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Essential Services for Abused and Neglected Children/Children and Youth Enrichment Services Program

The Essential Services for Abused and Neglected Children/Children and Youth Enrichment Services Program is one of many Success Stories that have been locally nominated for recognition in celebration of CDBG's 30th Anniversary.

Success Story Details

Grantee: County of Harris
Field Office: Ft. Worth (Region 6)
Carried Out By: Houston Area Women's Center
Eligibility: 570.201(c)
Natl. Objective: 570.208 (a) LMC
CDBG $100,000
Other $  15,000
Total $115,000
Date Started: August 1, 2003
Date Completed: February 12, 2004
IDIS Activity No: 1269
Grantee Contact: David Turkel (david_turkel@chtx.net)
Grantee Website: Harris County Community & Economic Development Department (http://www.cedd.hctx.net); Houston Area Women's Center (http://www.hawc.org/)

Success Story Description

The Houston Area Women's Center (HAWC), established in 1977, has flourished from an organization comprised of a few volunteers answering the domestic violence/sexual assault hotline to an organization that has over 120 professional staff and hundreds of committed volunteers. These volunteers provide battered women, their children, and survivors of sexual assault with the continuum of services necessary to overcome the trauma of abuse and establish self-sufficiency and physical and emotional well-being. This phenomenal organization has high standards for giving maximum assistance to its clients while keeping costs to a minimum. It has been recognized by the Better Business Bureau, which bestowed an Award of Excellence in fiscal, administrative, programmatic quality, management and customer service, and the United Way of the Texas Gulf Coast, which has given the organization an overall rating of "Excellent" for its Education and Outreach Program and Direct Services Program.

For nearly twenty years, Harris County has been an avid supporter of the HAWC. Current CDBG funding supports their Children and Youth Enrichment Services program. Harris County is nominating this award-wining program that provides support, on-site day care and schooling, after school and recreational enrichment activities, and family counseling to child and youth victim/witnesses of domestic violence and abuse. These programs help to break the cycle of violence and links between childhood victimization and juvenile/adult criminality. The most unique feature of the program is the on-site school. The school is affiliated with the Houston Independent School District. This partnership is ideal because the children do not have to leave the safety of the facility to attend school. Through established agreements with the University of Houston Department of Psychology, the Escape Family Resource Center, the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, community-based dancers and artists, and other community organizations, the HAWC offers an after-school program that provides creative movement classes, expressive arts workshops, interactive storytelling, dance/movement classes, homework assistance, physical fitness and cultural outings. All activities are based on best practices for working with child victim/witnesses of abuse and neglect to reduce aggressiveness and negative behavior while encouraging verbal and artistic expression of their thoughts and emotions. The family counseling sessions address the trauma, grief, and parenting issues as they relate to the mother-child relationship. In addition, the family counselor provides safety planning, risk assessment for future violence, understanding and support, problem-solving techniques, and information and education on the dynamics of family violence and parenting. All of these services are crucial to break the cycle of violence and strengthen the family relationships.

Content Archived: April 20, 2011

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