Please read these wonderful stories about children who have been helped by Marigold Charitable Trust.
Rachel* and her two young children (2 and 4 years old) came to CWVP as part of their journey in recovering from the scars of escaping a country experiencing political unrest. Treatment with this family has focused on building a safe, trusting relationship ‐ one where the mother can resist her chronic impulse to flee. This family also tells a story similar to others who seek services through CWVP: This mother has tried to engage in services elsewhere and dropped out because the clinician pushed for too much information, too quickly. Child Witness’s trauma-informed approach allows the clinician to work slowly, conscientiously, and safely with this family. She moves at a pace that’s respectful and sensitive to the needs of the family. The Marigold funding supports this keen attentiveness at every stage of treatment by allowing the clinician to intervene in a way that best serves the family, and not holding the treatment accountable to a timetable that would endanger the family’s ability to engage.
Eight year old Gina* and her father came to the Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) following her disclosure of serious physical abuse by her mother. Gina’s father reported that he was not noticing any signs of distress in his daughter and that he was unsure that she needed counseling. The CAC Family Advocate (FA) met with both Gina and her father, individually and together, to discuss CFTSI services and to complete a Trauma Screening questionnaire. Gina described significant trauma symptoms to the Family Advocate including sleep problems and constant fearfulness. She said she had not told her father about this because she “didn’t want him to be sad”. While indeed saddened to learn the impact of the abuse on Gina, her father expressed relief that she was able to share her struggles. Having access to CFTSI services so soon after Gina’s disclosure of the abuse made an important difference for this family: it helped them communicate about the trauma’s impact, develop coping strategies and provided Gina concrete and effective support following this trauma.
John* is a hyperactive 8 year old boy in custody of a guardian since infancy following severe neglect by his birth mother. Early neglect led to John’s difficulties with self-control and impulsivity, challenges following rules and directions, specifically around body movement and an impulsiveness to run away. In school he has difficulty sitting still, has fallen behind academically and struggles in peer relationships and self confidence. In the traditional play therapy room, John’s unsafe behavior required frequent redirection and limit setting like in school: “don’t do this, don’t do that “. In the SMART room, John can move more freely and spontaneously. This allows John’s therapist to expand his capacity to self regulate while still remaining safe. John is learning to understand what movements help him feel calm and more relaxed and can be done in a safer, controlled way. Now, John is more thoroughly engaged in the therapy that has shifted from limit-setting toward skill-building. The SMART room is designed to satisfy his unfulfilled deep sensory needs due to his early neglect. Consultation with his guardian and teachers has allowed them to better understand and respond to John’s sensory-motor needs and to support his overall healthy development.
Annie* and her 8 year old daughter, Nora*, attend weekly parent-child art therapy sessions at Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center to repair ruptured attachments and heal from past trauma following domestic violence experienced in their lives. Even though they are no longer directly exposed to the abuse, both mother and child have struggled and worked hard to return to ordinary life. Chronic stress, instability, and lack of safety created barriers in Nora’s social-emotional development and barriers within their parent-child relationship. During their time working together using art therapy they were able to increase their bond and learn to take more self-agency in healthy communication with each other. Mother and child became more in sync with each other and used their partnered art-making as a way to create representations of safety, corrective relational experiences, and know how to have fun together.
*Each name has been changed to protect this individual's identity