SAFFT is more than a place to host supervised visitations. Since part of our mission is to restore families, we offer a full range of family therapy and healing services in a safe, nonjudgemental, and encouraging environment (known as our Family Resource Center).
Each family comes to us with their own unique story and circumstances. And we believe that in order to address the underlying root issues of trauma, we have to treat from the inside out, piece by broken piece, and then work to put it all back together from the ground up. All SAFFT’s services are driven to heal the entire family system – the children, the biological parents, and even working with the caregivers – regardless of whether the child is returned home or placed with an adoptive family.
SAFFT’s Family Therapy Program plays a pivotal role in a family’s healing process. Our licensed staff are trained to view each client from a family systems orientation that is trauma informed and exercise evidenced-based treatment. We also utilize a strengths-based approach, addressing the client’s emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual needs.
At this current time, we are able to serve and provide Family Therapy & Healing through our Family Resource Centers located in the following counties: Forsyth, Hall, and Floyd. SAFFT uses individualized community-based services that focus on the strengths and needs of the child and family that have experienced or are experiencing homelessness, poverty, domestic violence, neglect, or loss of custody. Wraparound services for each family are developed through a team-planning process, where a team of individuals who are relevant to the well-being of the family collaboratively develop and implement an individualized plan of care (known as a wraparound plan). SAFFT Therapists have specialized training in the following programs:
For the Children:
Oftentimes the trauma of being removed from their home is just the top layer of the complex, deeper-rooted trauma that the child or children have experienced prior to DFCS involvement. Children react and deal with trauma in many different forms, including behavioral issues, poor grades, cognitive deficits, and even delayed development. Our therapists are trained to conceptualize our children’s symptoms in the context of their family of origin so that each child is given the specialized therapy that he/she needs.
What sets SAFFT Family Therapy apart from other providers is its systemic approach. The therapist will treat the family as their client rather than treating the symptoms of the individuals. We believe that when the system is healthy, all its parts are subsequently healthy, too. Our licensed therapist will work with the children and birth parents separately until they are ready to engage in therapy together (if appropriate). This holistic approach allows the child to openly and safely confront their personal traumas and also to address the interpersonal issues they’ve suffered.
For the Birth Parents:
We have found that abuse, addiction, and trauma are not only systemic but also generational. In most cases, the birth parents we serve have experienced trauma in their childhood and they are repeating the generational cycle with their own children. The key difference is that, unlike their children, they did not have the intervention and available treatment tools and resources of a Family Restoration Center. To measure the depth and scope of parents’ rooted trauma, our trained clinicians use clinical tools such as the Adverse Childhood Experience Questionnaire. They are able to gain insight, as well as context, for how to better serve the birth parents and address their “family of origin” issues stemming from years and years of trauma. Treating the biological parents, by helping them to grow, change, and heal, does a great deal for the child. Not only are we trying to heal the entire family unit, but our goal is to break the generational cycle so the children never again need our services and they grow up to raise happy, healthy, and safe families of their own.
SAFFT’s Family Therapy Program culminates in group therapy with various family members in the same session, and sometimes including the entire family. Our approach is distinguished by the use of Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PICT-A) and Attachment, Regulation, and Competency (ARC) treatments, research-based therapies that reduce the symptoms of traumatic stress in children, build resiliency, and improve the parent-child relationship by changing the parent-child interactions. PCIT-A and ARC are unique to other forms of parent training as caregivers are coached live by the therapist while engaging in specific play therapy and discipline skills with their child.
Foster parenting is one of the most emotionally challenging relationship interactions that humans face. Very few foster parents are fully prepared to meet the emotional needs of children who have experienced the trauma of separation from their birth parent(s) and the events that led up to that point. In addition to the trauma these children are dealing with, they also experience anxiety about their uncertain future, which often leads to disruptive, seemingly illogical behavior. Our inclusive Family Therapy & Healing Program gives the foster parents the opportunity to meet with the therapist treating the child or children being cared for. Our staff is able to help them understand and navigate the emotional landscape that the child(ren) are facing, leading to more stability and better outcomes for the child.
HOW DOES IT ALL WORK?
SAFFT will first conduct an orientation with both the custodial and visiting parents to better understand the unique circumstances, stories, and needs of each family unit. Therapy sessions will then be scheduled based on the availability of our staff and the family schedule. Each session lasts up to one hour. A waiting room is available for custodial parents and the privacy of all family members.
WHAT IS THE COST?
SAFFT offers several options that may or may not include a cost for the family. If you qualify for one of our special programs, there may be no cost to your family to utilize our services. These are typically related to domestic violence cases or involvement with the Juvenile Court. Please contact us for more information about our rates.
HOW TO GET STARTED?
Or you may call or Forsyth Family Life Center and Restoration Center at 770-886-9505 ext. 0.