The ABC House
“Victory over victimhood.”
That’s the philosophy that drives the staff of the ABC House in Albany, which provides assessment, advocacy and counseling services for children who have suffered abuse. This motto is particularly important to Greg Warburton, director of counseling services, and Christine Rhea, coordinator of advocacy services (pictured here). Together, the two provide services to 500 children served by ABC each year.
“When a child first comes through our doors, our priority is to make sure they feel comfortable and safe, and to do a full assessment to determine what resources they need,” Rhea says. “After we figure that out, we then work to connect them with all of those different resources.”
Almost always, counseling is one of the primary resources made available to children and families as they begin healing from the experience of abuse. That’s where Warburton comes in, typically focusing on the strengths and capabilities of each client and challenging them to move past the trauma they’ve experienced and get on with growing up.
“I always directly involve family members in the counseling meetings,” Warburton says. “We see real results . . . young people healing. We see children and their family members making decisions that will change their lives for the better -- for the rest of their lives.”
Increasing services and support for children is one of six community health priorities supported by Samaritan Health Services through its annual Social Accountability Grants. This year, Samaritan awarded grants totaling $244,690 to local non-profits such as the ABC House as part of an overall community health investmentof more than $110 million.