The mission of EOA Children’s House is “Stopping Child Abuse. Saving Lives.” We accomplish this mission by providing a safe, secure place for children to overcome the devastating effects of abuse and neglect, regardless of social or economic background. EOA Children’s House is a friendly, home-like environment, providing assessment, early childhood development services, education services and therapy, at no cost and in one location, sparing the child from going to multiple sites in order to provide for their educational, developmental, psychological and social needs. Of equal importance, families and caregivers also learn skills to strengthen their ability to nurture, raise, and educate their children. Economic Opportunity Agency, Inc. (www.eoawc.org) created EOA Children’s House in 1978 and serves as the parent company to the center.
EOA Children’s House is a year-round therapeutic child development and crisis intervention center that serves children from 6 weeks through five years of age who have suffered from physical, sexual and emotional abuse and life threatening neglect. All the children at EOA Children’s House either have open court cases through the Juvenile Circuit Courts and/or are referred to from the Family Division of Arkansas Department of Health and Human Services.
There is no other program in the state of Arkansas that offers this array of services to abused and neglected children. The facility which houses EOA Children’s House, The Pat Walker Center for Children, is the largest, long-term early childhood abuse treatment and prevention center in the United States of America.
The services provided at EOA Children’s House are ongoing and long-term in nature. It is not uncommon for a child to come to EOA Children’s House at 18 months and continue to receive services until they enter kindergarten, 3 ½ years later. Services range from psychological, physical, speech and occupational therapies, to early childhood development and education services. EOA Children’s House creates a customized development curriculum and therapeutic treatment plan that addresses each abuse victim’s specific needs. The children’s treatment plans are updated and revised on a monthly basis as they make progress towards full recovery.
Transportation services, owned and operated by EOA Children’s House, insures consistent treatment for children enrolled in the program.
The approach used at EOA Children’s House provides a permanent solution to breaking the terrible cycle of child abuse in Northwest Arkansas, because successful treatment for these children means they will be able to enter the public school system, have a real chance to get an education, and grow up to become productive members of society.
The premise behind this approach, which is supported by the research and findings of many child psychologists, is that intensive, long-term treatment can repair much of the psychological, developmental and physical brain damage caused by abuse, if it is provided during the first years of a child’s life.
EOA Children’s House provides a whole-child and whole-family approach to breaking the cycle of child abuse.
The staff works with the parents/caregivers of the children to ensure the lessons, therapy and treatment provided at EOA Children’s House is reinforced at home. EOA Children’s House also assists with the coordination of available community resources, provides crisis intervention and case management in order to maximize the effectiveness of the services the family needs and to minimize confusion for families who are overwhelmed by the complex network of available service agencies. The overall goal is to provide support and services to ensure no child enrolled at EOA Children’s House has to continue to live in an abusive environment. The center is open Monday through Friday, 7:45am to 5:15pm throughout the year.
This is a brief summary of what EOA Children’s House offers, at no cost, to abused children in Northwest Arkansas every year:
- Each child received 1,500 hours of education and early childhood development therapy.
- A 1:4 teacher-child ratio.
- 690 nourishing meals-Safe transportation to or from the center an average of 460 times.
- The Children’s House Bus traveled more than 25,000 miles to bring children to the center this year.
Children enrolled at Children’s House also received the following services this past year:
- More than 2,800 hours of Counseling and Emotional therapy.
- More than 1,100 hours of Occupational therapy.
- More than 700 hours of Speech therapy.
- More than 400 hours of Physical therapy.