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An in-depth view into the services and methodology of Children's Crisis Center Inc...

 

The mission of the Children’s Crisis Center of Stanislaus County is to provide child abuse prevention, intervention and shelter services to abused, neglected and high risk children living in Stanislaus County and its surrounding communities.  Our immediate goal is to reach high risk children and intervene with protective child care and emergency shelter before they are harmed.


The Children’s Crisis Center is a private, non-profit organization established in 1980 solely to protect local children threatened by their own family circumstances. Since that time, the Center’s operations have grown from one shelter site to four, encompassing 3 cities, and serving over 20 communities in the Central Valley. As part of our comprehensive approach to protecting local children, the Crisis Center shelters children from high risk families and extends supportive services to abusive parents, helping them to overcome family risk and alleviate environmental factors that threaten the well being of their children. 

The Children’s Crisis Center is the only program in Stanislaus County offering this broad based approach that combines respite, shelter, emergency child care, crisis counseling and empathetic support to protect high risk children and help abusive families achieve meaningful change
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The Center utilizes several prevention and intervention strategies:

Respite Childcare Shelter:
  Four children's shelters, operating  in Modesto, Ceres, Oakdale and Turlock, are open to abused, neglected and high risk children providing an opportunity for children to separate from their parents  during critical times of family instability, and yielding immediate protection in a secure comfortable environment. Each shelter is equipped with all the amenities of a home setting including nutritious meals, and clean clothing. Each child’s shelter stay is augmented by medical screenings, educational opportunities, and therapeutic play activities to improve the overall health and development of child victims birth to 17 years of age.  These shelters are open to accept children for service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  All four shelters are State licensed to accommodate children of all ages, for both daytime and overnight

Therapeutic Play: Therapeutic play is utilized as a method to console and stabilize each child. This technique works to alleviate distress and facilitate healthy development. Children who have experienced traumatic family events are engaged in a variety of activities that help them to recover and heal.  Each child is introduced to activities selected to encourage healthy attachments, rebuild trust, and expand cognitive skills.  Games and play time pursuits are tailored by Therapeutic Teachers to fit with each child’s age, emotional needs, and developmental capabilities.  These considerations are vital to ensure that activities are beneficial to each child’s needs and stimulate achievements in the areas of cognitive, social, emotional, and physical growth.  These exercises are designed to focus on developmental processes interrupted by trauma; instill a sense of trust and mastery; and serve as an impetus to help each child move beyond painful experiences. For the youngest of children, play contributes significantly to the development of their fine and gross motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and helps teach them about their physical world.  In older children therapeutic play expands observation, listening and language skills; problem solving, critical thinking and logical reasoning; communication and teamwork; self-awareness and the ability to relate to others.

Health & Development Screenings:  Professionals specializing in children’s health care and development visit the shelters to administer on site screenings and assessments.  These screenings include physicals, well baby clearances, dental exams, vision and hearing tests, and speech and cognitive assessments.

Case Management:  As abused, neglected and high risk children are cared for within the Respite Shelter Program, Case Managers work with troubled parents, offering guidance to help them overcome situational factors, socioeconomic barriers, and other influences impacting their family and inhibiting their ability to create safe environments for their children. Nurturing techniques and positive parenting methods are modeled for parents as alternatives to abusive interactions. Families served by this program include those who are homeless; victims of domestic violence; battling substance abuse; have members who are mentally or medically incapacitated, and those with diminished capacities to cope. Program methods are solution-focused, intended to emphasize family strengths, and driven to influence future positive outcomes for children.


FamilyLINE:  This medium offers “phone line” crisis counseling and information 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.  This assistance is responsive with a focus on immediate problem solving, and crisis resolution.  Trained crisis counselors listen with empathy as they help callers to prioritize their most critical family needs.  Families benefit from the opportunity to discuss emotionally charged topics before anger escalates into violence.

Outcomes and Benefits to Children: 

 

  • Immediate Safety:  Shelter provides children with immediate separation from abusive parents at times when critical family events have heightened the potential for abuse.
  • Nutrition: Children benefit from regular nutritious meals that nourish their bodies and minds, reversing the adverse effects of hunger and malnutrition. Meal times promote growth and development as children partake in healthy eating and mealtime activities.
  • Early Intervention:  Health screenings and developmental assessments allow Center staff to plan specialized activities tailored to promote each child’s optimal growth and progress. Parents receive instruction and valuable insight into the health and development needs of their children and are assisted in locating other services specific to their child’s needs.
  • Immediate Stress Reduction:   Sheltering children at critical moments of family crisis protects them from trauma and affords positive opportunities of play and maturation. Abusive parents receive relief with time away from parenting that allows them to deescalate.
  • Reasonable Alternatives:  Abusive parents are able to remove themselves from unhealthy situations and are offered supportive services that educate them on reasonable alternatives to conflict resolution and crisis management. Case Managers assist families in seeking other valuable community programs to repair family dynamics, improve parenting practices, and achieve family stability.
  • School Readiness:  Children experience learning opportunities and benefit from experiences that provide a foundation for language proficiency, improved reasoning skills, and expansion of social/emotional development.
  • Positive Child Development:  The nurturing, home style environment, of our shelters offer security, encouragement and growth opportunities that facilitate trust, promote higher self-esteem, and foster positive behaviors and attitudes for abused and neglected children. Therapeutic play stimulates developmental achievements, while nutritious meals fuel each child’s mind and body.
  • Healthier Families:   Abusive parents receive insight and information that encourages healthier family interactions. Nurturing techniques and parenting skills are modeled for parents. Staff introduce healthier perceptions of children’s behaviors. Therapeutic Teachers guide children in the development of positive social/emotional skills.
  • Understanding Child Development:  Crisis Counseling and education helps parents to form understanding of, and sensitivity to children’s levels and stages of development which works to help parents formulate reasonable expectations for their children.
  • Cultural Sensitivity:  A culturally, linguistically, and ethnically diverse staff allow for assistance to be provided without negative impact to family value.
  • Breaking the Cycle of Abuse:  Children born into families where generational abuse has been the norm are safeguarded. Their families are able to achieve meaningful change that interrupt the cycle of low self-esteem, depression, poor self-control and diminished coping that contribute to abusive behaviors. Positive experiences reduce the odds that these children will themselves perpetuate the cycle of child abuse and neglect.

Funding Sources:

The Children’s Crisis Center’s receives 66% of its revenue from government grants administered primarily through the State and Federal Departments of Education.  Other significant sources of government funding include the Children & Families Commission (Prop 10 Tobacco monies), and HUD Community Development Block Grants.

The remaining 34% of program revenue is generated through charitable giving and fundraising campaigns.  These charitable income sources, projected at just under $350,000, are essential in leveraging state and federal grants.

The Center offers all services to families free of charge.