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Hope and Healing for Children Affected by Domestic Violence

by Andrea Polites, Karen Kuchar, and Shauna Bigelow
January/February 2010
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/hope-and-healing-for-children-affected-by-domestic-violence/5019176/

The work of the Children’s Program at Family Shelter Service of Downers Grove, Illinois, is all about hope. Mothers and children affected by domestic violence arrive at the Shelter fearful and unsure of the future and leave believing in a brighter tomorrow. An extensive array of services helps both parents and children find a safe place to come to terms with feelings and learn new, healthier coping skills. Executive Director, Karen Kuchar, describes the mission of the program:

“Family Shelter Service is dedicated to serving the needs of victims of domestic violence; each family has a different story and a different path to a safe and healthy future. We have learned that the youngest victims often express their pain and hurt in unique ways. Our role is to provide a safe and healing environment that allows them to get back to the important work of being children. We offer help and then have the privilege of seeing lives change and hope restored.”

A widespread problem

Domestic violence is a devastating social problem that leaves an enduring, negative impact on all family members, especially the victims and their children. The costs to children and to society as a whole are enormous. Children who have witnessed ...

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