About Children's Hope
Children’s Hope Residential Services, Inc. is a non-profit 501 c3 corporation dedicated to the mental health treatment of abused and neglected children placed with Children’s Protective Services.
James Aldrich founded Children’s Hope in 2002. During this time we have served over 2000 children struggling with emotional and/or behavioral issues from across Texas.
OUR TREATMENT MODEL
Children’s Hope Residential Services has two Residential Treatment Facilities in West Texas: an all-girls unit in Levelland and an all-boys unit in Lubbock. Both facilities provide services to children that have experienced traumatic stress in their lives and as a result, are diagnosed with emotional disturbances. Children’s Hope works with these youths to provide them the necessary tools they need to cope with the trauma they have experienced so they can thrive and grow into healthy contributing members of society. The immediate goal is to allow them to experience normal childhoods and be able to function within their families as happy, ordinary children. The long term goal is to allow these children to grow into well-adapted adults, able to gain good educations and careers, and willing to contribute positively to society and the communities in which they live.
To realize both the short and long-term goals of treatment, Children’s Hope’s Residential Treatment Facilities utilize the therapeutic model called Trauma Informed-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT). The premise of TF-CBT is that behavioral disturbances are a result of unresolved Child Traumatic Stress. This trauma elicits emotions the individual may not even consciously acknowledge. The individual reacts behaviorally to the emotions because 1) they may not be conscious of their feelings, and 2) they do not possess the skills necessary to cope with what they are feeling.
With the use of TF-CBT, Children’s Hope begins by helping each youth understand how his behavior is influenced by his feelings and emotions. Along with the child, a therapist works on developing a set of tools to help the child recognize their feelings before they react. Relaxation and coping skills are taught and practiced so each child may learn they are active agents in controlling their behavior. This is also a time when youth are taught vital relationship skills needed to create social support networks. Social support networks feed into a sense of wellbeing and resiliency.
The next step in the therapeutic process is confronting the youth’s trauma. This is a pivotal point in the child’s progress through TF-CBT because it is a time when she must openly acknowledge events she would more than likely prefer to forget. At this phase of therapy, each youth is expected to talk in specific detail about their trauma, often abuse and/or neglect. This is a time for closure when the child accepts the root of the most emotional events in their life, accepts that they cannot change what happened, and move on. The child chooses one or more individuals they have come to trust to share their story with and in doing so makes a statement that their trauma no longer has any power over them. In the end, they have faced their worst fear, grieved, shared their story with people in their support network, and accepted that part of their history. They are then able to move on, placing their trauma in the past, recognizing that nothing terrible happened by acknowledging their trauma, no one shunned them, nor did their world end.
The Trauma Narrative may be thought of as a milestone. It is a difficult task and many youth struggle with the emotions that emerge during this process. Though not in every case, completing the Trauma Narrative often indicates the youth is nearing the conclusion of their treatment. They may then successfully return home or to a foster placement. To that end, both the therapist and child must be fully committed to the process.