The Cape Gazette
April 4th, 2016
Being placed in a residential treatment center is not a normal experience. For the youth of Seaford House, the opportunity to be normal is a tremendous gift. So Tuesday, March 29,the buzz in the building was tangible, as the kids knew something special was arriving just for them.
Caitlin McAndrews from McAndrews Law Offices arrived to donate two multi-use game tables, enhancing the after-school and recreation opportunities for the residents of Seaford House. Seaford House Program Manager Shannon Baker and Children & Families First Development Coordinator Laura Rimmer welcomed her.
“Recreation and play are vital parts of growing up,” said Baker. “Games allow a reinforcement of life skills, such as sportsmanship, team building, rules and the development of cognitive skills. But most of all, they are fun and every child deserves fun.”
Seaford House is a residential and day treatment facility for youth between the ages of 12 to 17 years with diagnosed mental health issues. These are Delaware’s most vulnerable youth, who have been placed in the program to help them heal from past trauma, develop life skills and move forward with success.
McAndrews Law Offices is the nation’s largest special education law practice, providing free legal counsel for students who say they have not received a free and appropriate public education, but their mission runs deeper than drafting documents and offering advice. The firm’s founder, Dennis McAndrews, has built the practice around the concept that, “We serve families, and in the process, we have the capacity to improve their lives. We are fortunate and blessed to be given this opportunity every day.”
This unique partnership between McAndrews Law Offices and Children & Families First speaks volumes about how agencies, groups and businesses can come together in creative ways to fulfill what they have already defined as their commitment to impact and improve lives. While presenting the game tables, McAndrews noted, “The work that Children and Families First does here at Seaford House is invaluable, and we are grateful for this opportunity to help them in their efforts. These kids deserve an opportunity amongst the intense work they are doing socially, emotionally and academically to have a chance to be what they are…kids. Today’s event aligns wonderfully with our ultimate goal as a firm, which is to serve children and their families. Our thanks go to Children and Families First for putting this event together and for serving this population!”
Rimmer referred to a statement from clinical paper, Therapy for Survivors of Childhood Abuse by P.Stice, where the researcher identifies that effective treatment must center on helping the victim with the task of re-empowerment, re-connection and release of self-blame.
“We already know that the youth at Seaford House have been forced to deal with issues that would confuse and confound an adult. Their childhoods are not what one thinks of when you hear the term,” said Rimmer, “We firmly believe that our youth deserve to have joy in their lives and I am so grateful to McAndrews Law Offices for recognizing that these game tables will bring opportunities to channel and redirect difficult emotions through healthy, age appropriate outlets. They have brought us the priceless gift of childhood joy.”
For over 30 years, McAndrews Law Offices have provided exceptional legal representation to individuals with disabilities and their families. Children & Families First helps children facing adversity on their journey to adulthood. With locations in Wilmington, Hockessin, Dover, Georgetown and Seaford, their child-centered and family-focused services are delivered where they are needed most: in homes, schools, agency locations, and other communities.