Project Safe and Growing
In 1997, C.A.N. Prevent collaborated with the Early Childhood Treatment Program at Children's Behavioral Services to apply for the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA). With these federal funds, C.A.N. Prevent created Project Safe and Growing. Project Safe and Growing is a therapeutic day treatment program for children ages 3-6 years old who have been identified as victims of crime. With continued funding from the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA), Project Safe and Growing is able to provide young children with a safe and supportive environment where their individual needs can be addressed by a team of professionals.
Initially, Project Safe and Growing operated 4 days a week for 2.5 hours per day and would serve 8-9 children at a time. The children were identified as victims of crime and were designated as Severely Emotionally Disturbed (SED). The day treatment setting allowed for class sessions lasting 13 weeks each where the children received beneficial therapeutic level services to address the impact of their experiences of victimization at no cost to the family.
Currently, Project Safe and Growing serves 18-20 children at a time, operates 4 days a week, and provides two sessions per day lasting 2.5 hours each. We continue to provide beneficial therapeutic services at no cost to the families to help children who are victims of crime heal, learn how to express their emotions, and interact with others safely.
Meet Therapeutic Teacher: Taylor D
“Many small people, in many small places, doing small things can change the world.” - Eduardo Galeano
My name is Taylor and I am a Lead Teacher here at Project Safe and Growing. I’ve been a teacher here for over five years now and working with trauma-affected children I’ve learned is a difficult balancing act. Even so, it has been nothing short of an incredibly rewarding job.
I always knew I wanted to be a teacher, but what I didn’t know during all that time is that I had the completely wrong idea about what it means to be a teacher, especially a good one. Learning how to be a learner myself has had the most impact on my teaching experience yet. My job as a teacher here at Project Safe and Growing is to create experiences that all of my students can learn from. Becoming a teacher taught me the importance of listening. I am thankful I had the right experiences, training and workshops to open my eyes to the true potential I had in the classroom. I am especially thankful to work alongside our amazing team of supportive teachers and hard working supervisors.
I believe Project Safe and Growing has impacted the community in various ways. The priority being that we provide support and resources for the health of the whole family, while focusing on the child’s welfare. Because every child that enters the program has been identified as a victim of crime, at Project Safe and Growing we’ve created an environment for children to feel safe and loved. By creating healthy connections and rituals that begin to build a sense of value and belonging, as teachers we are able to to help foster each child with their individual story rather than ignore it because it’s difficult or painful. Only then, can healing begin.
Project Safe and Growing has made such a difference in my life and continues to do so. As a now conscious adult and conscious learner, I've been able to transform my relationships not just with my students but with my co-workers, spouse, family and friends. I feel incredibly honored to be a teacher here at Project Safe and Growing, and always have.
Without Project Safe and Growing there is one less environment for children to heal, learn and be successful. By taking action, you play an essential role in preventing child abuse and neglect. You aid in keeping children nourished, safe, and supported. Even a small donation can make a big difference!