The Children’s Program
The Children’s Program provides a safe, welcoming, culturally competent, and nurturing space where child witnesses and victims of domestic abuse can heal from trauma. Our goal is to help these children explore their feelings in an open and positive environment, while their mothers address housing, employment and other needs to rebuild their lives.
2015-2016: Women’s Center & Shelter provided 321 resident and non-resident children with 14,492 hours of direct service and structured activities.
What Goes on in the Children’s Program?
The Children’s Program has a wide range of activities designed to promote physical, emotional, interpersonal and social wellness for each child. Experiencing domestic abuse can have serious negative effects on a child’s mental state, attitude towards life and even performance in school. It is our mission to give these children the care and support they need to cope with this trauma and heal in a natural, positive manner.
Women’s Center and Shelter is committed to providing a wide array of nurturing activities and services to help children witnesses of domestic abuse from birth all the way through age 18, including:
- Daily check-in about their feelings with a dedicated Advocate
- Provision of age appropriate information to children about domestic violence
- Referral to counseling resources for children
- Workshops that include writing and musical therapy
- On-site before and after school programming
- Reading programs
- Access to the Computer Learning Center
- Library of books
- Disbursement of school supplies
Interpersonal and Social Support
- Field trips
- Summer Camp
- Annual Children’s Festival
- Ongoing scheduled events with partner organizations such as Lab Rats, Carnegie Museum, Dreaming Pillow Project and Beverly’s Birthdays
- Children’s parties hosted by volunteers featuring games, arts and crafts, treats and activities
- Activities that recognize and celebrate cultural diversity, such as African drumming, international holiday celebrations, and cross-cultural cooking lessons
Advocacy and Referrals
- Connection to medications, clothing and prescription eyeglasses through our community partners
- School advocacy and facilitation of school enrollment and transportation
- On-site access to a pediatrician and dentist for children residents of our Emergency Shelter
All services are free and completely confidential.