Thursday, September 18, 2008

New Staff Member

Hello! My name is Marina and I am the Child Advocate here at CHNC. I started here at the end of July, and so far everything is going well. My main focus is working (and playing!) with kids in shelter and being a support person for them while also assessing any needs they may have that aren't being met. I also work with moms by supporting them in getting what they need as parents and creating a space in which they can reclaim their parenting. Another facet of my position is working with youth in the community. With the school year starting up, I have a few different programs going on. I will be doing a healthy relationships / diversity curriculum at Johnson Elementary School starting in October, with the support of their awesome guidance counselor. I'm also lined up to do a few dating violence and sexual harassment presentations in area schools. Through the after school program Unbound at People's Academy, I am facilitating two girls' groups that are safe discussion-based spaces, also incorporating esteem building activities and some cool inspiring women visitors. I am on the road to being a facilitator for Project Safe Choices, which is a group for young men between the ages of 12 and 17 that have exhibited any violent, abusive and/or controlling behaviors. Really getting to the root of the problem! Another goal I have is to work with young women in our community to find ways to make our services more accessible and appealing to their age group. Thinking maybe having a presence at area highschools... like office hours or something. And maybe eventually starting a support group for teens who have experienced dating violence or domestic violence. So that's it for now. This work is awesome and important and I am grateful to all my wonderful colleagues in this field.

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