Variety Makes an Impact

Thanks to the generous support of Variety – the Children’s Charity of Iowa, families have access to ChildServe’s life-changing behavioral health services.

Behavioral Health services at ChildServe have made an incredible impact on families from all walks of life, each with unique stories to tell – including a family whose story is shared below.

After experiencing an extremely traumatic home life, three siblings, all under the age of seven, were sent to a world full of new hope. With less than 12 hours’ notice, their now legal guardians, Heather and Jake (names changed), took them in, turning the trio into a brand-new family of seven.

After hearing the extent of the children’s trauma and an alarming visit to the emergency room due to severe mental health concerns, the ChildServe team moved quickly to get the two oldest siblings into crucial mental health services. After starting services at ChildServe, the oldest sibling was diagnosed with PTSD.

“While working with a psychologist at ChildServe, we were able to gain insights on how to interact with the child’s behaviors and better understand the type of therapy we should be doing to help them work through all their trauma,” said Heather.

Receiving a new diagnosis can be an emotional and scary time for families, but a diagnosis for the oldest child also meant the family could now care for them in the best way possible both at home and school.

“I am still at a loss with what type of trauma they’ve been through in their young lives, and ChildServe’s team has been there to guide me as I have expressed these feelings,” said Heather. “The team has given us strategies to use at home with different behaviors, ways to ease their anxiety during certain situations and overall guidance when we feel like our world is spinning 100 miles per hour.”  

Implementing these services has made all the difference as the siblings begin their healing journey.

“It melts my heart when the oldest sibling feels comfortable enough to play with the family, and we hear their actual laugh,” said Heather. “Working on their mental health has allowed them to take a step back and attempt to be a kid. They have been able to use the strategies learned in therapy to help them start making friends in kindergarten.

“I 100% feel heard at ChildServe. I truly feel if we didn’t start getting services for the kids through ChildServe that the stress level we have would be at its breaking point. ChildServe will never truly understand the impact they have had on our family.”

 “Thank you, Variety, for making such an impact on the kids and families we serve. You have helped us move our mission forward and have helped support us in providing great life opportunities to many. Your impact means so much to my team and I,” said Kelly Betsworth, ChildServe’s Behavioral Health Manager.


ChildServe improves the health and well-being of 4,600 children each year through specialized clinical, home, and community-based programs and services. We serve children with developmental delays, disabilities, injuries, and other special healthcare needs.

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