Family Therapy & Healing

SAFFT is more than a supervised visitation location. We are a Family Restoration Center whose goal is to empower families to rebuild their lives by addressing the root issues underlying the trauma of separation. All SAFFT’s services are driven to healing the family system – regardless of whether the child is returned home or is placed with an adoptive family.

The Family Therapy program plays a pivotal role in this healing process. We have licensed staff that is trained to see each client from a family systems orientation that is trauma informed and exercises evidenced-based treatment. Using a strengths-based approach, we address the client’s emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual needs to help them experience healing with the hope that they will never need our services again.

SAFFT has a well-deserved reputation for serving families in crisis in both Hall and Forsyth County. With a desire to offer and provide wraparound services for families that are experiencing homelessness, poverty, domestic violence and loss of custody, SAFFT includes individualized community-based services that focus on the strengths and needs of the child and family. Wraparound services 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 trauma that the children have lived through prior to DFCS involvement. Their trauma could take the form of 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 not only to confront their personal traumas, but also to address with the interpersonal issues that they have suffered with the professional support of our staff.

For birth parents:

We have found that abuse, addiction, and trauma are not only systemic but also generational. The birth parents we serve having experienced similar traumas to that of their children – the key difference is that unlike their children, they did not have the intervention of a Family Restoration Center. To measure this finding our trained clinicians use tools to drive towards root issues with parents. An example of one of these tools is called an Adverse Childhood Experience Questionnaire. This list of questions gives our therapy team insight as well as context for serving the birth parents and addressing their family of origin issues. Our therapist helps the child by helping their parent grow, change, and heal. Joint progress notes from sessions with the child(ren) allows our staff to identify issues that would’ve ordinarily been overlooked.

For Families:

SAFFT’s Family Therapy program culminates in group therapy with various family members in the same session, up to and 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.

For Caregivers:

Foster parenting is one of the most emotionally challenging relationship interactions that humans face. Very few foster parents are prepared to meet the emotional needs of children who have experienced the trauma of separation from their birth parent(s) and the events led to that decision. Added to the trauma is the anxiety that the children feel 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 who is treating our client. 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 conduct an orientation with both the custodial and visiting parents to better understand the unique needs and circumstances of each family. Therapy sessions will then be scheduled based on the availability of our staff and the family schedule. Each session lasts up to 1 hour. A waiting room is available for custodial parents and the privacy of all family members.

Is there a cost?

SAFFT offers many options for families that may or may not have a cost to 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?

Complete Referral Form Online

Call 770-886-9505 ext. 0