The Family Advocate provide Children’s Services at the Shelter. The Family Advocate meets with the guardian within five business days of entrance into the Shelter to do an intake and a needs assessment for the guardian and the children. The Family Advocate provides information and referrals for the resources that are not available at the shelter; information about the effects of domestic violence on children; challenges of parenting while staying at the shelter, parenting without the abusive parent (when applicable), providing structure and stability while in shelter and safety planning. The Family Advocate provides guardians with support in their parenting efforts. There is no violence allowed in shelter including physical discipline of children. The Family Advocate and shelter staff will provide alternatives for physical discipline and support the parent/guardian in their efforts to make changes. While staying at the Shelter, the children are expected to be in school. We have the ability for children to do virtual classes at the shelter if their school is choosing to continue with remote classes.
The Family Advocate meets individually and in groups with the children (dependent upon the age range in shelter at the time) to provide age-appropriate safety planning, healthy communication, and provide a safe space for the children to talk about the other parent/guardian.
The Family Advocate and shelter staff provide activities for the children while they are in shelter such as arts and crafts, outdoor games and specific activities based on a child’s interest.