“There is so much hope here. Kids are so resilient; once they feel safe, you begin to see the hope in them.” Rosa Mettler, LCSW, is the chief program officer at the Children’s Village, which, for more than 28 years, has been providing a safe and nurturing space for abused and neglected children in our community.
“It is so rewarding to watch them blossom as they develop healthy, loving relationships,” she says.
With an experienced and loving staff who strive each day to offer their love and support to those most vulnerable, Children’s Village, which is North Idaho’s only licensed crisis nursery, can take children from birth and are prepared to do so 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
Children who are placed in the home are done so via various channels, whether it be concerned schools reaching out or parents in crisis calling directly. No matter the situation, the needs of the children and family are assessed on a one-on-one basis. In addition, as the Children’s Village is an extension of the foster system, they work with state and local law enforcement and the Department of Health and Welfare.
According to Mark Wilson, chief executive officer at Children’s Village, for children who have been placed by the state, the parenting plan is determined by the Department of Health and Welfare. When a parent successfully completes the defined plan, the child, or children, can be reunited with their parents. For children privately placed by their parents, Children’s Village works in a supportive role for the parents so that they can get the help they need.
When children first come to the Children’s Village, the compassionate staff provides them with a safe and loving home designed to heal the hearts of these children in need. At any given time, they average between 16 and 18 children in their homes, and each child’s story is unique and special in its own way.
“The stories that aren’t often heard are of the families who are living without a village to help support them to raise their children,” affirms Mark. “When faced with circumstances they cannot manage and with no other resources available, they often turn to Children’s Village for help. They typically want to do the right thing, are doing the best they can, are desperate for help and are ready to make changes. We consider it our duty to this community and truly an honor to support these families on their path to change.”
Now, thanks to their new therapeutic services and Counseling and Education Center, the Children’s Village team can have a much more profound impact on the family system. “Services include individual and family counseling, parent education, family skill building and wraparound services for up to six months after they discharge from our care,” Mark smiles. “These services were just recently launched, and we are expecting this to dramatically increase the family’s chances of success.”
It takes a village to ensure the doors of the Children’s Village continue to remain open, and the community continues to show its support and generosity to this important and necessary cause. Just this past month, Children’s Village held their Cocktails for a Cause fundraising event at the Jacklin Arts and Cultural Center in Post Falls, which sold out almost immediately! As Vanessa Moos, director of Charitable Giving says, “North Idaho is incredible in their support of the Children’s Village. The success of our events shows us that there is an awareness of child abuse and neglect in our local community. We feel that the community’s support also shows that there is a level of understanding that we address a gap in services and that this community cares about these children and their access to care.”
From the smallest donation to the largest, know that every dollar goes directly to improving these children’s lives. Silverwood recently donated $100,000 to the Children’s Village, and with an annual budget of more than $1 million, these large donations, as well as the small ones, are all essential to keeping the doors open. “Without the amazing generosity of this community, we would not be able to do this critical work,” Vanessa says. “Every single dollar donated impacts the quality of these kids’ lives and enables us to provide the level of care that they so desperately need. These donations are not just impacting these kids’ lives today but for years to come.”
She adds that third-party fundraisers in support of their mission are always taking place throughout the community year-round. “From a lemonade stand to a major fundraiser, these dollars are truly appreciated, and the children know how much you love them.”
To find out more about the Children’s Village, the work they do and how you can help, you can visit TheChildrensVillage.org or call 208.667.1189.
“Our goal for each child who enters the Children’s Village is that they feel safe, and that they know they are precious and loved,” Vanessa says. “It is also our goal to restore hope for each and every child.”
SAVE THE DATE Children’s Village Spring Benefit: Our 30th Year April 18, 2020 2020 is the 30th year of services provided at the Children’s Village. Held at the Coeur d’Alene Resort, the Spring Benefit is their annual fundraiser and is crucial to impacting the Children’s Village annual operating budget. The event will be a celebration of the community’s dedication to being the village for these local children. Sponsorships are available by contacting Vanessa Moos, director of Charitable Giving, at email@example.com.