Every year, 3.3 million reports of child abuse are made in the United States involving over 6 million children. Use the links below to learn more about the Strength United programs addressing child maltreatment.
Child Maltreatment Advocacy and Counseling
Child Maltreatment Counseling
Child maltreatment may involve:
- Exposure to violence in the home (domestic violence)
- Emotional abuse
- Psychological maltreatment
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse
Children’s exposure to repeated, multiple or prolonged violence or abuse can create traumatic effects such as startle reactions, withdrawal and avoidance, depression, anxiety and fear, and delayed emotional, physical and psychological development. Trauma in children can result in the inability to control or express emotions, a loss of safety and the inability to recognize or respond to danger or threatening situations. These responses to trauma can also be caused by accidents, natural disasters and war.
Recognizing the need of children who have been abused and experience trauma, Strength United provides counseling services that are specifically aimed at helping children overcome traumatic reactions, recover from abuse and/or neglect, live happily in safety, learn and achieve, and reach their full potential.
VTC’s counselors are specially prepared to identify signs of trauma in children and to help them to eliminate harmful reactions. Treatment includes educating children and parents about trauma and its effects, steps for identifying and expressing emotions, and skills for managing and eliminating trauma symptoms. Parents are involved in the treatment process as they learn how to help their children in the home. They are additionally invited to participate in their own individual therapy.
VTC provides the following services for addressing trauma in children:
- Education about trauma for parents and children
- Individual trauma focused counseling
- Group counseling
- Parent counseling and support groups
Child Abuse Prevention, Intervention and Treatment
Children who have been abused or witnessed violence can experience a range of behavioral and emotional changes. They may internalize their feelings and withdraw, they may show signs of anxiety and fear, or they may act out their pain and fear by fighting, destroying property, and being disobedient or violent towards others.
In the Child Abuse Prevention, Intervention and Treatment program (CAPIT), licensed and volunteer master’s degree-level counselors partner with families to help children overcome the effects of abuse, dissolve fear and trauma, and gain control of their behavior. Counselors provide parents with steps for helping their children manage their emotions and build constructive behavior and healthy relationships free of violence.
Counselors take a positive approach in identifying and building on individual and family strengths while teaching skills for coping with stress and strategies for working through conflicts and problems.
- Case management
- Child counseling
- Adolescent counseling
- Family counseling
- Group counseling
- Linkages to resources in the community
In collaboration with the Department of Children and Family Services, the Family Preservation program provides comprehensive support services to families experiencing difficulties related to child maltreatment.
- In home outreach counseling
- Individual, family and group counseling
- Teaching and demonstrating home management skills
- Case management
- Parent education
Services identify and build on the strengths of individuals and families to ensure the physical, emotional, social and educational development of children in a safe and nurturing family environment.
Program goals are to:
- Ensure Safety – Keep children free of further abuse and neglect.
- Achieve Permanency – Children achieve residential permanency through stabilizing families, family reunification, adoption and guardianship.
- Promote Well-Being – Children will improve their functioning in the areas of physical, emotional, social and educational development.
- Strengthen Parents – Parents will build on their competencies and strengthen their capacities to effectively parent and nurture their children.
Family Preservation Services are only offered to families directly referred by the Department of Children and Family Services.