We help build resilience in children who have experienced unstable housing and domestic violence. With age-appropriate programming for infants through teenagers, our comprehensive youth services reduce the impact of trauma, provide opportunities for healing and growth, and enrich the lives of children and families that we serve. In addition, we have GUTS!, a community-based leadership program for girls and gender-diverse youth.
Children’s Programs at The Meadowlark
For children residing at The Meadowlark, the Youth Services Program provides social-emotional support, academic support, and therapeutic services to promote healing from trauma and building a path to a successful future; in addition they can take advantage of the program’s opportunities to develop leadership skills.
- Daily group activities create a safe environment to nurture self-expression and resilience building, identification and naming of emotions, self-regulation, and a stronger sense of self-worth.
- Weekly groups designed for children of all ages who have witnessed or experienced domestic violence. Groups include therapeutic play and other age-appropriate activities, all offered in a safe and supportive environment.
- After-school programming for elementary and middle school youth includes academics, physical activity and healthy nutrition.
- Enriching child supervision is available for infants and toddlers.
Children’s Support Groups
Weekly support groups are offered for children in the community, birth to age 18, and coordinated in time schedule with support groups for adult survivors of domestic violence. The children’s curriculum includes therapeutic art activities and play, education about domestic violence, safety planning, and healthy conflict management. Support groups can increase self-esteem, teach safe and healthy ways to express feelings, and give children the tools to form healthy relationships. YWCA support groups for children and youth are based at the YWCA Program Center, one wing of The Meadowlark.
To learn more or register for children’s support groups, please call (406) 543-6691.
GUTS! is a community-based leadership and empowerment program for girls and gender-diverse 4th to 8th graders. GUTS! encourages young people to explore personal values and discover their strengths through summer adventures, as well as through after-school groups and service projects during the academic year. To learn more about becoming a GUTS adult volunteer email GUTS or complete the GUTS volunteer application.
Offered during the school year, weekly action groups give participants the chance to learn and practice leadership skills in their homes, schools and communities. These groups discuss topics ranging from healthy relationships and body image to long-term goals and values. Groups develop and complete an action project each school year, providing them with the opportunity to utilize their individual skills to produce real results in their lives.
Spring 2023 groups begin in February. Groups for 4th-5th grade girls and gender-diverse youth will be offered at several elementary schools in Missoula.
GUTS! is also offering a group for middle schoolers (6th-8th graders) on site at The Meadowlark. Learn more and register here!
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Summer Outdoor Adventures
GUTS! Summer Outdoor Adventures are week-long camps that include biking, rafting, rock climbing, fly fishing, and more! They are designed to help participants develop healthy relationships with themselves, their bodies, and their peers.