Case Management Services
When a new family enters the shelter, it can be a difficult and scary time for children. The Children’s Services Coordinator (CSC) will meet with each child and provide them with some general information about what to expect during their time at the shelter, some basic guidelines, and an explanation of some of the feelings that might come up during this transitional time. A basic needs-assessment is conducted for the child, and steps are quickly taken to ensure that these needs are met as soon as possible. The CSC will also follow-up consistently with the child in regards to the needs presented upon the initial assessment (i.e. clothing needs, medical needs, child care needs, etc.). A safety plan will also be provided to each child upon exiting the shelter. There is one booklet geared towards teens, and another for younger children.
Each child is welcomed and encouraged to participate in receiving individual, group, or family therapy by the CSC. It is the hope that through these counseling services, children can adjust quickly, easily, and heal from the pain caused by the trauma of abuse that they have experienced or witnessed in their lives. Therapy sessions can consist of therapeutic art, therapeutic play, talking, learning new coping skills and positive ways to express emotions, or a combination of all. The parent is encouraged to visit with the CSC (or whomever is conducting the counseling session with the child) to establish expectations, a brief history of the child, gain an understanding of the rationale behind the parent’s desire for her child to receive counseling. A counseling session would begin with the CSC (or intern, or other Children’s Team Member) asking specific questions to gain an understanding of the client’s ability to identify and express emotions, to identify and express problem behaviors, and to state why they believe they have been referred for counseling. If a child is too young or is behind developmentally, therapeutic play will be used in place of talk therapy.
Evening Activity Groups
These groups meet every evening from 7-8 Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. We count on volunteers to help us to make sure that these groups run smoothly and efficiently. The goal of these groups is to have therapeutic learning and interaction. This happens by discussing a topic like anger management, communication, bullying, expressing emotions, positive coping skills, etc., and creating an interactive learning activity to accompany the topic, ensuring that it applies to all age levels involved in group. When there are enough children in different age groups and there are enough volunteers, it is optimal to separate the kids into different groups accordingly so that their activities can be tailored to meet there needs. The groups are typically run by interns or Americorp Members, but are at times run by the CSC as well.
Counseling for non-residential clients (people in the community who are not living at the shelter) is available as well.
It has been shown that each time a student changes schools, they lose about six months academically. At Family Abuse Center (FAC), we do our best to ensure that children are able to obtain the best education possible. If it is safe for the student to continue going to their home school, we will help make transportation arrangements for that to happen. Otherwise, we closely work with Waco Independent School District (WISD) in enrolling our kids in school and getting a WISD bus that will transport only clients from the shelter to and from school. We have also been able to set up after school tutoring services to be provided here at the shelter for children needing extra assistance.
For the last ten years, FAC has provided violence prevention education in the Heart of Texas Council of Governments (HOTCOG) area. Since January, we’ve served over 300 children ranging in ages from 4 to 19 years old. Of the students who graduated our program, 85% could identify conflict resolution skills that helped them respond to violence in healthy ways.
Can You Volunteer?
FAC is seeking mature, responsible adults who care about domestic violence and the families it affects. We need volunteers with a wide variety of skills, interests, and ideas from all occupations, ethnicities, and backgrounds.Back to Victim Services