The Child Witness Centre provides support, education and advocacy for children and youth who are or may become victims or witnesses of abuse or crime. In 2020 Child Witness Centre got a golden retriever dog named Monet to work with their clients. While ideally Monet could be present with every client, this is just not possible, especially during the pandemic. To help solve this problem and to continue to enhance the mental health supports, clients were given a transitional object, which in a way acts like a ‘security blanket’. The objects are small plushie mini-Monet. Having mini-Monets available helps enhance the clients’ sense of security, assists in defending against anxiety, facilitates a sense of autonomy, assist clients in between appointments, and assists in the transition from court to everyday life.
The children and youth which CWC works with often struggle with feeling safe and secure. This feeling of safety and security is also one of the reasons that Monet was brought into the team. Having a dog present helps to facilitate feelings of safety and security and care. Mini-Monets are provided in the hope that when the young person is feeling unsafe and anxious, having a tangible object will trigger memories of the safety and security they felt when meeting with the real Monet. The success of Monet and mini-Monet’s for the clients reduction in anxiety and stress has been tremendous. It helps enhance their sense of security, assists in defending against anxiety, facilitates a sense of autonomy, assist clients in between appointments, and assists in the transition from court to everyday life.
Images provided by Child Witness Centre.