Child Witness to Violence Project


  • Overview of Organization and Services:
    The Child Witness to Violence Project (CWVP) is a therapeutic, advocacy, and outreach project that focuses on the growing number of young children who are hidden victims of domestic and community violence and other trauma-related events. It is run under the auspices of the Department of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics at Boston Medical Center.

    CWVP is staffed by a multi-cultural staff of social workers, psychologists, early childhood specialists, a consulting pediatrician and consulting attorney. It is run under the auspices of the Department of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics at Boston Medical Center.

    To identify young children who witness acts of significant violence.
    To help young children heal from the trauma of witnessing violence by providing developmentally appropriate counseling for them and for their families.
    To provide consultation and training to the network of caregivers in the lives of young children in order that they may more effectively identify and respond to children who are exposed to violence.

    We are not first responders. However, if a traumatic incident occurs in the community and you are concerned about the effects on children, we are available to speak to community groups and schools in the Boston area regarding specific incidents.

    Developmentally sensitive, trauma-focused therapy for the child and parent*
    Parent guidance, family therapy as needed
    Advocacy/intervention to stabilize the environment of the child
    Case-related consultation to schools, and early care and development centers
    Clinical consultation to clinicians and/or agencies working with young children affected by trauma
    Training to professional and parents on a variety of topics related to early childhood trauma, domestic and community violence and intervention
  • Additional Info:
    Referrals to the Child Witness to Violence Project 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.

    Referral Criteria include:
    The child must be 8 years old or younger
    The child must have witnessed 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.
    No health insurance necessary. Services are free.

    ​To make a referral for an English speaking family, please call (617) 414-7425.
    To make a referral for a Spanish speaking family, please call (617) 414-4522.
    We will return your call within two (2) business days. All voicemail messages are confidential.


  • Demographics Served:
    Children: 12 and under, Families
  • City/Towns Served:
    Amesbury, Newbury (incl. Byfield), Newburyport, Rowley, Salisbury, West Newbury
  • Types of Services Provided:
    Behavioral Health, Child Protection, Domestic Violence, Parent and Family Support