DISCOVERY for kids
Our team considers even the youngest, quietest, most traumatized and vulnerable child as our client. As such, we are able to assess specific needs and ensure access to all necessary resources to heal the trauma of witnessing abuse.
Kids age 0 to 5
Children under 6 interact in our child development centre, where trauma-informed workers build connections through sensory play, art therapy and therapeutic intervention.
A child’s growth and development is most significant before age 6. Children exposed to domestic violence experience trauma that can have a lifelong impact. Trauma related to the breach of trust that comes from witnessing a parent hurt a member of the family is devastating for children and can be felt more deeply than other types of traumatic life experiences such as accidents, natural disasters and war.
Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) is the term given to describe all types of abuse, neglect and other traumatic experiences that occur to individuals under the age of 18. The landmark CDC-Kaiser Permanente ACE Study examined the relationships between these experiences during childhood and reduced health and well-being later in life.
How common are ACEs? Nearly two-thirds of adults surveyed reported at least one adverse childhood experience – and the majority of respondents who reported at least one ACE reported more than one.
Youth age 6 to 17
Youth age 6 to 17 are provided one-on-one counselling and group programming, with a focus on communication, socialization and healthy relationships.
Child and youth programming
Kids' Club: For children aged 6-12, Kids’ Club is a preventive group-based intervention designed to enhance the child’s sense of safety, develop the therapeutic alliance and create a common vocabulary of emotions.
SNAP (Stop Now and Plan): Developed by the Child Development Institute, SNAP is an evidence-based cognitive behavioural model that provides a framework for teaching effective emotional regulation, self-control and problem-solving skills to parents and their children ages 6-17 who are struggling with behaviour issues. The primary goal of SNAP is to help children to stop and think before they act and keep them in school and out of trouble. Discovery House is the currently the only SNAP affiliate in Calgary.
Working for Kids: Developed by Dr. Judy Cameron, a neuroscientist from the University of Pittsburgh, Working for Kids teaches parents how early experiences impact brain development and methods they can employ to help their children develop into healthy adults. Discovery House participates in research for Working for Kids and ran its first independent cohort in 2018/19.
ATTACH (Attachment and Child Health): A pilot project led by Dr. Nicole Letourneau from the University of Calgary, in partnership with Harvard University’s Center on the Developing Child, Frontiers of Innovation, ATTACH assessed strategies to help mothers mitigate the negative impacts of trauma on their children caused by domestic violence. In June 2019, the ATTACH Phase 2 study concluded.