A mother, who had served our country for many years, recently entered Samaritan House’s emergency housing with her children. She was a victim of domestic violence and had nowhere else to go when she called the local crisis hotline. She came to us with her young children, one of whom had special needs. When she entered our program, she had concerns about her children’s behaviors and development. A Samaritan House Children’s Case Manager met with the family and completed both Parent and Child Assessments to examine strengths and difficulties. We assessed possible areas of concern where exposure to violence and the stresses at home may have affected their development. We know that when a child experiences violence firsthand, or even witnesses it in the home, it can lead to long-term negative effects that must be addressed quickly and effectively.
Our Children’s Case Manager then connected the family with the proper counseling services for both mom and the children. Transportation was provided on a weekly basis for all the children to attend counseling and art and play therapy. One child was attending a special after-school program and made dramatic improvements quickly after receiving counseling and working with our case manager. One of the youngest children needed enrollment to a new school to properly meet her developmental needs. This Case Manager coordinated with the local school to get the child set up in the right environment and with adequate support based on what she needed. Due to this facilitation, the school allowed the child to meet the teacher and tour the classroom to get comfortable.
The family was able to receive a voucher for housing in the community in a spot that would be safe, and unknown to their abuser. They moved into their own townhouse and are continuing to do well. They work with their Samaritan House support team to get guidance with budgeting, so that mom and her children have everything they need to stay independent and self-sufficient.
Recently, the children’s school held an essay contest about heroes. The youngest child decided to choose Samaritan House as their hero. The child wrote about how Samaritan House helped them with school and made mommy and the entire family feel safe. All the children’s behaviors have improved, and they are able to focus on school and their activities in such a more constructive way now that there aren’t distractions and tension at home. They continue to make progress and grow together as a family, free from the grips of violence and excited about the future ahead of them.
We believe in resilience, hope and healing because we see it every day.
Our clients come to us during some of the most desperate, dark moments of their lives, and we walk with them on their journey toward healing. A little known fact about Samaritan House is that 60% of our clients are children. We know exposure to violence can leave physical and emotional scars on a child in unique ways, and that is why we strive to provide immediate support and comprehensive assessments for every child who comes through our doors. Our ultimate hope is to break the cycles of violence and provide
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and Samaritan House is taking a stand against the current picture of Child Abuse in America with the Child Style Challenge. Learn more and help us create happier childhoods by clicking HERE.
*Note: Some minor, identifying details about this story have been changed to protect our incredible clients and their privacy.*