Family Wellness Program
Supporting Families Affected by Domestic Violence and Abuse 212.503.6842
The Family Wellness Program provides comprehensive services to parents and children who are affected by domestic violence or relationship abuse. Our goal is to help individuals and families that have experienced physical, emotional or other forms of abuse to establish long-term safety and heal from the effects of abuse. This goal is the same whether family members have chosen to separate or remain together. While we have a particular focus on supporting families involved in the child welfare system, we welcome any parent interested in developing healthier relationships for the sake of themselves, their children and their families.
Case Management and Advocacy
Our services begin with an assessment to identify and prioritize the needs of each family member and determine how the Family Wellness Program can best assist them. We can help families in crisis meet immediate needs such as safety planning, shelter, food and clothing. Our counselors will then work with clients to develop a plan for long-term stability, and connect them with the benefits and services that will help them meet their goals. The Family Wellness Program staff is specially trained to assist clients in obtaining orders of protection and negotiating the legal, public benefits and child welfare systems. In addition, the Children’s Aid Society’s Office of Public Policy and Client Advocacy is available to provide legal expertise, support and referrals for direct representation.
Individual and Family Therapy
Family Wellness Program counselors provide short-term crisis intervention and long-term therapy for survivors of domestic violence and their children and teens, together or separately, to assist them in healing from the impact of abuse and establishing long-term safety. We also have a limited capacity for providing individual counseling and education for adults who have been abusive in their intimate relationships.
Our Survivor’s Groups provide support and education for mothers coping with current or past abuse. While no two relationships are the same, women often find it is helpful to talk with other women who have had similar experiences with physical, emotional, sexual or financial abuse. Counselors provide information about the dynamics of abuse in order to help group members recognize the warning signs of violence and plan ways to keep themselves and their children safe.
Intervention with Abusive Partners
People who are abusive in intimate relationships sometimes voluntarily seek help to make changes. Other times they are referred for services by the courts or child welfare agencies. We believe that people who behave abusively are solely responsible for their behavior and can only change when they make a long-term commitment to doing so. The Family Wellness Program offers education, counseling and support to help these individuals to stop their abusive behavior and develop healthier relationships. We begin with a thorough assessment to identify factors contributing to the abusive behavior. Participants in our Groups for Abusive Partners learn about the dynamics of abuse, the effects of witnessing violence on children, and how to interrupt their own cycles of abuse, which helps them to repair the damage they have caused to their children. Other clients may be engaged in or referred to individual or group services that better meet their needs. We provide ongoing case management to assist clients in ensuring the concrete needs of their families are met, and to ensure that there is ongoing support for the change process.
The Family Wellness Program staff has particular expertise in working with teens that have witnessed abuse at home or experienced abuse in their own dating relationships. Counselors provide a safe space for teens to heal from the effects of abuse, and through the use of teen-friendly activities and educational materials, teens are encouraged to create their own definitions and values for healthy relationships. Our individual case management and counseling services are open to teen clients, and even when their primary caretaker(s) is not involved with the program.
The Family Wellness Program provides play therapy, child-parent psychotherapy and group counseling for children who have been exposed to violence in their homes. Some of the goals of our interventions are to help children heal from their trauma, teach them healthy coping skills, and learn to stay safe if violence occurs in their homes in the future.
Parent Support & Education
Parenting support is incorporated into all aspects of the Family Wellness Program. In both our individual and group services, counselors help parents understand the effects of domestic violence on children emotionally, behaviorally and cognitively. Parents are encouraged to explore ways in which their own experience with domestic violence has impacted their parenting behavior and their relationships with their children, and how they can support their children’s healing.
Facts about Domestic Violence and Abuse
- Domestic Violence or Relationship Abuse can be physical, emotional, verbal, sexual or financial.
Abuse can take place between married or unmarried intimate partners, same-sex partners, former partners or family members.
- No one deserves to be abused, and no one has the right to abuse another person.
- Children who live in homes where a parent is being abused can be affected emotionally, physically, behaviorally and cognitively, even if the child is not being abused him or herself.
- There is help for people who have been abused, people who have been abusive, and children who have witnessed abuse. Call the Family Wellness Program at 212.503.6842.
New York City’s 24-Hour Domestic Violence Hotline:
Services are offered in English and Spanish at no charge, at Children’s Aid Society locations in the Bronx and Manhattan. Childcare is available during some group sessions. Please call the number below for more information.
Family Wellness Program