The Children’s Advocacy Center of SWFL is proud to announce its newest program, Therapeutic Parenting. Therapeutic Parenting focuses on individuals who are referred (typically through the child welfare system) for parenting services and who have experienced significant trauma in their lives. Therapeutic Parenting provides the foundation of the Nurturing Parenting Program while also offering therapy, in an effort to assist the parents in identifying how their trauma history may impact their parenting.
In a large number of child welfare-based referrals, the parents have experienced some type of traumatic
event in their lives. Some of the parents will either continue to remain in crisis, use a substance to numb the
pain, or continue to remain in a cycle of violence. This was a hole in our current parenting program that we felt
needed to be addressed, as the root of these behaviors is, at times, related to trauma.
The ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences) study in 1995–1997 by Kaiser Permanente further identified
experiences in childhood that directly led to higher rates of heart attacks, somatic symptoms, and other medical
issues later in a person’s life. If these experiences can be addressed adequately through therapeutic
interventions, then the next generation may not have to experience difficult childhoods and will have a reduced
risk of having medical issues or concerns later in life.
CAC offers Therapeutic Parenting both individually and as a group-based model. The program’s coordinator meets with each parent that is referred to identify the most appropriate placement. The program lasts for approximately 16–20 weeks, to allow each individual the opportunity to get his/her specific needs met. Each parent also has a monthly “Family Observation Day” where the Therapeutic Parenting Coordinator is able to observe the interactions between parent and child, then coach the parent as needed during the session.
The Nurturing Parenting Program is an evidenced-based curriculum which has been utilized by the Children’s Advocacy Center for many years. The program is focused on the “Five Keys to Success”--Empathy, Alternatives to Corporal Punishment, Parent/Child Roles, Expectations, and Valuing Power and Independence. The Therapeutic Parenting Program takes this foundation and incorporates trauma-focused therapy. The main concept of this therapy is for the parents to understand what their trauma is/was and how it has manifested itself within their daily lives. Triggers are identified and coping skills to address those triggers, such as meditation and deep breathing, are employed.
The focus of this program is to address the parent’s own history while discussing new parenting techniques and philosophies so the parents are able to apply both the therapeutic concepts to their own lives as well as the Five Keys to Effective Parenting in their relationships with their children. If parents continue to consistently be in a trauma-activated state, they are less likely to have a healthy attachment with their children and are more likely to continue the cycle that led them to be involved with the child welfare system. With the focus of addressing both the parents’ own experiences and trying new parenting skills with their children, the hope is to break the cycle and start a new, healthier life for all involved.
Charlene Gardner, Therapeutic Parenting Coordinator
Copyright 2017, Children's Advocacy Center of Southwest Florida.
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If you know of or suspect child abuse, call 1-800-962-2873. Caller information is kept confidential.
Accredited by the National Children's Alliance and the Council on Accreditation. CAC is proud to be a United Way partner agency.
Thank you to the Pine Lakes Country Club Ladies Club for the
of beautiful new
clothes and other
items for our children.
Thank you to Lee
County Domestic Animal Services for holding a book drive for us. When they dropped off the books, they just had to show up with five adorable puppies in tow!
Thank you to the Sew & Sew Quilters at The Verandah Golf Club for providing CAC with beautiful quilted throws and blankets for our children. Thank you ladies!
Thank you to
region for its
Community Connection Grant. In 2016, Wells Fargo invested more than $12 million in charitable contributions to nonprofits and
schools in FL
communities. FL team
members also logged
nearly 82K volunteer
It was a great night at our first Bling & Bags Bingo event at The Landings! Our thanks to the over 200 women (and a few men!) who attended, to our valued sponsors, to the hardworking committee and to our bingo caller extraordinaire, Larry Hart.
We are proud to report that we raised a total of $20,390, exceeding our fundraising goal by over $5000.
We couldn’t have done it without the participation of community businesses and individuals who so generously supported the event. A big thank you to major sponsor FL Blue; platinum sponsors Entech Consulting, The Hansen Family, Investors’ Security Trust, Kiwanis Gateway to the Islands, Strayhorn & Persons, Thompson Family Law, Wilbur Smith Law Firm; gold sponsors Edison National Bank,
FineMark Bank, Island Mortgage of SWFL, Marieb College of Health & Human Services, Premier Insurance, United Healthcare; silver sponsors BB&T Oswald Trippe, Law Office of Karla Campos, Riverside Realty/Staging Matters, Sally Frizzell Coleman, CPA.
Thank you to event chair Candis Loving and her committee: Ellen Daley, Kristina Frey, Maria Oleson, Diane Peralta and Karen Whitmore. We are already planning next year’s event, so get ready to win more fabulous prizes!
CAC was thrilled to accept a check for $5,575 from The Verandah/St. Vincent de Paul Charity Garage Sale. The sale raised an amazing $22,000, with proceeds going to us, The American Cancer Society of Lee County and the St. Vincent de Paul Church.
Hundreds of people shopped the sale, which featured over 10,000 items. “The Verandah community has done so much to help our agency. Sharing the proceeds of this sale is wonderful for us. We are also grateful for ongoing donations from Verandah residents, including assistance at our annual Pine Manor Thanksgiving dinner. What you do matters and makes a difference for us,” said Jill Turner.