Emma’s Story
Four year old Emma came to Valley Cities as a secondary victim of domestic violence. She was living with her mom and two siblings and her mother spent much of her time dealing with the legal, safety, and physical consequences of the domestic violence perpetrated on her.  Emma’s mother was doing an amazing job of taking care of her kids but she was spread pretty thin.

In therapy, Emma would gravitate to a puppy and three baby dolls. She would change the dolls diapers, dress them, and wrap each of them in blankets for nap time.  While they “slept” she would return to tending the sick puppy.  She did this for almost an entire year.

We later learned that Emma lost her puppy after her father gave it away. It seemed clear that Emma was taking care of her siblings and the dog because no one else was. By the time she ended her sessions, she was no longer playing with the babies and the puppy, she had moved on to a doll house and set up her new room.

Children & Families

Child & Family Services at Valley Cities help to build stronger communities by supporting children of all ages, including infants and toddlers, as well as their families with services that holistically address emotional and behavioral challenges, trauma, and basic needs. Services include individual therapy, family therapy, groups for children, youth, and parents, and peer support for parents. The Family Support Program in Federal Way provides teen groups, after school and summer activities, and parenting classes.

We partner with children and their families, and other important people in their lives, to: help them grow and succeed; meet basic needs in all areas of their lives; and work toward wellness and build resilience. We help children and their families build their own networks of support and how to talk and work with others. They learn to use skills and tools for daily living based on their own strengths. We listen and help them find their own voice and learn how to get the help they need. Building resiliency is about feeling a sense of hope, purpose and value.

Groups and Classes

Most of our groups are offered to Valley Cities clients only, however we do offer some groups that are open to the community. If you are currently receiving services at Valley Cities, please speak to your clinician for a referral.