Racing down Waller Street as fast as she could with her little 2-year-old legs, Emily abruptly stopped in front of the fire house and pointed towards the doorbell. She knew where she was headed, and she wanted to get to the Playroom as quickly as possible. Her mother, Denise, finally caught up and lifted Emily to push the bell.
It’s the day in which we focus not on ourselves, but on our community. The day in which we rally support for our cause: a community without child abuse.
Each holiday season, we decorate our walls, and ensure our telephone hotline is well staffed — because it’s the time of year we receive the most crisis calls. We turn our Playroom into a toy store to ensure every family can afford to have a festive and joyous holiday season, helping to reduce the stress during this already stressful time of year. The time of year we ask for your support.
Gabriella raised her hand and asked to speak with Ms. Brianna privately. At the end of the lesson, outside the 5th grade classroom in the elementary school hallway, Gabriella asked whether it was okay that her parents touched her private body parts, the parts that her swimsuit cover. Ms. Brianna reminded Gabriella of the differences between a safe and unsafe touch. Gabriella nodded with understanding and started talking about how uncomfortable she felt at home, and how much she disliked being touched by her parents.
The Prevention Center has learned something important in our more than 40 years of service to families in San Francisco (which recent research confirms): ultimately, families don’t need us to tell them how they are at risk for child abuse or what’s wrong with them. To prevent child abuse, families need us to support and build their strengths: the ways they are already capable of protecting and caring for their children. We call these strengths “Protective Factors.”
What is the Children’s Playroom?
The Children’s Playroom here at the San Francisco Child Abuse Prevention Center provides therapeutic play and support groups for kids as well as childcare to parents accessing services on site. We work to ensure that each child visiting the Playroom has an experience that is most supportive of their social and emotional growth. Indeed, that is our focus here in the Playroom, to help children learn and practice their social and emotional skills that will help them be successful in other areas of their lives. The Playroom supports 440+ kids for a total of 3,600+ visits a year.