Elementary School Based Counselling

The Elementary School-Based Counselling Program provides individual counselling for children junior kindergarten to grade eight who have witnessed woman abuse. This service is provided in both public and separate schools in Haldimand & Norfolk.

Referrals must come from the custodial parent or guardian or the parent with whom the child is living with if custody has not been legally established. The counsellor meets with the with the child on a weekly basis to discuss issues related to witnessing abuse and to practice safety planning. Priority is given to the needs of the child and the goal of counselling identified by the parent/guardian. The counsellor will periodically meet with the parent to discuss progress.



"Daddy, stop! Please don't hit mommy! Stop it, please stop!"
- "Jonathan", age 5

A preschool child often cannot describe the abusive episodes to you in great detail. As adults we need to look for other clues from very young children. These may be:

  • physical complaints, such as stomachaches or headaches
  • excessive separation anxiety
  • bedwetting
  • tendency to whine or cling, showing anxiety
  • sleep disturbances (insomnia, heightened fear of the dark, resisting bedtime)
  • failure to thrive
  • withdrawal
  • lack of trust/ability to relate appropriately to adults
  • fear of a particular person or gender
  • self-destructive behaviours/aggression
  • predominant theme of power and control in interactions
  • being overly helpful or eager to please
  • fear or rejection of non-threatening touch