What About My Children? You can bring your children to Esperanza Shelter. Your counselor or advocate will ask about your children and may suggest that a child therapist assess your child. Together, you will come up with a plan to help your child overcome the trauma experienced.
The Seeds of Hope children’s program is staffed with caring professionals who will help your child overcome the experiences of domestic abuse. Children who have witnessed and/or directly experienced abuse are traumatized, which can result in difficulty expressing emotions appropriately. Trauma can also cause the child problems in school and difficulty in creating healthy relationships with other children and family members. Abused children often exhibit inappropriate behaviors, suffer from insomnia, a lack of self-esteem, lack of trust, depression and signs of suicidality. Significant adverse childhood experiences are well correlated with negative health consequences later in life such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
The therapist uses trauma-informed play, sand tray and/or art therapy to help the child communicate experiences, feelings and needs. Treatment goals vary depending on the experiences and needs of the child. Goals may include safety planning, secure attachment, identifying strengths, increase self-esteem, resilience and the ability to trust. The child therapist helps the child safely manage her/his feelings and deal with trauma-related memories. The therapist works with parents and/or family units to help improve communication and learn non-violent conflict management. A child therapist helps the child build a stronger attachment to the non-offending parent. A child therapist can also help a parent learn healthy parenting strategies based on secure attachment principles through the Circle of Security curriculum.
The Seeds of Hope program has Life Skills Coordinators who help children—from these unpredictable and chaotic home environments—to learn self-regulating skills (positive ways of channeling emotions), safety planning and stress reduction. Additional life skills include how to communicate and express needs to peers or parents, grooming, making a sandwich or setting a table. Life skills are critical to help children gain confidence, experience safe, trusting relationships and prepare them for a healthy future.
Also, when you have a group meeting either in the shelter or as part of the non-residential program, Esperanza will provide free child care and Life Skills education for your children.
HELP US RAISE FUNDS FOR THE SEEDS OF HOPE CHILDREN’S PROGRAM! Enterprise Bank & Trust has generously offered a $10,000 matching grant this year ($30,000 for three years)! To help make the match–click on the Donate Button!