Programs that Promote Healing and Improve Learning Outcomes for

Presented by:
Joanne Osterland
The Family Place
Dallas, TX
October 29, 2012
The impact of exposure to domestic violence on
infants and young children may show up as. . .
 Low birth weight
 Exaggerated startle response
 Sleep disturbances
 Difficulty attaching to caregiver
 Separation anxiety
 Eating disorders
 Crying, irritability
 Hyper-vigilance; anxiety around food or possessions
 Somatic complaints; may be ill or under-immunized
 Regression in toileting or language; delays in motor or
social development
School aged children may:
 explode, act up or act out and
are unable to control their
 Internalize their feelings and hold them in or
 Be overly aware of parent responsibilities and
Adolescents may be more likely to:
--use drugs or alcohol
--be harmed when they intervene in an assault
--display attitudes supporting the use of violence
--use violence in their own intimate relationships.
Child Development Center (CDC)
 Licensed
center for children ages 6 weeks-5
 Experienced, knowledgeable, committed staff
 Each day provides a safe, comfortable,
predictable routine to positively impact
emotional distress
 Developmentally Appropriate Activities
enhance cognitive development, teach
appropriate social skills and provide for
physical development of large and small motor
After-School and Summer Day Camp
Programs (for School-Age Children)
 Provide children with the emotional
tools that are prerequisites for
academic success
 Teach children organizational and
study skills
 Tutor children and offer homework
 Enrichment activities
The Learning Center (on-site school)
 Multi-age class (grades K-2) to foster
cooperative learning and build selfesteem.
 Individualized instruction based on
assessment results.
 Center based activities allowing for
learning through discovery and
hands on activity.
SCOREkeeper program
 Male
mentors present to provide positive
male role models
 Focus is on helping the boys to develop
appropriate social, emotional, and life
 Real Men Curriculum for middle school
and high school boys
 CDC:
65% of children improved by 81% in age-
appropriate developmental skills after 4 weeks
 School-Age: 58% began using study planners, 67%
improved at least 25% of study skills after 4 weeks
 TLC: 87% of children improved in Reading; 75% in
Math (pre to post of 6 months)
 In their own words. . .
 Create
a safe, calm, comfortable environment.
 Add structure and clear expectations.
 Pay attention to children’s non verbal cues.
 Avoid struggles for power and control
 Model healthy and respectful relationships
 Give children choices.
 Help children learn what to do, rather than what
not to do.
 Teach children to put feelings into words.
 Validate children’s feelings about their parents.
 Create opportunities for children to be successful
 Have fun together!
Senior Source
Early Childhood Intervention (ECI)
Easter Seals
Rainbow Days
Captain Hope’s Kids
Prevent Blindness
Dimensions Educational Foundation/Nature Explore
Educational First Steps
Parkland Hospital
Dallas Public Library
Dallas After School Network
Region 10 ESC
Dallas ISD
The single most critical factor in
how children weather exposure to
domestic violence is the presence
of at least ONE loving and
supportive adult in their life.
That ONE adult may be
Hope & Healing: A Caregiver’s Guide to Helping Young
Children Affected by Trauma, by Kathleen Fitzgerald Rice
and Betsy McAlister Groves
Helping Traumatized Children Learn, Massachusetts
Advocates for Children-download free at
Understanding the Effects of Domestic Violence: A
Trainer’s Manual for Early Childhood Educators, by Linda
L. Baker, Peter G. Jaffe, and Kathy J. Moore-download free
Children Exposed to Domestic Violence: A Teacher’s
Handbook to Increase Understanding and Improve
Community Responses, Centre for Children & Families in
the Justice System,
Joanne Osterland, Director
Children’s Educational Services
The Family Place
24-hour hotline 214-941-1991