NEWTON — Sussex County parents and their children enjoyed a Family Expo at Project Self-Sufficiency, sponsored by the Family Success Center, which featured children’s activities, as well as interactive sessions about health and wellness, fire safety, parenting skills, and other topics.
Keynote speakers addressed ways to detect and prevent child sexual assault, as well as techniques for helping children to cope with traumatic events. Local law enforcement and fire safety officials were on hand to discuss fire safety and first aid, and participants were treated to dinner and goodie bags filled with parenting resources.
Licensed Clinical Social Worker Kris Imbrie offered a presentation which identified methods parents could use to help their children cope with the aftermath of traumatic experiences.
“There are many forms of trauma that children can encounter; medical trauma, loss of loved ones, car accidents, child sexual abuse, physical abuse, domestic violence or natural disasters, just to name a few," Imbrie said. “Parents are left feeling helpless after their child has been traumatized. Often the child's subsequent difficult behavior makes things even more complicated. This presentation suggested ways in which a caregiver can meaningfully participate in their child's healing.”
In a separate workshop, Family Success Center staff members educated parents about promoting safe, healthy environments for children and discussed techniques for detecting and preventing child sexual assault as part of the Enough Abuse campaign. The nation-wide public relations effort offers free training sessions to middle and high school youth, their parents, teachers, administrators, coaches and other youth-serving professionals about how to recognize and prevent child sexual abuse.
In addition to Project Self-Sufficiency, organizations which hosted information tables at the event included Birth Haven, Caring Partners of Morris and Sussex, Center for Prevention & Counseling, Division of Child Protection & Permanency, Domestic Abuse Services, Inc., Family Intervention Services, Ginnie’s House, Girl Scouts of Northern New Jersey, Legal Services of Northwest New Jersey, Literacy Volunteers of Northwest New Jersey, NAMI, NJ Shares, Newton Police Department, Parent Interactions with Schools and Teachers, Partnership for Maternal and Child Health of Northern New Jersey, Planned Parenthood, Project Self-Sufficiency Gardeners, Statewide Parent Advocacy Group, Sussex/Warren Chronic Disease Coalition, NJ CEED, and the United Way.
“The Family Expo gives parents the opportunity to interact with experts in a variety of fields, and to ask questions and get information about issues faced by their families,” continues Claire Willetts. “We are grateful to the health organizations, social service agencies and public safety officials in our community, and to all of the volunteers who came together to offer this event for local families.”
For information about the programs and services offered at the Sussex County Family Success Center at Project Self-Sufficiency, call 973-940-3500 or visit www.projectselfsufficiency.org.