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Kiera’s Story

In early 2021, YSS of Marshall County partnered with the Marshalltown Police Department to launch a new initiative called MPACT.

Pictured: Darcy Andersen and Autumn Drewelow, YSS community advocates for MPACT.

Pictured: Darcy Andersen and Autumn Drewelow, YSS community advocates for MPACT.

MPACT (Marshalltown Police & Community Team) dispatches YSS social workers to accompany police officers on calls involving mental illness, family conflict, substance abuse, or emotional/behavioral situations. The presence of these social workers helps minimize the stress and anxiety that can lead to unnecessary arrests and use of force.   

Thirteen-year-old Kiera can attest to why this program is important. As she was attempting to enter a local elementary school to retrieve a phone charger, the police were called.

Because of Kiera’s age and the apparent situation, YSS community advocate Autumn Drewelow accompanied police to the scene. 

Autumn worked to calm an understandably upset teenage girl. In addition to the trauma of the moment, Autumn learned Kiera had been dealing with mental health issues—ones her parents didn’t know about.

The conversation made Kiera realize she needed help, and she was connected to services through YSS of Marshall County. Kiera credits the experience and the resulting therapy as important steps to getting to a healthier place. 

Kiera’s story is just one of many stories coming from the MPACT initiative. In the first nine months, our community advocates responded to 296 calls and assisted 435 people.

In a recent survey of the Marshalltown Police Department, nearly 80% said MPACT helped to prevent an escalating situation from becoming worse, while 87% said MPACT saved the officers time and resources.

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