Catholic Charities: Ending the Cycle of Neglect

In Spokane County, domestic violence issues are the most common call to authorities in Spokane. This data was found in a research report conducted by Women Helping Women Fund (WHWF), published in Spring 2019. This report also found that one in five youth have reported being physically abused by an adult, a rate which rises when focusing in on children living with food insecurity. 

Abused and neglected children often have a difficult time creating trusting relationships, feeling adequate, and regulating their emotions. Their childhood circumstances can negatively impact these children for the rest of their lives. Sometimes, these experiences create a cycle of neglect/abuse when these children have children of their own.

Luckily, Catholic Charities of Eastern Washington (CC) has programs in place in order to aid families in changing the cycle of neglect and abuse. WHWF was lucky enough to partner with Childbirth and Parenting Assistance (CAPA) to assist in teaching parents how to create safe and communicative homes in order to teach children how they deserve to be treated. The main goal of this program is to stop the cycle of neglect and create better, safer communities for families.

According to the CC website, “CAPA offers stabilizing and advocacy services to expecting and parenting individuals and families with children ages 5 and under.” With four main sections that work under the same mission, CAPA has found much success in its work. The Cycles of Security Parenting (COS-P) course works as a catalyst in breaking the cycles of abuse and neglect within vulnerable families. Led by trained facilitators, Circle of Security assists parents in identifying their own unhealthy patterns and triggers before they pass them on to their children.

“Everything goes back to your childhood, it made you who you are,” said one parent enrolled in the COS-P group. By teaching parents how to create a loving and warm home environment, these parents are setting their children up to create those types of environments throughout life.

“You’re making a little tiny human, and you’re creating a blueprint for that person. You are making them who they are going to be,” continued this parent.

Before gaining the grant from WHWF, COS-P was serving 30 parents. Since receiving this aid, more than 100 parents and 125 children have received services from the organization in the past two years..

“It’s a ripple effect, it’s generational,” stated Lisa Green, CAPA Program Director. CAPA also offers additional courses as well, focusing on fatherhood, family companionship, individual and family counseling, as well as much more!

For more information about Catholic Charities of Eastern Washington programs, please visit

Molly Gianarelli

Molly Gianarelli

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