Message from our Clinical Director
Our goal is to be a center of excellence that serves children and their families impacted by all types of traumatic events including sexual abuse, physical abuse, domestic violence, community violence, and other child welfare-related traumas. The assessment and treatment services are provided in a child-friendly and supportive environment by credentialed and licensed therapists specifically trained as experts in trauma. Our response is to institute an individualized treatment plan using evidence-based modalities that optimize positive outcomes and reduce the impact of trauma on children and their families.
Diane York, MSW, LCSW
Trauma Treatment Program
The Sexual Abuse Treatment Program is one of the many therapy options under the Trauma Treatment Program of the Children’s Advocacy Center. As the only Sexual Abuse Treatment Program of Pasco and Hernando Counties, it is designated by the Florida Department of Health as one of only fourteen sexual abuse treatment programs across Florida. The Trauma Treatment Program also serves child victims of other traumatic events such as physical abuse, domestic violence, traumatic grief, and community violence. Our therapists are licensed or eligible clinicians with extensive training and expertise in sexual abuse, physical abuse, and trauma. Each team member is a professional skilled in only the most effective therapies to overcome the effects of the many traumatic events that may impact victims and their families.
Our Trauma Treatment Program proactively assists both the child and the non-offending family members to cope with the emotional effects of trauma that may impact their sense of trust, safety, and self. The entire family can often benefit from and contribute to the therapeutic process. Family participation helps heal the wounds of trauma and promotes healthy family functioning and safety for the future. Therapy treatment is provided at no cost to the child victim or parent. The funding is provided by the Florida Department of Health Children’s Medical Services, Office of the Attorney General (Victim of Crime Act and Crime Victim’s Compensation), Florida Coalition of Children’s Advocacy Centers, United Way of Pasco County, and Pasco County Community Development Block Grant.
The Trauma Treatment Program is a trusted provider for Dependency and Family Law Courts in multiple counties in providing expertise in assessments, treatment, and recommendations.
To learn more about Pasco Kids First’s Tee Shirt Therapy, as seen in the photo to the left, click on Tee Shirt Gallery.
Donations to support our program are provided by people like yourself that care and want to help. Please donate to our program, so we can continue to provide treatment that heals the hurt.
Our program provides a full array of services for education, prevention. assessment, treatment, and intervention to all members of the family affected by trauma. Treatment provided through our program includes the following therapies: individual, family, and non-offending caregiver treatment.
In addition, we provide consultation to community partners and community training and education on the impact of trauma on children and families. Our team has been recognized by the community as experts in identifying and treating victims of sexual, physical, and emotional abuse, and trauma.
Our Child Victim Advocate assists the child and family as they navigate through the legal system and links the family to helpful resources and referrals within the local community. This past year, there were approximately 350 cases opened, and more than 2,000 therapy sessions were provided over the year.
Eligibility of Our Trauma Treatment Program
Our treatment program serves child victims from ages 3 through 18 as well as their families that live in Pasco or Hernando Counties. Cases are referred from many sources, including the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office, Child Protective Investigations, Dependency Courts Case Management Teams, Pasco County Schools, other community agencies, and directly from parents and caregivers. The criteria for admission require that the abuse must be already reported to the Child Abuse Hotline and/or Law Enforcement and the symptoms that the child is exhibiting interfere with day-to-day functioning.
To refer a child or parent/caregiver for trauma therapy, utilize this Trauma Treatment Referral Form. Completion of this referral does not guarantee acceptance into services. A Victim Advocate will contact a referral source to determine eligibility. Please complete and send via fax to 727-845-1292 or email to Roxana Lemus at email@example.com
Summary of our Therapy Services:
- Individual Child Trauma Therapy for child victims of sexual abuse, physical abuse, and other types of traumatic events such as exposure to domestic violence, community violence, suicides/homicides or other traumatic events. Family education, support, and safety planning are included ages 3-18.
- Sexually Reactive Children’s Therapy for children involved in child-on-child inappropriate sexualized behaviors as long as the child identified as the initiator has a history of sexual abuse and is under the age of 12.
- Non-Offending Caregiver Therapy available for caregivers of child victims of sexual and/or physical abuse: The Non-Offending Caregiver program is a psychoeducational program for parents/caregivers not responsible for the sexual or physical abuse. This service is designed to provide education about the dynamics of child sexual and physical abuse, the effect on children, the offenders of such abuse, and how to plan for safety in the future.
- Family Therapy provided for enrolled client’s receiving trauma therapy based upon the discretion of the child’s therapist.
- Sexual Abuse Assessments fis an assessment that includes clinical interviews and standardized measures designed to develop and in depth understanding of the concern for the child sexual abuse, ensure safety, and provide recommendations if necessary.
- Trauma Assessment is an assessment that includes clinical interviews and standardized measures designed to develop and in depth understanding of the traumatic events and the effects of those events.
- Adult Trauma Therapy for parents with trauma history who are involved with the Child Welfare System due to child abuse or neglect concerns.
- Professional and Community Training relevant to our services.
Child Victim Advocate Services:
The Child Victim Advocate works collaboratively to meet the needs of the children and families we serve. They offer vital resources and support to families dealing with abuse.
Child Victim Advocates provide:
- Crisis Support for children and families.
- Collaboration with law enforcement, the Child Protective Investigations, and the Child Protection Team case coordinators to provide prompt intervention and referral services to the victim and family.
- Court Support and Advocacy for Children
- Assistance to families in explaining and applying for Crime Victim’s Compensation and Civil Justice.
- Referrals to community resources include food, clothing, medical, parenting, mental health counseling and evaluation, substance abuse programs, and financial assistance.
- Participates in Multi-Disciplinary Team staffing of critical cases.
- Follow up support
“Our daughter has been going to Pasco Kids First weekly for almost a year. Mary and all of the staff there have been great! Mary always takes the time to meet with us after every session and checks on the needs of not only the children but the parents as well. Mary has been an advocate for our child and often communicates with case management. Since going to Pasco Kids First, our child has shown a significant change in behavior and has new confidence in herself. ” – V.M.