Foothills Alliance Internship Fall 2016

Over 200 hours of Fall 2016 were spent at Foothills Alliance, a Sexual Trauma Center in Anderson, SC. Working under long-time employee and Program Director, Cristel Stancil, I learned more than I could have ever bargained to learn. Foothills Alliance is a three in one advocacy center that encompasses Prevent Child Abuse, a Child Advocacy Center and Sexual Trauma Services. Prevent Child Abuse helps keep children safe by bringing parents together for support an encouragement while teaching them the best parenting skills. Our Child Advocacy Services serve sexually abused children of Anderson and Oconee counties by offering services like forensic medical exams, forensic interviews, professional counseling and therapy, and multi-disciplinary case coordination. The Sexual Trauma Center offers multiple services to the needs of child and adult sexual trauma survivors like crisis response, long-term counseling, 24-hour rape crisis hotline and accompaniment at local hospitals and court proceedings.

Foothills Alliance has an amazing staff with hearts as big as gold.

The Executive Director, Tracy Bowie, has been at Foothills Alliance for a little over 5 years. She is pretty much solely in charge of the business side of Foothills. With a Bachelors in Human Services and HR, Tracy signs the Form 990 each year, sits of the Board of Directors, creates the budget, manages all income, is the designated media spokesperson, coordinates maintenance of the facilities and ensures all of the correct documentation is in on time.

As Program Director of the Sexual Trauma Center, Cristel Stancil is in charge of coordinating all programs and services of the Sexual Trauma Center, increasing victim safety, reducing the occurrences of sexual assault and abuse, and decreasing the incidences of sexual assault and abuse through community education and prevention.

Within the Sexual Trauma Center, the Direct Services Coordinator, Amanda Cooper is in charge of scheduling for the 24-rape crisis line, any child advocacy center appointments or exams, and the input and maintenance of all clients within the database.

There is also a Volunteer Services Coordinator, just recent hired at Foothills. Stacie Mahaffey is in charge of volunteer recruitment and maintenance, volunteer training, monthly volunteer meetings and the annual volunteer appreciation dinner.

A zero-based budgeting process is used at Foothills Alliance. Tracy states this process is used because funds are often so limited at Foothills Alliance, like many non-profits. This process allows them to re-analyze each project and position budget every year in order to ensure the best distribution of wealth. She uses Quickbooks Nonprofit to physically manage and track the budget.

Each position within Foothills Alliance is a grant based position. This area means that every position must re-apply for a grant each year showing data and facts about why their position is valuable.

Foothills biggest fundraising event of the year is called the Festival of Trees. Usually taking place for a week during the middle of November, Foothills annually raises approximately $30,000 for the organization though silent auctions, talent shows, homemade goodies and much more,

Programming is a current area Foothills Alliance is looking to make great strides in. They already offer programs like a Walk a Mile in her Shoes, a Halloween Boo Bash to tech preschoolers the importance of their body and an annual Golf Tournament that spreads awareness about male sexual assault. Foothills is actively thinking of more programs they can offer to raise awareness.

Foothills Alliance is a two building setting located at 216 E Calhoun St, Anderson, SC 2962. The two buildings are both secured with security cameras and voice communication to ensure all those entering are welcome.

The main building is the Sexual Trauma Center and the hub of Prevention Education. With a gorgeous exterior and friendly cat, Blue, inside the main building is the home base for all volunteers, board members and all-staff meetings.

The Child Advocacy Center is the "cool" building on site. It is the hub for everything children. From a festive waiting room full of bright colors, to offices of several counselors, to a full medical examination room and a forensic examination room fully equipped with cameras and microphones, the child advocacy center is everyone's favorite.

Maintenance here is pretty easy and staff members and their families assume many roles in order to keep the facilities in tip-top shape. Volunteers from the community also come in and offer many services like lying down mulch, cleaning bricks and much more.

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