It is widely acknowledged in contemporary study that children who have lived with domestic and family violence may be as traumatised as being a direct victim. Exposure to domestic and family violence can impact children's sense of safety, their social, emotional and psychological development, and damage relationships with the non violent caregiver.
The child witness counselling program of CADA is aimed at helping children to rediscover their resilience , to process their experiences and to rebuild their relationships with the non violent parent. Children's counsellors at CADA are guided by the beliefs, values and principles articulated in the philosophy and values of CADA. Our counselling practice frameworks embrace ideas from a range of theories and approaches, including strengths based practice, expressive and creative therapies, and others.
The children's counsellors do not undertake court reports or investigative counselling of any kind.
Circumstances where a child has experienced direct sexual abuse will be referred to appropriately specialised sexual abuse services.
To enter the child witness counselling program, parents will first need to attend a Parent Information Session. This session will provide details to parents in a group session about the impact of domestic violence on children, the aims and objectives of children's counselling and some ideas about how parents might support their children. These sessions are provided on a regular basis.
Following the Parent Information Session, parents will be invited to a personal interview with a children's counsellor to discuss the circumstance and experience of their individual child. After this step, the counsellor and parent will collaboratively decide on when and if counselling is appropriate and how to proceed.
It is important to understand that parents who bring their children to the child witness counselling program will be invited to have individual counselling for themselves, to provide a wholistic response to the family and maximise the possibilities for healing relationships.
Please be aware that there is a waiting list for children's counselling due to the high demand.
Confidentiality for children is important to CADA. There are special arrangements in relation to confidentiality for children. Please discuss this with the children's counsellors during your parent interview.