(Joplin, MO) — Children’s Center of Southwest Missouri continually explores viable ways to expand therapy services to further reduce entry barriers for rural and remote families. In fall of 2019, a partnership was formed with leadership at Crowder College providing space that Children’s Center is utilizing to create an off-site play therapy room in Jane, Missouri at its McDonald County location. Children’s Center saw their first client on campus in January of 2020. Child abuse victims and families who would typically have to drive to Joplin to receive therapy can now make appointments closer to home.
Children’s Center of Southwest Missouri has been serving victims of child abuse in this area for over twenty-four years. After consistently providing direct service that supports child abuse investigation, staff could see the genuine impact of the generational cycle of abuse. Cases of the abused child becoming the abuser created a burden to do more. In December of 2016, Children’s Center implemented a trauma-focused therapy program to help stop the cycle of abuse. Since then, the counseling program has grown to support three full-time licensed clinical therapists who provide free trauma-focused counseling services to referred child victims in the 12-county service area.
“We are honored to partner with the Children’s Center of Southwest Missouri and meet a challenging need of the region.,” stated Dr. Glenn Coltharp, Crowder College President. “We are pleased to make space available at the Crowder College McDonald County to offer play therapy to individuals in Southern Southwest Missouri. It is sad this type of service is needed; however, we are so thankful the Children’s Center is available when the service is needed.”
This is not the first time Crowder College has come alongside Children’s Center to provide in-kind backing. In 2004, the Nevada Children’s Center was initially opened in space provided by Crowder College.
Their partnership enables Children’s Center to reach more families to offer tools of hope and healing from the evil of child abuse.
Community partners, donors, and volunteers are an essential part of Children’s Center.
“The model for Child Advocacy Centers depends on teamwork. We rely on our team partners for referrals, and we rely on businesses and organizations for funding resources. We are fortunate to be well-support, not just in Joplin, but by all our community partners and leaders in each of the 12 counties we serve.” said Matt Stewart, Executive Director, Children’s Center.
About Trauma-Focused Therapy:
Children’s Center offers clinical mental health services as an option to children and their non-offending caregivers after they have received a forensic interview. Licensed clinical professionals with trauma and child abuse expertise provide all mental health services. By providing a relaxed, playful atmosphere, children are free to express their emotions and move through the healing process at their own pace. Together, the child and clinician will find healthy progress to heal from their traumatic event and develop healthy skills for their future. Trauma counseling sessions are currently offered from offices in Joplin, Monett, and Jane, MO. Tele-mental Health sessions are also available for any referral child abuse victim.
About Children’s Center:
Children’s Center is a not-for-profit organization providing a safe, child-focused setting for investigating and treating child abuse in Southwest Missouri.