How do we meet the needs of children fleeing violence?
Category : Blog
Women come to Dixon Transition Society seeking shelter and guidance after escaping violence. Many of those women are mothers, and raising a child is hard as it is. Experiencing trauma while raising a child (or being a child) is a different challenge entirely.
How does Dixon support the moms who come through our doors? And what about the children? In coming to Dixon, kids might have to leave behind beloved toys, books, pets, or other family members. More than that, many of the kids who come to Dixon’s facilities have often witnessed violence, if not directly experienced it. Their needs need to be met, too.
We provide services specifically for the children we serve, and we design programs with kids in mind.
Supporting moms supporting kids
Both Dixon House and Wenda’s Place have Child Support Workers on staff who are responsible for supporting mothers, as they support their children through this challenging transition. We can and do help, but it’s important to remember that it’s mom who’s driving the car. We’ve just got the road map.
Children might act out when they first arrive at the House, and this issue can be difficult for moms to address, for a number of complex reasons. The Child Support Worker supports the mom with this process, if she likes, by helping her reset boundaries with her children while engaging in difficult, but respectful, conversations. The Child Support Worker can also help with other practical concerns like making referrals, filling out forms or documentation, and so on.
Letting kids be kids
Children at Dixon can attend workshops and activities like arts and crafts workshops, story time, baking, games, and outdoor activities. The Child Support Worker also helps with homework, and getting enrolled in school or transitioning to a new school.
At Dixon House, there is a playroom full of toys and books for kids to enjoy. At both Dixon House and Wenda’s Place, there is a playground for kids to get their wiggles out. There, they can just be kids, and play with each other.
We make sure that every child has a birthday card and a small gift, so they know that we’re thinking of them and wanting them to feel special on their special day. In the summer, we also offer a great summer program with activities like barbecues, picnics, and field trips to places like Science World, the bowling alley, and many others!
It really does take a village to raise a child. At Dixon, we strive to be that village.