Earlier this year, the “C” children were referred from their school to the Caring for Kids Child Abuse Treatment (CHAT) program. Both kids – “B” age 5, and “N,” age 11 – had experienced emotional abuse due to domestic violence in their home and also recently witnessed a homicide in their community. As a result of these experiences, both children exhibited significant trauma symptoms, including night terrors, hypervigilance, and feelings of guilty that they were still alive.
The CHAT team – comprised of a Mental Health Clinician and a Mental Health Counselor – provided a comprehensive psychosocial mental health assessment for the children and a basic needs assessment with the parent to identify family resource needs. While the Counselor worked with Ms. Cortez to apply for Victims of Crime compensation and address other case management resource needs, the Clinician worked with both children on an individual basis to reduce their trauma symptoms and create a sense of safety in the therapy room and at home.
Over the next few months, the children’s symptoms began to diminish; however, both children needed longer-term services. While the clinician worked with one of the Center’s outpatient children’s clinics to transition the children, funding for relocation services through the Victims of Crime application was approved. When the children were secure with their new therapy services, the family was able to move to a new residence which provided a safer environment.