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Trauma counseling comforts children and parents

Health Frontline

The effects of trauma echo long after bruises have healed and bones have mended.

Police in Cleveland see dozens of children each day who need immediate and long-term trauma counseling. United Way-funded programs at Frontline make sure these kids get the help they need – and offer help for family members, too.

One Cleveland woman, whose identity is being protected as her case is ongoing, said one of the hardest aftermaths of domestic violence is finding someone to talk to.

“It’s hurtful when people don’t listen to you, don’t understand and don’t try to understand,” she said.

Dana Santo, program Manager, Trauma Department at Frontline Service, said they treat daily instances of trauma from sexual assault, gang violence, homicide and suicide, but domestic violence is the most prevalent.

“It’s effecting to the child when they see their mother kicked, hit, punched, choked,” she said. “That can really impact the child. The kids can have trouble paying attention in school, worried about what happened last night or what might happen that night.”
Frontline Service deals with the fallout from trauma for children and parents, according to Dorothy Steinberg, Trauma Counselor in the Trauma Department at Frontline Service, a United Way-funded agency.

“We help them learn coping skills, deal with stressors and provide ongoing counseling,” she said.

“We have seen remarkable results,” Santo added. “The kids are doing better, the parents are doing better, and it creates a happier, functioning family.”

“I am very thankful to United Way,” the mother in the domestic abuse situation said. “It makes a big difference.”

In 2015, 79 percent of those in United Way of Greater Cleveland-sponsored trauma counseling experienced fewer post-event symptoms.

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