"The House of the Child"
The Day Centre "THE HOUSE OF THE CHILD" is a community unit providing customized clinical mental health services for therapeutic treatment and psychosocial rehabilitation of children and adolescents victims of abuse, neglect or domestic violence, as well as children or adolescents involved in cases of bullying. The Day Centre was founded by the non-profit voluntary Organisation “THE SMILE OF THE CHILD”. The Centre was created within the framework of a project implemented under the Operational Programme “Human Resources Development” of the NSRF 2007-2013 and co-financed by the Ministry of Health and the European Social Fund. From January 2016 it operates with the Organization’s own resources
“THE SMILE OF THE CHILD” was established in 1995 implementing many different constantly expanding activities in the general field of child protection. In the recent decades interest has been focused particularly on the phenomenon of child abuse and neglect given also the reorientation of the attitude of the international community towards this phenomenon. It has been shown that in abused children who feel isolated, alone or stigmatized or children who have not sufficiently developed social skills because of early abandonment or isolation, providing care from mental health specialists can deliver maximum benefits. Evidence based contemporary research has also documented that provision of appropriate and specialized mental health and psychosocial care in children victims of abuse or neglect with acute or late-onset psychopathological manifestations or behavioural disorders is extremely important for their development and their wider psychosocial wellbeing. “THE SMILE OF THE CHILD” undertaking the initiative to create the particular Day Centre expands its activities by providing comprehensive support services for children in need.
The Day Centre’s services are addressed to children and adolescents up to age of 18 who live either in residential care or in the community having a documented history of exposure to violence of any kind. Services are free of charge and are expanded to the following areas:
- Early intervention-evaluation-counselling.
- Diagnosis and treatment of the full range of child psychiatry disorders and issues of clinical attention.
- Diagnosis and treatment of specific learning deficits and provision of speech therapy, οccupational therapy and special education support when needed.
- Counselling for parents and carers of victimized children and adolescents.
- Registering and statistical analysis of psychosocial rehabilitation needs arising from the child abuse incidents.
- More general activities for raising awareness and sensitivization of the wider community in order to prevent all forms of child abuse and victimization.
The Day Centre’s personnel comprises from a psychiatrist–scientific coordinator, three child psychiatrists, three clinical psychologists, a special educator, a speech therapist, a social worker, an occupational therapist and two administrators. This interdisciplinary therapeutic team undertakes a comprehensive diagnostic evaluation and therapeutic intervention scheme to address the complex disorders and wider psychosocial needs of children - victims.