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Boys & Girls Village, Inc.
528 Wheelers Farms Road
Milford CT 06461
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Boys & Girls Village News

Launch of Bridging Program at Bridgeport’s Center for Family Justice


In November 2013, Boys & Girls Village began a partnership with Yale and The Center for Family Justice to launch its “Bridging Program” at The Center’s headquarters in Bridgeport. Developed by a Yale pediatrician, Andrea Asnes, MD, the Bridging Program is a free to families, voluntary short-term program for children who have been sexually abused. The program also works with parents to help them manage and understand their child’s abuse.

Boys & Girls Village clinicians are stationed at The Center to immediately start working with children and their families after an abuse is reported. Once the abuse is identified, an investigation is launched to assure the child’s safety. If law enforcement is involved, clinicians are on-hand during the forensic interview with the child, and work with their school, family protective services, and the court system as needed.

For eight to ten weeks following the initial sexual abuse evaluation, clinicians focus on identifying the emotional and supportive needs of both the child and family. The program provides a short-term cognitive behavioral therapy to help children communicate their feelings and manage their needs when necessary. Clinicians also provide referrals for case management and for continued treatment after the program is completed, as needed.

“Children and their families often need more than just mental health support,” said Kim Shaunesey, Ph.D., Boys & Girls Village Chief Operating Officer. “The Bridging Program is unique in that it attempts to overcome the barriers to treatment and make it as easy as possible for families to obtain the support and services they need during an incredibly difficult and emotional time.”

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