Helping Children, Healing Families

Helping Children, Healing Families

Last week we promoted 52-CLEAN, which is helping to curb litter.   This week let us highlight The Exchange Club Family Center, which is focused on breaking the cycle of child abuse and neglect by replacing abusive and violent behavior with effective parenting skills.   

The Exchange Club Family Center opened in 1984 through the efforts of six local Exchange Clubs.  It is one of over 60 Exchange Club Centers across the nation and, with the help of 35 experienced staff members and 150 community volunteers, the agency served over 5,500 children and adults locally last year.  They offer 24 different programs designed to help heal families through counseling, education, awareness, advocacy, and support services. 

All of the clinical and educational programs are focused on the child and cover three major areas: child abuse and family violence, parenting education, and anger management.  Through counseling and education they address issues of family violence and how it affects both children and adults, helping families learn how to identify and deal with it while offering clients a protected venue for child visitations.  Since a large percentage of their adult clients grew up in violent homes and many were abused themselves, they unknowingly pass these behaviors on to their children.  The goal is to help these adults recognize and redefine their behaviors. 

Parenting education programs address the conflicts that arise from stressful parenting situations and divorce.  For example, TRANSparenting is a 4-hour seminar providing parents information on the effects of divorce on children, while Rollercoasters is designed for the children, who are also going through this traumatic family event and are experiencing a wide range of emotions.  Anger management programs address the issue of anger and explore alternative problem-solving skills, causes of anger, reactions to anger, and its aftereffects.        

The Family Center is always in need of children’s toys, books, diapers, formula, and favors to celebrate progress of children and teens.  Consider adopting a family for holiday gift giving, attending and volunteering with special events, or joining a local Exchange Club, which provide support to the Family Center.     

Learn more by visiting www.exchangeclub.net.   

Click here to read the column in The Commercial Appeal.

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