Journey to a Trauma Informed Life reaffirms our position against abuse of children, specifically childhood sexual abuse, molestation, grooming, or any activity bringing harm to a child in this (or any other) manner. Abuse of children in any form is damaging; however sexual abuse is a deeply personal trauma that, if left untreated, leaves survivors with a lifetime impact. Journey was founded on – and continues to dedicate its entire existence to helping people heal from trauma. We are unwavering in this purpose, particularly when it comes to trauma endured by the most vulnerable. This affirmation answers 4 questions we have recently needed to address:
- 1. What is your position on those who have committed acts of child sexual abuse?
- 2. Do you treat sex offenders or child abusers?
- 3. What measures are taken at Journey to assure safety of all clients, and in particular protection of children?
- 4. What are the circumstances around Miranda’s employment at Journey?
Question 1: What is your position on those who have committed acts of child sexual abuse?
Answer 1: Journey to a Trauma Informed Life did not, does not, nor will we ever tolerate child molestation or child sexual abuse (or any other form of abuse or neglect) in any manner. Journey did not, does not, or will we ever employ anyone who believes child molestation, sexual abuse, or assault should not be reported and prosecuted swiftly.
Question 2: Do you treat sex offenders or child abusers?
Answer 2: We did not, do not, nor do we plan to offer special treatment to those who have abused children, or have committed sexual offenses including child molestation. We do not have training in this specific area of treatment, and it would be irresponsible for us to provide it. We refer people with this issue to professionals equipped to treat these individuals by people with very specific training to do so. Journey respects the privacy of our clients within the limits of the law. However, we are obligated by law to (and are committed to) break confidentiality in all cases of suspected/reported child (and vulnerable adult) abuse and neglect, a client having intent/plans of suicide, or intent/plans to physically harm someone else as indicated in the NASW Code of Ethics and Mandated Reporter Laws. We know this is the best way to maintain safety for all in our community.
Question 3: What measures are taken at Journey to assure safety of all clients, and in particular protection of children?
Answer 3: All staff of Journey have FBI Fingerprint History Clearance, PA Police Clearances (Act 151), and Child Abuse History Clearance (Act 33), are trained in mandated reporting, and have taken measures to assure the safety and wellbeing of anyone, but especially children, who are here.
Our office is equipped with video surveillance, motion detectors and an up-to-date security system. People enter through the front door and need to be ‘buzzed-in’ to the office area. Once in the main office space, they may sit in our designated waiting area. Their therapist will greet them and escort them to their session and escort them out of the building afterward.
We do not allow weapons on the premises. If anyone other than law enforcement brings a weapon, they are required to leave it securely locked in our front office until they leave.
Your child will be with you at all times unless they are with their therapist, or you permit them to leave your presence. When in session, you can sit immediately outside the door, or if you would like, there is a small area with a one-way mirror where you may observe your child’s session. Additionally, a ‘nanny cam’ can be set up if your child’s therapist is not using the play therapy room for that session. Please be sure to ask for this at check in so we have time to set it up.
Question 4: What are the circumstances around Miranda’s employment at Journey?
Answer 4: Miranda was hired in July 2022 as a part-time clinician to assist with building our services for those in need of relationship counseling and sex therapy. She was still in the onboarding process and her interaction with clients was minimal. She was not hired to work with children or to work with those who have committed sexual offenses, child sexual abuse (or abuse or neglect of any kind). She has FBI, Child Abuse, and PA Police Clearances. She is trained in mandated reporting. She does not believe that child abuse should be tolerated or accepted or made legal in any way. Miranda did not ask Journey to screen the educational video she made from her own private space (not within Journey’s walls) and posted on her own website on July 24, 2022. Miranda was removed from Journey’s employ on August 14, 2022, once Journey became aware of the video post and took proper steps to terminate employment.
Journey to a Trauma Informed Life affirms our purpose of helping people heal from trauma. Our diverse staff is highly skilled and experienced in trauma-informed care and trauma-focused treatment. We look forward to continuing with our mission to remove barriers to quality, trauma-informed treatment far into the future. We are proud to be located in the heart of downtown Erie. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
William J. Koehler, PhD, LCSW
Owner, Journey to a Trauma Informed Life, LLC