The Will County Children’s Advocacy Center will now be offering trauma-focused counseling services in the eastern part of the county.
The impetus came when Will County Board member Laurie Summers, D-Crete, wanted to do something for her constituents who had to drive nearly an hour to Joliet for specialized counseling, according to a news release. Summers then worked with the Children’s Advocacy Center and the village of Steger to increase access to those services.
“It is important for our county to provide equitable health care services to all of our residents, especially children who have experienced trauma,” Summers said. “Regular counseling is crucial for these children to be able to move beyond their trauma and develop into healthy adults.”
The Louis Sherman Community Center in Steger will host an open house from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, where residents can learn about the services the Children Advocacy Center provides there and meet the therapy dogs that sometimes are used.
Summers said Steger Mayor Ken Peterson was enthusiastic about finding a place that could host therapists from the Children’s Advocacy Center.
The therapy provided for children who have experienced trauma is highly specialized and therefore is not widely available. The Children’s Advocacy Center has three therapists who specialize in childhood trauma and abuse. Bringing them and their services to the eastern part of the county a couple of days a week will ensure children and their families have access to support to overcome abuse and trauma they’ve experienced.
The Children’s Advocacy Center is a nonprofit arm of the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office that works with children who have been abused or witnessed a violent crime. Each year the center serves more than 450 new children. It first opened in 1995, according to the release.
Counseling services will be offered to Will County residents from 1:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays.