Program Highlight: The Harold C. Simmons Child Development Center

by Emily Roberts | Aug 20, 2019

The Harold C. Simmons Child Development Center (CDC) at our Safe Campus offers a specialized curriculum for children five and under that have experienced trauma. This curriculum helps kids at the CDC heal and regain any developmental loss. The CDC provides free childcare for women in our shelter so they can go to work, look for jobs and go to counseling knowing their child is in good hands.

In recognizing the need for a person dedicated to children’s behavior at the CDC, Gennie Jones joined our team as the Behavior Intervention Specialist (BIS), helping to create positive behavioral change with kids at the CDC.

As a Behavior Intervention Specialist, Gennie’s main role is to assess every child enrolled at the CDC. She conducts a pre-assessment test on the child’s 5th day and a post-assessment test on their 30th day, if the child is still in our care. During these assessments, she evaluates communication, problem solving skills and speech to determine if there are any pressing behavioral concerns. She also works closely with the counselors to ensure children in the CDC are receiving the specific care they need.

Every kid reacts to trauma differently, but subtle behaviors cannot go unnoticed. Gennie helps educate The Family Place community—teachers, parents, and staff—about observing important behavioral signs. In identifying these destructive or abnormal behaviors, she helps others understand their importance, making sure the child has support to work on positive behavioral change.

The CDC is always busy with toddlers running around and teachers interacting with their students. Gennie is an additional resource to address behavioral concerns, so they are resolved effectively and efficiently. Her expertise helps kids in the CDC receive individualized help in overcoming their traumatic experiences.

Gennie helps mothers understand that small, abnormal behaviors at a young age need to be dealt with immediately, as there is usually something more behind the behavior.

Her most memorable experience was one mother who knew her child needed outside care due to special needs. Their insurance wouldn’t cover the cost and Gennie was able to work with the community to make sure the child received the best care.

“It is so inspiring to see moms who has been through unimaginable trauma and are working to put themselves back together continue to put her child first and make sure they are getting the care they need,” says Gennie.