Domestic violence affects every member of the family, including children.
Children who witness domestic violence are more likely to be affected by violence as adults – either as victims or perpetrators. Exposure to violence and abuse impacts the emotional, social and physical development of children.
Willow’s compassionate staff provide a warm and safe environment for children and youth to heal – and many opportunities to just be a kid through fun activities and field trips.
Who does the Children’s Program serve?
Willow Center offers services to children staying with a parent or guardian in Willow’s Shelter and children accompanying a parent while they attend a support group or individual counseling.
The Children’s Program supports children and families whose lives have been disrupted by violence and abuse. To assist children in dealing with the trauma of exposure to violence at home, the Children’s Program Advocates offers individual & group activities to help children learn the skills to cope with their environment and resolve conflicts without violence.
Advocacy for the child is provided through coordination of community resources and support according to the child’s individual needs.
What to Expect at the Children’s Program:
Children’s Program Services Include:
- Healing activities through structured play
- Supportive family-focused programming
- Field trips to area attractions including children’s museums
- Homework and educational programming
- Coordination with school districts to coordinate educational services
- Parenting workshops and support
Understanding Children’s Response to Abuse
Children’s behavior in response to crisis is sometimes viewed as ‘acting up’ or ‘bad behavior’, when we know it is a typical response to the trauma they have experienced. Willow works closely with parents to provide tools and support. Strengthening parents’ ability to parent through crisis and trauma has the potential to break the cycle of violence. Some examples include: helping parents with understanding children’s reactions to the abuse, non-violent disciplinary techniques, understanding child development, referring parents and children to schools and social service agencies as appropriate.
All services are free of charge and confidential.