Help for children exposed to domestic violence

Professionals

Guide

Dear colleagues,

In our newly established LOCIKA center we created simple manual to introduce and simplify our future cooperation. This information should provide aid during cooperation with our center, so that regulations are set from our side and from your side in clear, transparent and secure manner.

Our task is to support children who happen to pass domestic violence, whether as victim or as a witness. LOCIKA protects interest of the child and provides sensitive aid to the child and to the parents. We aim at minimization of domestic violence impact, so that children can grow in home free from violence.

Our offer

Indication of our services applicability

Contra-indication

And how does cooperation with children and parents look like?

We arrive at this goal by the following services:

1. Assessment of condition of child threatened by domestic violence and its family

LOCIKA maps the condition of the threatened child by means of innovative SIDRO-N methodology related to direct interaction with the child. Among phases of the process are: collection of available relevant data concerning the family, interviews with both parents, visit of professional in natural family environment, direct work with the child, in relevant cases supplemented by diagnostics of family relations or by diagnostic of the child. Participating professionals are social worker of the mother, social worker of the father, and psychologist/therapist of the child, occasionally clinical psychologist. The process is concluded by case conference, where condition of the child is evaluated with participation of related professionals and members of the family. Action plan of care for the threatened child and its family is prepared which includes steps and tasks for participating actors.

2. Therapy and support of threatened child and proposal of tasks

Assessment phase is continued by support and therapy of the threatened child. Purpose of activities (group and individual) is to minimize domestic violence impact on the psycho- social development of the child and enable the children to live full life without presence and effects of violence. For this aim we provide the following services:

Group session typically takes place once a week in LOCIKA center. Session is led by couple composed of psychologists or therapists of our center. Maximum number of participants is 10-12.

Group session typically takes place once a week. Session is led by psychologist, art- therapist or by couple of professionals (according to the number of children). We use whole scale of art-therapeutic techniques: drawing, painting, collage, clay and others. Group sessions take place at the art-therapeutic atelier of LOCIKA center, or in “field” form also at the art-therapeutic atelier of asylum house ACORUS for its residents. Maximum number of participants is 10-12.

Session takes place according to the need of the child, is aimed at work with trauma and effects of domestic violence. We use therapeutic interview and besides methods based in game therapy (scenotest, sanplay therapy) and other projective and game techniques. Service is provided by psychologists and therapists of our team. Therapy of children takes place at the therapeutic room of LOCIKA center, in relevant cases also in the therapeutic room of asylum house ACORUS for its residents.

Diagnostics

Diagnostics takes place according to the need of the child; it is aimed at surveillance of child’s habitus, its needs, or causes of psychic decrease or decrease of family relations. Task of diagnostic research is to determine the most suitable strategy of intervention. Diagnostics of children is provided at the therapeutic room of LOCIKA center, in relevant cases also in the therapeutic room of asylum house ACORUS for its residents. We use standard psychologic testing. Service is provided by psychologist with adequate professional education.

3. Protection of the child from secondary victimization

Protection comes in place according to the need of the child. Protective measures aim to prevent further victimization and traumatization of the child during legal proceedings and investigations. Preparation of the child for official interviews, protection of child’s interests during contact with authorities (expert reports, negotiations, case conferences) and accompaniment at interview, to the court or police office etc. Service is provided by psychologist/therapist of the child in cooperation with other team members. Service is provided in LOCIKA center, and also outside (court, school etc.).

4. Support of parenting skills and child-parent relation

We aim at enabling the child to grow-up in healthy family environment without presence of violence. Domestic violence decreases parenting skills of both parents and deforms the relation of child and parent. Our task in this area is to support both parents in their parenting roles, so that they are capable of being good (or sufficient) parents of their child. So that the parents become able to know what is damaging to the child, and what, by contrast, the child needs, and so that theparents become able to act accordingly. We also aim at support of child-parent relation, so that the child is emotionally saturated from the sides of both parents, and so that development of healthy identity of the child receives due support. We fulfill this goal by providing the following service:

Group session takes time usually each fourteen days. Groups for persons threatened by domestic violence and for perpetrators of domestic violence are separate. Activity includes education in healthy parenting, information on needs of the child, as well as on what is damaging to it. Processing of one’s own emotions and experiences from own family are also included. The sessions are thematically divided into 12 groups. This activity takes place at LOCIKA center and is led by a couple of team members (psychologists or therapists). Maximum number of participants is 10-12.

Interactive video training is method aimed at support of parenting skills and healthy parent-child relation. It is used according to the needs of the child. Video training is provided at the therapeutic room of LOCIKA center, in relevant cases also in the therapeutic room of asylum house ACORUS for its residents. This service is provided by video trainer with relevant professional education.

Therapeutic sessions take place in case of severed relation between parent and child as a result of domestic violence, or in fear for safety and/or psychic stability of the child during the parent-child contact without professional support. Sessions according to the needs of the child take place in therapeutic room of LOCIKA center. Support during session is provided by couple of professionals: social worker and psychologist or therapist of the child.

5. Individual counselling for parents in areas

We provide counselling to both parents in areas above mentioned targeted at interest and needs of the child and care for the child. Counselling is provided at the social work room or therapeutic room of LOCIKA center, in relevant cases also in the therapeutic room of asylum house ACORUS for its residents. Counselling professionals are

a) psychologist

b)psychologist or pedagogical worker

c) social worker of LOCIKA center.

Provision of information LOCIKA center provides information on client‘s condition only at official request of OSPOD, of the Court or Police. Any other information is protected and can be provided only with client’s consent. This limitation covers also family members or other close persons. Report on client‘s condition can be provided only at official request of OSPOD, of the Court or Police. Option available to other organizations, represented medical facilities, private or legal persons is to apply for report via parent or, optionally, a person in cooperation with the center. Report will be sent within 15 days since application is received.

All services are free of charge.

We provide consultations also in English.