behavior changes in participants such as an increase in family functioning and reduced family behavior issues. To promote the Heart and Shield program, CYFAR staff designed promotional materials and conducted community/agency demonstration workshops utilizing activities from the Heart and Shield curriculum.

Contacts: Julie Woodbury, Site Coordinator and Parent Facilitator, 775-238-3118
Melinda Gomez, Site Coordinator and Child Facilitator, 775-738-7291

Programs Program Information

Capacity Building for Healthy Communities

Capacity building strengthens an organization’s ability to fulfill its mission to have a positive impact on communities. Strategic thinking, visioning, action planning, and board development are capacity building activities.

Coffee Shop email helps ranchers make money

Nevada agriculture specialists have taken the traditional producer coffee-shop discussions into cyberspace. Cooperative Extension’s coffee shop is a national subscription email designed to provide a two-way communication network for livestock producers. The question-and-answer service provides answers to livestock production and marketing questions.

Collaborative Resource Stewardship improves rangeland management

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (UNCE) has helped lead Collaborative Resource Stewardship (CRS) efforts in northeastern Nevada over the past seven years, resulting in a model for other states and areas.

Healthy Eating Active Living: Mapping Attributes using Participatory Photographic Surveys (HEAL MAPPS)

Healthy Eating Active Living: Mapping Attributes using Participatory Photographic Surveys (HEAL MAPPS) is a compilation of evidence-based engagement and assessment tools that is used to audit and map community environmental features that support and/or hinder healthful eating and physical activity among community members. The MAPPS method integrates photography, participatory community mapping using global positioning system (GPS) technology, and residents’ voiced perceptions of their community. HEAL MAPPS engages people in community-based participatory research to document attributes of the rural community environment that are perceived by residents as obesity preventing or promoting and assess the local resources and readiness to implement community-level obesity prevention strategies to prevent unhealthy weight gain/overweight and obesity among children and their families.

Heart and Shield

Parents and children who have experienced domestic violence in the past participate in hands-on activities to foster family bonds, enhance communication and problem solving skills, and focus on healthy relationships. Parents learn about their child’s development, parenting styles, guidance, coping skills and health and wellness while children and youth build friendships, listening and other social and emotional skills. Each session of the 12-week program includes a healthy snack or meal, separate parent and child meetings, family-based activities, a health and wellness tip and a closing activity. Parent interact with one another during the parent meetings through group discussions, role play and other experiential-based activities. Children and youth learn important skills through play, group discussions, theatre arts, games and other hands on activities.

Integrated Pest Management

Nevada Department of Agriculture’s records show the use of traditional pesticides continues to increase in the state. Nevada’s Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program helps agricultural producers, land managers; pest control operators, homeowners and other pest managers learn about and use alternative pest management strategies in a variety of environments and settings.

Keeping Kids Safe: Recognizing, Reporting, and Responding to Child Maltreatment

Preventing child abuse and neglect is a high priority in Elko County. Child caregivers, youth workers, volunteers and anyone interested in learning what they can do to prevent child abuse and neglect can attend this workshop. Participants learn how to recognize signs and symptoms of child abuse and neglect, understand their reporting requirements and their role in preventing child maltreatment.

Nevada Range Management School

This University of Nevada Cooperative Extension program integrates sound science, collaboration and common sense to put public agency land managers, livestock permittees and other land users on the same page in terms of the range resource. It includes topics such as animal nutrition as related to range management.

Noxious Weed Control and Awareness Education

Noxious and invasive weeds are widespread throughout Nevada. They threaten agricultural and rangeland productivity. Rural counties are susceptible to significant adverse economic damage. University of Nevada Cooperative Extension education programs help individuals and weed control organization reduce the abundance of noxious weeds.

Project MAGIC

Project MAGIC is an innovative, collaborative program designed to help juvenile offenders leave the criminal justice system and become productive members of society. While participating in the program, young people ages 12 to 18 learn: positive communication skills, team building, problem solving and decision making, self-responsibility, conflict resolution, aspiration building and goal setting. Youth also select and conduct a service project designed to benefit their community. Parent sessions include the same life skills.

Risk Management

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (UNCE) develops and delivers a comprehensive risk management education program to livestock and forage producers in Nevada.

Sustainable Agricultural Practices

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension conducts several sustainable agriculture programs including researching alternative crops, introducing sustainable biodiversity/multiple use of rangelands, and increasing the number of pest control materials labeled in and increasing the knowledge and implementation rate of IPM practices in Nevada.

Statewide Programs *Statewide programs may not be available in all counties

Programs Program Information
4-H Youth Development
Beef Quality Assurance
Cattlemen’s Update
Food Safety Project
Grow Your Own, Nevada
Herds and Harvest
Invasive Species (Weeds)
Nevada Radon Education Program
Nevada State GEAR UP
Nevada Youth Range Camp
People of the Land
Pesticide Safety Education Program
Riparian and Watershed Assessment and Management
Stronger Economies Together
Unmanned Aerial Systems
Weed Prevention and Management