The Domestic Violence Crisis Center has received a $15,000 grant from the Perrin Family Foundation that will be used to help fund the agency's Children's Advocacy Project, designed to provide comprehensive services to children in the DVCC's Norwalk and Stamford SafeHouses.

Both the Norwalk and Stamford SafeHouses had the highest occupancy for domestic violence shelters in the state of Connecticut last year, and in fiscal 2009-2010, more than 400 children will have received services through the DVCC's shelter and counseling programs.

"Recent studies have shown and confirmed that specific and targeted interventions and prevention strategies with children and young people can mitigate the effects of the violence they experience and help to break the cycle of violence in the future," said DVCC Executive Director Rachelle Kucera Mehra.

Because the needs of each child differs, DVCC child advocates strive to tailor services to match individual needs while working within an overall structure that includes family safety planning; activities that encourage the mother/child bond and positive role-modeling for mothers; and collaborative partnerships with a myriad of service providers and support systems beneficial to children.

Working closely with school personnel and after school program providers, continuing to offer training and education about the impact of domestic violence on children and integrating more community resources into the shelter program are just a few of the ways the DVCC partners with other service providers, according to Kucera Mehra. Additionally, educators from the DVCC's PeaceWorks prevention education project provide programs for children in the SafeHouses and a teen volunteer program offers structured play and activities, tutoring and homework assistance, mentoring, field trips and other activities.

The Domestic Violence Crisis Center is committed to promoting the fundamental right of all individuals to be safe in their personal relationships. With a professional staff who have years of experience and expertise in the field of domestic violence, the agency offers confidential services at no charge, including court and legal services, group and individual counseling, temporary shelter, housing services, children's services, medical advocacy, multilingual services, PeaceWorks prevention education and a 24-hour hotline (1-888-774-2900). With offices in Stamford and Norwalk, DVCC is the only domestic violence agency serving the communities of Stamford, Norwalk, Westport, Darien, New Canaan, Wilton and Weston. In fiscal year 2008-2009, DVCC provided shelter and counseling services to more than 4,000 unduplicated victims of domestic violence, and PeaceWorks provided programs to nearly 27,000 students and conducted workshops and awareness events for nearly 4,000 adults.

The Perrin Family Foundation founded in 1994, is committed to providing equal opportunities for children and young adults to lead safe, productive and creative lives. For more information, visit www.perrinfamilyfoundation.org.