Trauma Support Services

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Trauma support

YWCA Spokane’s child and youth trauma support services are about supporting the healing and thriving in kids who have experienced complex trauma.

Each year, through outreach, group activities, and one-on-one support, over 400 children who have witnessed or experienced violence in their home, received the support and assistance needed to help them understand that family violence is not normal or accepted.

Support for children 18 years old or younger includes one-on-one interaction as well as family counseling. Education and support groups are provided for the parent and/or guardian to assist with the family units movement through trauma.

Call Jose at 509-789-9309 for more information or email


We know that many children that live in homes with domestic violence are aware of the violence. Trauma is a result of something that happens (a “hard thing”) that is too intense, scary or threatening to be managed or coped with.

We all learn how to cope with things. Here’s an analogy: the first time you ever missed a bus might cause panic, frustration, fear, or self-doubt. But after getting older and missing a few more, you learned you would be okay and that it wasn’t all that bad. You learned skills to cope with a particular fear or threat: calling into work late, rerouting, waiting for the next one, bringing a book.

Without the tools to deal with trauma, the children who are exposed to hard things repeatedly may deal with it in another way. Symptoms are varied, and can include:

  • Change in eating habits, stomach aches, headaches, anxiety
  • Aggression
  • Defiance
  • Trouble concentrating, short attention span
  • Delays or regression in development

The good news is that kids are resilient. Especially yours! A good relationship with a caring adult helps tremendously. Many “symptoms” of trauma begin to fade once the stress is relieved. In fact, the best thing for a child experiencing complex trauma is immediately ending exposure to the trauma.

The most critical protective factor against the negative effects of child exposure to violence is a relationship with a competent and caring adult. (The Future Of Children, 9.3, 1999)