Tampa: Voices for Children: Courthouse Dog Project - Saturday in June, TBA

Sponsoring Club: 
Yale Club of Tampa Bay
When: 
Saturday in June, TBA
Where: 
Hillsborough County Courthouse Annex See map
401 North Jefferson Street
Tampa, FL 33602
Description: 
Voices for Children of Tampa Bay, Inc. (VFC) supports abused, neglected, and abandoned children in our community while the judicial system searches for a safe and healthy permanent home for them. One of VFC’s programs is called the Courthouse Facility Dog program, which involves inviting Tibet (the Courthouse Dog) to provide emotional support for traumatized children who are facing the dependency court system during stressful and difficult proceedings.  Here is a link to a “dogumentary” that describes the program: https://vfcgal.org/courthousedog/
 
Our project involves renovation of an interview room in the court annex building where Tibet (the Courthouse Facility Dog) is brought to sit with abused kids who are being interviewed by lawyers.  Tibet and the children currently have to go into an “adult” room with law books, big-people chairs, and other decorations that are not kid-friendly.  Although Tibet makes it easier for children to respond to questions and communicate about what has happened to them, the current environment works against children being able to relax and feel comfortable. The vision for the project is to create a setting where the children can sit on a small couch with Tibet by their side, and be surrounded by an environment that is soothing, comfortable, and conducive to good communication.
 
This project will involve clearing out the existing room, painting the walls, and decorating the room to create a tranquil, pleasant, and kid-friendly environment for the children to sit with Tibet as they recount their difficult experiences in their families.
Site Coordinator: 
Anne Philpott Eason ‘86