ChicagoCAC’s Family Hope Center provides children and caregivers with the services they need to heal. Therapists create a comfortable, safe space for children to tell their stories, identify and overcome challenges, develop positive coping skills and build healthy relationships. In the Family Hope Center, children receive mental health therapy with our dedicated team of therapists, while our child life team provides activities and care for siblings.
Treatment begins with a thorough assessment process that includes clinical interviews, observations of the client and their family, administration of psychological self-report measures, and review of relevant documents. The therapist, client, and the caregiver meet to review the assessment and complete a treatment plan. This process includes a comprehensive assessment of the child, specifically identifying how the trauma may have impacted the child in all life domains, as well as an assessment of the caregiver’s capacity to help the child recover and develop resiliency.
Initially, the therapist works with the child and caregiver to identify challenges, which may include nightmares, flashbacks, anxiety, dissociation, hypervigilance, self-blame, aggression, low self-esteem, hyperactivity or depression. Through weekly sessions with the child and regular check-ins with the caregiver, the therapist builds a healthy, trusting relationship with the family. They work together to develop ways for the child to overcome the trauma of the abuse he or she has experienced, including building a positive self-image, learning positive coping skills, learning to control and express emotions, and building healthy relationships.
In addition to individual treatment, the Family Hope Center provides group treatment opportunities for clients and caregivers. Our Hope and Healing groups provide information about trauma to children and their caregivers, and help kids learn strategies to deal with the effects of trauma. Our PSB groups offer group and family treatment for children exhibiting problematic sexual behavior, using the PSB-CBT group curriculum. The Family Hope Center also facilitates Parent groups that help caregivers understand the impact of trauma and how to respond to their child. Most groups are offered in English and Spanish.
The Family Hope Center strives to provide the highest quality evidence-based or evidence supported treatment to children and families who have been impacted by the trauma of sexual abuse while recognizing each family is unique and requires a comprehensive, creative approach to intervention. To that end, the mental health department draws upon a variety of treatment modalities to meet all of our clients’ needs. These modalities are trauma-informed, sanctioned by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network and known to be effective. Frameworks that we use include:
Integrative Treatment for Complex Trauma (ITCT)
ITCT specifically addresses the needs of children who present with complex trauma. The modality is a component-based, assessment-driven, multi-modal approach.
Attachment, Self-Regulation, and Competency (ARC)
This treatment framework provides interventions for children and adolescents who have experienced complex, developmental trauma by addressing attachment with their caregiver, improving the child’s and caregiver’s capacity for self-regulation and competency and addressing trauma integration.
Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT)
TF-CBT is an evidence-based treatment for children and adolescents impacted by trauma and their caregivers. It is a components-based model which incorporates trauma-sensitive interventions with cognitive, behavioral, family, and humanistic principles and techniques.
Child and Family Traumatic Stress Intervention (CFTSI)
Implemented within 30-45 days following the disclosure of abuse or a traumatic event, CFTSI is a brief (5‐8 session), evidence‐based early intervention that reduces traumatic stress reactions and the onset of PTSD.