Listening place holds an open day | News, Sports, Jobs

Photo of Candice Black Julie Nutter, Program Manager at Children’s Listening Place, shows the area where the backpacks are stored for distribution to children who may have recently been removed from their homes. The listening place held an open house on Monday to invite the community to come and learn about the services it offers.

PARKERSBURG – “I want to keep the lights on for these kids.”

During the Monday morning vacation open house at Children’s Listening Place, Julie Nutter, Program Manager, shared positive stories about the organization, spoke about its importance and mentioned ways the community can get involved. .

It was the first year of the Holiday Open House and the idea was to allow people to tour the facility and learn about the programs offered.

“There are a lot of people who still do not know what a center for the defense of children is” said Nutter.

One of the state’s 21 facilities, Listening Place facilitates medical examinations if someone has been injured and has trained staff to speak with children to hear their stories.

Nutter and the staff nurse are on call 24/7 and come whenever needed.

“When they call me I look and I see which family advocate I have on call during that time, then I call that family advocate and they answer that family” she said.

The Listening Place in Parkersburg serves Wood, Wirt, Ritchie, Pleasants and Calhoun counties.

“We recently got our van to solve the transportation problem because sometimes families can’t get here as easily as others and with the van we can pick them up.” Allie Hammer, forensic interviewer, said. “We can also transport them to therapy appointments. “

By working with law enforcement, child welfare, mental health, prosecution and medical disciplines, Listening Place staff members obtain referrals and ensure their clients are supported.

For example, large families can sometimes come in the middle of the night and stay there for several hours. The Listening Place offers snacks and occasionally orders food to keep everyone as comfortable as possible. Earlier this year, Dupont employees brought a truckload of snacks to serve to customers.

“We’re still over-stocked on snacks from six months ago. DuPont himself wrote a check for $ 3,000 to buy new toys for the waiting room, that was just great ”, said Nutter.

When children are interviewed, staff are able to make them feel comfortable enough to tell their story. Nutter said that sometimes it can take a little while, but most of the time the kids end up opening up.

“It may take a while and we don’t care how long it takes. This little girl said next to nothing and when the interviewer got up and walked into this other room to sit with the team, I saw that she had taken a marker and went through the board and said started writing his disclosure. She was seven or eight (years old) ”, she said.

Forensic interviewer Candice Gabriel said children and teens give good feedback about their experience at Listening Place.

“Not long ago, I had one to say that it was the first time they talked about everything they had talked about”, she said. “Sometimes they don’t want to leave.

Nutter shared a story of a child who left a lasting impact on her and changed the way she deals with difficult situations. A girl had arrived at the center as happy as possible because she had a new home, new parents and two brothers.

“I said, what do you like most about your new home? And she took my hands and said, ‘I have a night light. I have my own night light, ‘” said Nutter.

The child’s parents had used the darkness as a punishment for her because they knew she was afraid of the dark. When she arrived with her adoptive parents and was given her own night light, she was thrilled.

“I want to keep the light on for these kids because every night she would say ‘keep the light on’. It stuck with me. It’s a dark time in their life, when they come here it’s a time. dark even if it is not literal darkness, it is a dark time ”, said Nutter.

Nutter said he bought night lights to fit into the backpacks they give to children who need to be removed from their homes.

For more information on how to organize or how to donate, visit the Children’s Listening Place, Inc. Facebook page. Nutter said they still needed paper towels, toilet paper, paper plates and disinfectant wipes.

Donations can be dropped off at the office at 200 Starr Avenue, Parkersburg, Suite 200.

Candice Black can be contacted at [email protected]

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