Deirdre's House gives children who have been robbed of their innocent childhoods another chance at a happy childhood. The crimes of physical, sexual and emotional abuse can leave lasting scars. Deirdre's House is a child friendly place where children can feel safe and secure from further abuse The interior rooms are decorated in age appropriate themes where a child sits in a comfortable setting and is interviewed by only one person. The interview is recorded by hidden cameras which means that the child only needs to tell their story once to one person. The videos of the interviews are often used as evidence in court during the trial of the accused. Children receive forensic examinations from specially trained physicians in a room attractively decorated without looking clinical. Please consider Deirdre's House, a Morris County treasure, when considering financial donations or philanthropic ventures.
I think of Deirdre's House as delivering on the mission, and operating with head, heart, and hands working together to provide much needed care for child victims in the community. Our executive director, Maria Savettierre, and her team serve as the head - operating with the kids in mind, and working in a pragmatic, efficient, and effective way to ensure that no stone is left unturned when it comes to funding opportunities to activate the heart - and working to never have to turn a child in need away. And the many hands - the volunteers that are touched by the story of Deirdre's House provide great support and are readily activated to commit time, funds, and talents - to paint a room, collect donations for back to school, work the gala, or simply listen and provide good counsel and a solutions orientation. I feel fortunate to be involved in this great organization.
The agency regularly seeks to improve/expand the services they provide to children and families. They are solution focused and collaborate well with the larger community. They leverage dollars wherever they can to maintain their current level of programming but it is a constant battle in today's economy. I see families' lives changed for the better through the services this agency offers. They seek to educate the general public about the issues they face and do a good job of drawing experts in the field to support this.
Deirdre’s House is a welcoming, nurturing place for children who have been recent victims of abuse and/or neglect. Instead of being retraumatized by a visit to an emergency room or a police station, the child is welcomed into a homelike setting, where (s)he can be examined in a child-centered examination room, and can be interviewed by a “plain clothes” police officer in a room full of age appropriate toys and furniture, while recording devices and other intimidating electronic equipment are behind closed doors in another room. And since most abuse victims require extensive counseling to heal, Deirdre’s House provides that too. In fact, as other area counseling centers have recently closed, Deirdre’s House is becoming the counseling center of last resort, sometimes the only option for a severely abused child from a family of limited means. Deirdre’s House also provides camp experiences and after school experiences, to help abused and neglected children find enjoyable pastimes and passions in safe, supervised environments. Deirdre’s House is a godsend to Morris County’s (and nearby areas) child abuse victims, and particularly to those from low-income families. Other centers have closed their doors. If Deirdre’s House were ever to do that, it would strike a severe blow for the hundreds of victims it serves.
Seen as a leader in the community for the work they do. Provides a much needed servicefor children in families in crisis. I woukd love to see them have the fundings and staff available to establish long term counseling services for children and families.
Deirdre's House provides more services for the dollar than any other non-profit organization to which I contribute or on whose board I have served. Maria Savettiere, Deirdre's House Executive Director, seems to have thrown the word "No" out of her vocabulary: she and her staff are tireless in trying to give every child and his family the help they need - - when they need it. It's not easy to hear that child abuse continues to occur routinely - - but at least Deirdre's House is there to help these kids heal and get their lives back on track.