Dec. 12, 2001
FREDERICTON (CNB) - Women and children who are victims of family violence will be offered new services under the Children's Support Program launched today by the Department of Family and Community Services and the New Brunswick Coalition of Transition Houses.
The new program is designed to help break the cycle of family violence which is passed on from one generation to another, by providing services to pre-school children in transition houses. These services include play-based activities for children, to help increase their sense of safety and comfort, to help them understand violence, who is responsible for it and that it is not acceptable. The program will also help parents learn effective parenting strategies and provide linkages to existing community services, if needed, once the family leaves transition house.
"I am very pleased to launch this important program," Family and Community Services Minister Joan MacAlpine said. "This program will help children express their feelings and learn new ways to cope with the disruption and distress caused by family violence."
Family and Community Services is contributing $ 400,000 to this program to hire and train employees to work in transition houses throughout the province. The New Brunswick Coalition of Transition Houses has been working in partnership with the Department of Family and Community Services to develop and implement this initiative.
"We must all take responsibility to help break the cycle of family violence," said Simone Leibovitch, co-ordinator of the New Brunswick Coalition of Transition Houses. "This program gives children, who have witnessed violence in their home, the opportunity to talk about what they have experienced in a safe environment. This is what shelters have been providing to women for many years, and this makes us better able to offer this same support to children."
"This program will help give children new skills and provide them with emotional support to help them with feelings of low self-esteem, anger, and anxiety," said Public Safety Minister Margaret-Ann Blaney, minister responsible for the Status of Women. This program will help foster healthy child development and will support mothers in their parenting role."
In November, each of the 12 transition houses throughout New Brunswick had a child support worker in place to offer the Children's Support Program.
The Children's Support Program is one of seven initiatives of the Early Childhood Development Agenda (ECD) which will invest about $50 million in New Brunswick children over the next five years. The Province will invest $7.3 million in New Brunswick children in 2001-02, the first year of the ECD Agenda.
MEDIA CONTACT: Mary McIntosh, communications, Family and Community Services, 506-453-2001.