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A helping hand to all

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Juliet Louden
  • 910th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Shelly Trimble, the Sexual Assault Response Coordinator for the 910th Airlift Wing was detailed to telework for the Office of Refugee Resettlement and worked as a child welfare specialist with the Unaccompanied Children’s Program, Feb. 1 – May 31, 2022.

“The role of the UCP program is to provide care and custody of unaccompanied immigrant children,” said Trimble. “ORR provides the children with food, clothing, shelter, medical care, mental health management, education, case management services, transportation, vocational programs and assists with reunifying the children with sponsors, usually family, within the United States.”

There are many different reasons for unaccompanied children to undertake the difficult journey to the U.S., such as escaping violence within their community, abusive family relationships within their home country, rejoining with family members already in the U.S. or finding work to support their families in their home countries. The journey for these children can be extremely risky due to their age. Being separated from their parents and relatives leaves them highly vulnerable to exploitation, human trafficking and abuse.

The majority of cases Trimble worked on dealt with reviewing cases of abuse, neglect and human trafficking of unaccompanied immigrant children and providing them recommendations, resources and assistance. Since Trimble is a clinical social worker, she was able to use her skill set to help achieve the overall goal of the safety and well-being of unaccompanied minors in ORR care.

“My Air Force job and my ORR job were similar in many ways working with people and helping others,” explained Trimble.

The ORR program has over 220 shelters across the U.S. and cares for more than 175,000 children. Trimble stayed extremely busy working on the many cases she received from the shelters.

“Once border patrol picked the unaccompanied minors up, they would then take them to one of the 220 shelters that would accept these children,” said Trimble. “From there, I was a member of a team that would review and process significant incident reports and then make recommendations to help the unaccompanied minor.”

Trimble supported the government agency while wearing the hat of an Air Force Reserve civil service employee.

“The Air Force supported ORR by providing them support in terms of manpower so that they could accomplish their mission,” said Trimble. “It was a good career-broadening experience to work for another government agency and see their inner workings. The experience provided a well-rounded opportunity to develop my knowledge and skills in other areas.”

Trimble plans to use this experience to help in her position as the SARC at Youngstown Air Reserve Station.

“I brought back some of the ideas and experiences to YARS and the Air Force Reserve,” said Trimble. “I am taking those ideas to improve the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response program and streamline our processes in SAPR.”

The most rewarding part for Trimble was the impact she helped make on the unaccompanied minors.

“The most rewarding part of this mission was helping immigrant children that were experiencing abuse, neglect and human trafficking,” said Trimble.  “We were able to connect the children with the proper resources and assistance to help them so they could be set up for success living in the U.S.”