Children’s Waiting Room
The Children’s Waiting Room program at Family Counseling Services provides free on-site supervision of children for individuals who need this resource in order to attend behavioral health care services to address issues of domestic violence, child abuse and neglect, alcohol or drug abuse, mental health, and parenting skills and family development. Parents needing this service typically have no resources for child care using community based services and have few reliable/appropriate social supports to assist with child care, especially during evening hours when individuals, couples and families may need to attend counseling services. In most instances, parents are receiving counseling services and their children stay in the children’s waiting room. In other situations, a child is receiving counseling in addition to his/her parents and it is the siblings who stay in the children’s waiting room. Client surveys indicate that individuals using the children’s waiting room in order to attend counseling are reliant upon the service availability, would cancel counseling sessions, or would need to bring their children with them into the counseling sessions in order to attend counseling.
Last year, we shared a story about a foster family who were caring for 3 siblings, all in need of counseling. Through counseling, behavior changed dramatically and they adopted all three children. The children’s waiting room was essential for this family. It took years of counseling to address the issues these children had experienced. Two siblings had completed therapy at last report. We are thrilled to share that the last of the three siblings was discharged from therapy in August 2015 and he no longer requires medication to manage his behaviors. The family is thriving.