Early Childhood Education, Trauma

Childhaven

Why is the group that you chose to research important?

The group that I chose to research is children who have experienced trauma. This group is important because people who have childhood trauma are likely to carry the effects of that trauma into adulthood and have an increased risk of substance abuse, suicide, homelessness, and medical issues such as diabetes and cancer. Children who experience trauma need trauma-informed care in order to reduce the burden of carrying that trauma with them.

A brief history of Childhaven along with the purpose of the organization

The organization that I chose to research is Childhaven. Childhaven was founded in 1909 by Reverend Mark Matthews and was originally a place for single parents to take their children while they worked to keep them safe. Since then it has expanded, first in 1965 when they brought Head Start to the west coast and began providing preschool services, then in 1977 when they launched a Therapeutic Childcare Program to serve children who had experienced trauma. The purpose of the organization is to prevent childhood trauma, address symptoms of childhood trauma in children, and strengthen families and familial connections.

Whom do they serve?

Childhaven serves children and their families who have experienced trauma or are in danger of experiencing trauma. They have an emphasis on serving younger children ages birth to six, but they offer mental health services for people up to age 24 and caregivers of children in their programs.

Programs offered?

Childhaven offers early support for infants and toddlers, early learning for ages three to kindergarten, child and family counseling services, training programs for community-based providers to become better equipped to care for children who have experienced trauma, and wraparound with intensive services which is a program designed to help children ages birth to six who have experienced significant trauma and have severe issues related to that that need a team of professionals to address, as well as general mental health services such as counseling with trauma-informed providers.

What could they do better?

I would love to see Childhaven extend its intensive services to serve older children as well. As previously stated, children who experience trauma will carry that with them for the rest of their lives, and as such, they need support at older ages just as much as when they are younger. While they do provide therapy services for older adolescents, trauma can make it so that people need higher levels of care even as adults, and expanding their intensive services could make Childhaven an even more valuable resource.

Was information about the organization accessible?

Information about Childhaven was accessible, everything I wanted to know about the organization was found on their website. They display their mission statement proudly and have many different fact sheets and sections to address different questions that may come up to visitors. The only thing I found odd about Childhaven is that they don’t have any information on how to volunteer, and I am unsure if they accept volunteers.

What other organizations are doing similar work?

  1. One organization doing similar work is Sound Childcare Solutions. They are an early learning facility focused on providing trauma-informed care and closing the achievement gaps between students who regularly receive early learning opportunities and students who don’t.
  2. Another organization doing similar work is the Children’s Home Society of Washington. They are a non-profit dedicated to providing care for children and teens who are homeless as well as providing services to families who are struggling or need support to give their children a good start on life.

References

“File:Childhaven L lockupH FC cmyk.jpg” by Childhaven is licensed under

Childhaven. (n.d.). Retrieved February 1, 2022, from https://childhaven.org/