The children’s component provides a safe and therapeutic environment in which children are encouraged to express and discuss their feelings concerning the violence that they have been witness to, or have been directly victimized by.
The goals of the Residential Children’s Group activities are to:
- Enhance the children’s self esteem.
- Assist the children to identify and label their feelings.
- Assist the children to use non-violent techniques to resolve conflict.
- Reduce the trauma related to the exposure to domestic violence.
- Provide Education about Teen Dating Violence Prevention
- Identify the signs, symptoms, and behaviors that may indicate the need for special services, and advocate to insure that the child(ren) receive all the services available, which are deemed necessary.
These goals are met through the following activities: children’s playgroups; school age support groups; individual counseling with the child; parenting support groups; individual parenting sessions; recreational activities; staff observations; community advocacy; and referral services. Additional activities that the residential children’s program staff provide are as follows:
- Assistance with homework, providing all school supplies needed, and arranging tutors as necessary
- Activities that focus on positive role modeling
- Welcome packets for each child which include a stuffed animal, books, and a few toys
- Parties providing the opportunity for socialization and recreation
The program utilizes an evaluation instrument which assists staff to assess the impact of the violence on the child through observations of the children’s behavior, interactions with others and developmental stages. Referrals to outside agencies are made when indicated by the staff evaluation. Staff provides a safe and healthy environment by modeling for the parents professional, peaceful, patient, and supportive attitudes in addressing the needs of the children.