Women Helping Women’s Children’s Program provides services to children affected by domestic violence. Services are provided both in the shelter as well as in the community. Within the shelter, advocates provide individual and private intake with each child, individual and group sessions, socialization activities, and respite and parenting groups for the moms.
Outside the shelter, the Children’s Program provides community based groups for children (ages 4-10) and youth (ages 10+) specifically designed for children who have experienced domestic violence. Children exposed to domestic violence need a safe place to begin talking honestly about their experiences. Many moms have never discussed domestic violence with their children nor included them as part of their safety plans. WHW believes that having mom and child work together on safety plans will increase the safety for both.
WHW Children’s Program also works with teenaged victims of domestic violence, or “Teen Dating Violence.” Domestic violence begins at a young age and WHW receives many calls from concerned parents and friends of teenaged girls being battered by their partners. Staff have received specialized training for working with teenaged victims of domestic violence.
All school age children are expected to attend school while residing at the shelter. Women Helping Women advocates actively participate with teachers and other school personnel to keep the children in school while also keeping them safe. In the case of a child who is unsafe or unable to attend school for some other reason, shelter staff will work with the mother and school personnel to ensure that the child is able to continue schooling. Both staff and volunteers provide tutorial services when asked.