Resources for the Child

  • Support within the child's natural environment is important. This means becoming aware of the child's ecological niches and finding ways to support the natural helping system. Safe adults in the family or the neighborhood are resources, as are teachers, other school personnel, and coaches/instructors. These people are built into the child's life and are not dependent on special transportation, funding, and effort. They are, therefore, much more likely to be a continuous and long-term presence in the child's life than are specialized referrals.
  • Specialized services may be indicated if a child shows prolonged disturbed behavior or serious emotional upset. A parent should be involved with the decision to seek services for the child, and in most cases must give written consent.
  • In addition to the regular therapeutic services for children, there are a few specialized treatment programs for children who witness domestic violence. Some social service agencies, domestic violence programs and schools are developing groups for children who have witnessed violence. Violence prevention programs in some schools can be a resource, especially for older children whose behavior may reflect the violence at home.
  • As with any intervention in a family, you need to be aware of possible unintended consequences and maximize the chances that any arrangements for special services will be realistic, safe, and non-stigmatizing.