Skip to main content

Family Support Services

The Child and Family Therapy program at Women In Distress is innovative in the area of domestic violence as no other center in the state has a program focused on specialized clinical services for children starting at age two or younger.

Parenting Support Group

Supporting the non-offending caregiver supports the well-being of the children. Parents have access to a supportive parenting group, which covers topics such as the effects of domestic violence on children, children’s safety during violent incidents, positive communication, trauma reduction, and learned behavior. Parents also learn several different parenting skills and techniques that help them maintain a positive parent-child relationship. The Nurturing Parent Support Group provides parents with education and positive parenting techniques focused on enhancing their parenting capacities and relationships with their children. The group’s curriculum is founded on skill building and is evidence-based.

Child Advocacy

Individual counseling and advocacy sessions are made available to children ages 4-17 in the Emergency Shelter and Outreach programs. By utilizing a variety of play, mindfulness, and art enrichment activities, our Family Advocates provide children individual counseling to assist them with processing their past experiences. Children learn to positively express their feelings, understand the dynamics of healthy relationships, and ultimately recognize and implement non-violent behaviors in their day-to-day lives. Counseling helps children cope with environmental and emotional stressors. Children are empowered to find solutions to specific problems and learn how to regulate their emotions.

Children have the right to be safe; our team of Family Advocates provides crucial safety planning to children which helps them stay safe. The safety plan serves as a tool for the child that they can use to protect themselves if violence occurs.

Children also have the option of participating in support groups that allow them to express themselves in a safe, non-judgmental environment while receiving support from peers who have had similar experiences.

Children’s Enrichment Center

While parents are receiving services, WID provides on-site supervision of children. In addition to providing a safe environment for all ages, the Children’s Enrichment Center encourages healthy interaction with peers, promotes non-violent conflict resolution, and provides an overall sense of well-being which can be instrumental to the emotional wellness of child survivors.

The Children Enrichment Center also provides supervision of children for survivors who are seeking and/or maintaining employment. This crucial service reduces barriers to survivor’s financial success and provides children with a positive, developmentally appropriate, supportive environment to learn and grow.

Child Therapy

Even when children don’t see domestic abuse, they usually know it’s happening. It can affect them deeply.  More than 50% of families experiencing domestic abuse occur in households with children under 12. These children are more likely to exhibit behavioral issues and mental health problems, including depression, anxiety, and violence toward peers.

The Child and Family Therapists of Women In Distress provide an array of services including filial therapy for infants and caregivers, family therapy, and individual therapy services for children based on their development from ages 4 to 17. Utilizing evidence-based models such as Child-Parent Psychotherapy (CPP), Adlerian Play Therapy (APT), Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR).

A primary area of focus for the Women In Distress Child & Family Therapy program is infant mental health. Filial Therapy is a psychoeducational, child-centered therapy that focuses on the parent-child relationship. Young children who experience trauma, such as domestic violence, struggle with attachment and bonding. With the help of the Child and Family Therapist, parents learn how to interact and play with their child to improve and strengthen their relationship. Through observation of the parent-child interactions, play therapy techniques, and supportive parental guidance our Child and Family Therapists are able to help parents learn techniques to increase their parenting capacities.

24-Hr Crisis Hotline: 954.761.1133 | 711 TDD/TYY for Florida Relay Telecommunications Services
Leave Site Quickly
Skip to content