Children's Advocacy Services provides comprehensive treatment services for victims of childhood trauma and their non-offending caregivers. Treatment types include individual and family psychotherapy for children and caregivers using a variety of methods (e.g. play therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, art therapy, family therapy). Services are provided by licensed clinical professionals and advanced graduate students under the direct supervision of licensed clinical staff.
As member of the National Childhood Traumatic Stress Network, Children's Advocacy Services staff are trained providers of research-supported "Best Practice" treaments for trauma including:
CASGSL offers a range of therapeutic group programming for children and caregivers. Reviews of the group therapy literature suggest that group treatment is an efficacious and cost-effective approach; in fact, group therapy is the treatment of choice for certain types of problems. CASGSL clinicians have noted that group therapy appears especially effective in alleviating children’s and caregivers’ feelings of guilt and shame. In addition, the vicarious learning and interactive process that occurs in a group context enables participants to accelerate their understanding and application of problem-solving strategies and interpersonal skills.
Group programs are currently offered at CASGSL’s three locations as well as on-site at specific schools throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area. All prospective group clients participate in an individual clinical assessment prior to beginning treatment. During these intake assessments, CASGSL clinicians will help children and families identify treatment priorities, utilize standardized assessment measures to obtain baseline data, and provide immediate support and education. To learn more about specific group treatment options, or to schedule a group intake assessment for one of the programs described below, please call CASGSL’s intake department at 314-516-6798.
This open-ended group treatment program is designed for adolescent males who have engaged in illegal sexual behavior. The curriculum, based on a cognitive-behavioral, psychoeducational approach, addresses issues such as taking responsibility for the behavior, cognitive restructuring, social skills, prevention of future illegal behavior, relationship skills, and victim awareness and empathy. A concurrent group for caregivers/parents is also offered. In addition to receiving support from one another and the therapists, the caregivers learn how to support the adolescents’ in their treatment, build stronger relationships with their children, and improve family functioning. For more information about this population and effective treatment for adolescents with illegal sexual behaviors, please see http://www.ncsby.org.
This 12-week educational and support group is available to caregivers of children who have experienced trauma. Adapted from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network's (NCTSN) resource parent curriculum, TASK addresses the unique challenges faced by all caregivers (e.g. biological and step parents, foster parents, adoptive parents, and other adult family members) parenting a child following one or more traumatic events. >
Participants will increase their knowledge about how trauma can affect children emotionally, behaviorally, and developmentally, and learn trauma-informed parenting skills to appropriately respond to the behavioral and emotional challenges of traumatized children. Each participant receives a participant handbook and engages in a combination of learning methods including lecture, group discussion, case vignettes, and exercises designed to assist caregivers in applying new concepts to their children. Topics include understanding trauma's effects on children, dealing with feelings and behavior, enhancing children's sense of safety, ways to support a child’s recovery, effective advocacy, and self-care.
TASK is recommended as a supplement to a child’s individual treatment and for caregivers wanting to better understand how a trauma has affected their child and how they can best support their child’s recovery. Foster parents can earn up to fifteen hours of in-service training hours through their participation in TASK.