Project Description

Elementary School
Based Counselling

We provide individual counselling for children junior kindergarten to grade eight who have witnessed woman abuse.

This service is provided in both public and separate schools in Haldimand & Norfolk.

Referrals must come from the custodial parent or guardian or the parent with whom the child is living with if custody has not been legally established. The counsellor meets with the child on a weekly basis to discuss issues related to witnessing abuse and to practice safety planning. Priority is given to the needs of the child and the goal of counselling identified by the parent/guardian. The counsellor will periodically meet with the parent to discuss progress.

EFFECTS OF WITNESSING WOMAN ABUSE ON PRESCHOOL CHILDREN

A child often cannot describe the abusive episodes to you in great detail. As adults we need to look for other clues from very young children. These may be:

  • physical complaints, such as stomachaches or headaches
  • excessive separation anxiety
  • bedwetting
  • tendency to whine or cling, showing anxiety
  • sleep disturbances (insomnia, heightened fear of the dark, resisting bedtime)
  • failure to thrive
  • withdrawal
  • lack of trust/ability to relate appropriately to adults
  • fear of a particular person or gender
  • self-destructive behaviours/aggression
  • predominant theme of power and control in interactions
  • being overly helpful or eager to please
  • fear or rejection of non-threatening touch

Haldimand & Norfolk Women’s Services provides individual counselling in any elementary school in Haldimand or Norfolk to children who have witnessed abuse. Arrangements can be made to meet through zoom/Teams as an alternative if necessary.