Children and Youth Services
The Shelterhouse Children’s Program provides individual, family, and group counseling to children and adolescents impacted by domestic and/or sexual violence within Gladwin and Midland Counties. Children and teens who have been sexually abused or impacted by domestic violence work closely with Shelterhouse client advocates and therapists. As part of the healing process, they learn to identify and talk about their feelings and experiences, and they are further empowered with training in safety skills.
In addition, parents are assisted in helping their children acquire skills to communicate their feelings, discuss issues and develop appropriate responses.
The Children’s Program also consists of:
- Play therapy room
- Variety of age-appropriate activities, including games, arts and crafts, and writing
- Kids’ Club and Moms’ Club – research-based groups for families affected by domestic violence
- STARS – a children’s support group to help children learn to express their feelings and experience joy again
- A trauma-focused group at the Juvenile Care Center
- A residential play group for children living in shelter
- Court accompaniment when a child is required to testify at a trial
- School programming, including counseling on location and domestic and sexual violence prevention programs
- At-home sessions when special circumstances make it difficult for children to come to the office location
- Girls on the Run – a life-changing, non-profit prevention program for girls in 3rd – 5th grade
All therapists working in the Children’s Program have received special training in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral therapy, considered best practice for working with children who have been sexually abused. Our goal is to provide psychosocial and educational interventions in a safe, nurturing environment. Children in Shelterhouse’s Children’s Program engage in the process of healing through their participation in counseling and psychoeducation and by increasing their knowledge of healthy relationships and personal safety.
Girls on the Run is part of a nationwide program designed to help girls develop skills for a lifetime of self-respect and healthy living. Outcomes have been measured by the Legacy Center and show significant increases in self-esteem, positive body image and increased physical activity.