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Helping Children and Teens Affected by Domestic Violence on their Journey to Healing

Young girlsWe offer programming specifically designed for youth who have been affected by domestic violence. Through their participation in the program, children learn that they are not alone in their journey, find their voice, and experience parts of themselves that they haven’t yet had the opportunity to experience. Ultimately youth can begin to see their future in a new light.

Program Offerings:

  1. Therapeutic Play. (4 and up) Children can work with our staff in a safe space where they can freely learn to interact with other children with gentle redirection. Therapeutic play typically occurs while their parents are in individual or group counseling in order to have a separate space to openly discuss the abuse they have endured.
  2. Parent/Infant/Toddler. (4 and under). Services focus on psycho-educational information about child infant development, bonding and safety.
  3. Individual and Family Therapy. For youth 5 and older). As requested by the parent, children and teens can engage on individual or family counseling on a weekly basis.
  4. Group Sessions. (For 5 years and older) Youth can attend up to 3 group sessions a week where they can participate in activities to help them process their experiences gently and without pressure. Further, youth learn to lessen stress, increase coping skills and mitigate the long-term negative impacts of abuse.
  5. School Advocacy. When children arrive at the shelter, families are assisted with ensuring enrollment to the schools nearby. We also act as a liaison between the families and the school to advocate on the family’s behalf whenever necessary.

Our youth programming focuses on four key elements:

Children may grow physically, but trauma impairs them from growing cognitively and emotionally.
Hillary Douin, Domestic Violence Director
Parents need to heal in order to be parents. Mothers at the shelter adore their children but they don’t always know how to translate that because they first need to know how to love and admire themselves.
Norma Canelas, Children’s Program Coordinator