The model for providing services for children and teens in DV programs is shifting toward one that connects children with their mothers as well as provides them with safe spaces to express their feelings and receive support from advocates. We have learned that isolating children and mothers is not a natural way for them to exist and that it takes a commitment to resources and training of all staff to adequately support mothers and children as families.
Use these Questions to revisit program practices.
- Does our program strive to balance advocacy with children and mothers both as individuals and together as families?
- Do we have clear lines of communication, coordination, and collaboration between children and adult focused advocates?
- Do parents and children have places to play together, have time alone, and cook and eat together? Do we have teen friendly spaces?
- Do all staff members have training and skills to help heal and strengthen parent, child, sibling relationships?
- Do we consider cultural values and practices related to parenting, discipline, and mental health within families?
- Are all staff trained in nonviolent discipline strategies and skills to support parents?
- Have we had training to ensure that our programming is trauma informed?
- Are our programs and materials accessible to all people with disabilities, who are deaf or hard of hearing, and people for whom English is not their first language?