Child abuse and trauma therapy expanding to in-home visits
BY MIKE AVERILL World Staff Writer
Monday, January 07, 2013
1/07/13 at 8:21 AM
Family and Children's Services is expanding its Child Abuse and Trauma Services program to include in-home child trauma treatment.
The new initiative is designed for families who have barriers preventing them from consistently attending office appointments.
Lack of transportation, the inability to miss work and affording child care for siblings are some of the biggest barriers, said Christine Marsh, director of Child Abuse and Trauma Services at Family and Children's Services.
"Children with the most severe problems are often least likely to show up in clinical care settings. By providing home-based treatment, Family and Children's Services provides a greater guarantee and lessens the risk that one of these children will fall through the cracks," said Gail Lapidus, the agency's CEO.
The agency has partnered with the Oklahoma Department of Human Services for years to provide home-based case management but those case managers aren't able to do therapy.
"We recognized the need is there and hope to be able to make a big impact," Marsh said.
Last year the agency's Child Abuse and Trauma Services program served 8,172 children in its clinic.
This program will serve 30 children the first year and expand to about 80 the next year.
"By taking the mountain to Mohammed - bringing services to Family and Children's Services' clients, in this case - we can help children recover from the traumas they've suffered, improve their ability to perform academically and lead them to happier, healthier futures," Lapidus said.
"What we're doing is unconventional, but the long-term risks of not helping children who've suffered abuse, neglect or other traumas are too great to ignore."
The agency received a four-year, $1.6 million grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's National Child Traumatic Stress Initiative to fund the at-home treatment program.
This is the third time the agency has received a similar grant. The first two grants, in 2003 and 2009, allowed the agency to develop and implement evidence-based treatment interventions including parent-child interaction therapy, child-parent psychotherapy and trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy.
"Home-based therapy is highly promising for a small subset of vulnerable clients who otherwise would receive no treatment or incomplete care because their parents can't take off work to get them here, or because of other family members' special needs, or because there is no car or gas money to get to our office," Lapidus said.
Marsh stressed that the home-based treatment is not perfect for everyone and that a therapist's office is still the best setting.
"They can come here and drop their stuff and don't have to worry about who is listening. Then they can leave it all here and have their home untouched," she said.
For more information, call 918-712-4301 or go online to tulsaworld.com/fcsok
Original Print Headline: Trauma therapy to be offered in-home
Mike Averill 918-581-8489