Children’s Place sets sights on future home, celebrates 50 years of youth guidance

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Thursday, Nov 29, 2018
News 12 First at Five

Aiken County, SC (WRDW/WAGT) -- The holidays hit close to home for children dealing with traumatic situations. The Children’s Place has a mission to help kids with trauma, disorders and mental illness.

Amber Winfield knew her son was different from an early age when she signed him up for T-Ball.

"Being on a team full of four-year-olds he was the only one who was acting out."

Her family is in a good place right now, but when her son was younger, both she and her husband found themselves without a job.

"Noticing tiny different things that separated him from other three or four-year-olds."

She admits she was overwhelmed.

"He was diagnosed with ADHD and ADD."

She decided to sign her son up for therapy at the Children's Place and says it was the best decision she's ever made.

"Any problem that my child has...they help me get to the root of it,” said Peggy Ford, Executive Director.

She says during these months what they do resonates with her even more.

"They could come to us because they themselves have experienced violence."

Their mission is to help children with behavioral issues and trauma.

"I've now been here long enough that big kids come back."

She says mental health research has helped them immensely in recent years. It's estimated that 60% of children today have at least one traumatic childhood experience.

"The research has followed us so now the research is coming to us. This means that early childhood mental health is now becoming a major focus."

And the half-century mark has them ready for their next adventure in their new home coming soon.

Amber's son turns five on Christmas Eve and has been in the program a little more than a year.