Referrals to CWVP come from a variety of sources, including the police, health and mental health providers, Head Start and other early childhood programs, schools, attorneys, domestic violence shelters, court-sponsored victim programs and families themselves. CWVP specializes in working with very young children who have been exposed to significantly-difficult events. This includes, but is not limited to, exposure to domestic violence, exposure to community violence, the experience of immigration-related trauma, and the experience of significant disruptions in the child’s relationship(s) with primary caregiver(s).

Referral criteria include:

  • The child must be 8 years old or younger
  • The child must have witnessed or been affected by an act of significant violence
  • If the child’s primary reason for referral does not meet the criteria for our program, we will help to refer the child to other programs.

Referral process:

  • Initial Phone Screening. This is a brief yet thorough phone discussion with a member of the CWVP team. The phone screening is completed with the parent/caregiver as well as with any referring providers. This screening helps to ensure that clinical services are a good fit for the child and family. It also provides an opportunity for a CWVP staff member to provide an overview of therapy services.
  • Intake Clinic. This in-person meeting is an opportunity for members of our clinical team to meet with families interested in services. Usually caregivers attend this appointment independently (without their child/children). Depending on the child's age and the family's needs, the child and caregiver may meet together with a clinician or they may meet separately. During the intake clinic, the therapist will gather more information about the family and their needs while their child/children play with toys provided in the playroom. The CWVP clinical team, with input from the child’s caregiver, then make a determination about moving forward with therapy. 
  • Therapy. Therapeutic services are initiated when the caregiver and the clinical team feel it is appropriate to move forward with services. Services are tailored to best suit the individual needs of each family. Caregivers work closely with their assigned clinician to develop goals to guide the course of treatment.

The services Child Witness to Violence Project are supported by the Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance through a Victims of Crime Act of 1984 (VOCA) grant from the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Due to this generous support all services are free. No health insurance necessary. 

For general information about our services or to make a referral, please call 617.414.7425. If you need information in Spanish or to make a referral for a Spanish-speaking family, please call 617.414.4522.