Supporting Domestic Violence Victims with Proven Methods

Supporting Domestic Violence Victims with Proven Methods

Jessica was referred to Exchange Family Center’s Parenting of Adolescents (POA) program to receive support improving her relationship with her mother (Jane) and addressing the emotional distress they both witnessed/experienced while living with domestic violence. Out family therapists helped this mother-daughter duo sort through a lot of emotions and an extensive domestic violence history.

Have You Planned Your Charitable Contributions for 2019? Rules, Benefits, and Questions About QCDs.

Have You Planned Your Charitable Contributions for 2019? Rules, Benefits, and Questions About QCDs.

When you reach the required age (70½), you are required to take a minimum distribution from your IRA. But if you don’t need the funds, a QCD counts toward your minimum distribution and is one way to maximize your charitable impact, while reducing your tax liabilities. While most non-Roth IRAs are eligible for QCDs, there are other requirements.

Support After Adoption—Feeling the Love From Your Community

Adopting a child is a joyful event. When a couple or family makes sure that children have a family that will care for them forever, it is a life-changing gift. And this gift can be multiplied when the whole community comes together in support of blended families.

However, adoption can also trigger strong emotions on all sides. All children face difficulties with emotional, social and cognitive development; making or keeping friends, and; academics (and adoption can amplify these issues). Any children already in the home can also experience difficulties as they adjust to the new family member. Even parents who have done their homework and are well prepared for the challenges that come with adoption can have feelings they don’t expect. It’s important to manage expectations and to realize that challenges are a normal part of the process.

When communities offer adoptive parents strong support, many of the challenges above can be turned into positive experiences. If you know of a non-profit or charitable organization in your community that offers services to adoptive families,  consider what you can do this holiday season to help.

Adoption Support Services

At the Exchange Family Center, we offer workshops for parents and caregivers that emphasize creating a positive environment where children feel safe to express their emotions. We also discuss recommendations for teaching kids to manage their feelings and to develop healthy outlets for emotion. All of these workshops and services support all types of families and children, including adoptive families and children.

Here is a list of the types of services to look for if you’re considering adoption or have recently adopted a child. You may find the following services valuable:

  • Sessions to help children and youth process feelings of loss or grief related to the adoption.

  • Sessions to help parents build trust and attachment with their children.

  • Programs, support groups, or sessions to help families heal from childhood trauma.

  • Programs and support groups to help older children and youth explore questions of identity (“Who am I? How am I like and different from my parents?”)

  • Programs and workshops to help children succeed in school.

  • Sessions and programs to help children and families learn more effective ways to respond to stress.

  • Strategies and sessions to help children and adoptive parents navigate safe and positive connections with birth relatives.

  • Programs to prevent crises that can result in adoption, disruption, or “rehoming.”

Types of Services

Different types of adoption support services exist in many communities and many of these services are available free of charge. These may include the following:

  • Mental health counseling or therapy

  • Support groups for parents or youth (face-to-face or online; for all adoptive families or specific to the child’s culture, identity, or special needs)

  • Workshops, seminars, and publications

  • Camps and other social events for children, parents, and families

  • Birth parent search and reunion support

  • Educational support

  • Respite care

Finding Services

Every family is unique and has its own unique strengths and challenges. To get the kind of support adoptive families need, it’s important to find service providers who understand both adoption-related issues and your family’s particular needs. For assistance finding support in your community ask one or more of the following:

  • Your adoption agency

  • Your doctor or your child’s doctor

  • Other adoptive parents and local support groups

  • Your employer’s human resources (HR) department or employee assistance program (EAP)

  • Your state post-adoption services contact, which you can find through the National Adoption and Foster Care directory—there’s even an app (check out the National Foster Care & Adoption Directory)

Here, in North Carolina, the State Foster Care and Adoption Program Manager is Erin Baluyot. She can be reached at (919) 527-6369 or via email at  If you are here in DUrham,  you would reach out to

Adopting a child and giving him or her a secure and loving home is one of the most generous ways to give back. As an adoptive parent, you are literally saving a life. Remember to take time out to celebrate YOU and to show appreciation to yourself for all that YOU do. For example, schedule time to take a walk in nature, write in a journal, or treat yourself to your favorite dessert. Self-care is important for all parents. When caregivers take time for themselves to continue doing their amazing work, everyone benefits.

Also, remember that every family has its ups and downs. Adoption support services can help your family enjoy the ups and survive the downs. Don’t shy away from reaching out and asking for the support you need.

During this season of giving, whether you have adopted a child, are considering adopting, or know of a family with adopted children, consider what you can do make the season brighter. If you missed your chance to Adopt a Family for Christmas this year, don’t worry! There is still time to give to our Angel Tree or Make a Donation to our end of year campaign. Will you help EFC spread the love this holiday season?

Parts of this blog article were adapted from the 2018 Prevention Resource Guide from the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Children’s Bureau. You can download this and other tip sheets by at

The Pathway to Healing: Parenting After Domestic Violence

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  Whether you have recently left an abusive relationship, are still in one, or are looking for ways to support the survivors in your life, this blog post will give you some tips to help adults build strong, positive relationships with children that protect children from the negative results of being exposed to domestic violence

Protective Factors: Concrete Support in Good Times and in Bad

As families in eastern North Carolina face cleaning up after the damage and devastation left in Hurricane Florence’s wake, it’s a good time to consider resilience. We’ve discussed 5 protective factors in the past that buffer and support children and families even during stressful times like these. It seems especially apt, given the disaster affecting our region to look closely at the fourth of these protective factors here: concrete support in good times and in bad.

We All Get By With a Little Help From Our Friends—2 Benefits of Strong Social Networks

It’s back to school time! But what does that mean? For you it might mean a bit more quiet time at home. For your kids it might mean a new school, new classroom, new teacher, and maybe even a new Wonder Woman backpack. But as we get ourselves and our kids ready for a new year, we also want to remember that back to school isn’t just about getting back to academics. It’s also about getting back to great friends, making new ones, and having other social experiences.