Chocolate Extravaganza

Dear Friends,

We need your help with our 19th Annual Chocolate Extravaganza!  Each year the Chocolate Extravaganza seeks donations of Easter Baskets. This year we will be doing a week long sales event of our baskets AT HOPE’S PLACE. Basket sales will be 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m Monday, April 3rd – Friday, April 7th. All baskets will be priced for cash and carry. The chocolate tasting event will be held on Saturday, April 8th, 2017 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

The goal of our event is to bring in as much money as possible for the children served at Hope’s Place. This year’s event is being done a little differently compared to previous years in order to recognize how much time and effort have been put into making these baskets special. If you or your organization prefer, please feel free to make a monetary donation to Hope’s Place for the amount you would have spent creating a special basket. All of the services provided by Hope’s Place are free of charge to the victim and their family.  These services include specialized medical exams, forensic interviews, mental health counseling, and advocacy services.

If you have never donated a basket, here’s a helpful list of tips and “to do’s” to guide your efforts!

  • “Themed” Baskets are the MOST FUN (and sell best!) For example, your basket could be a traditional Easter basket for a child, or it could be a “UK Basketball” theme geared towards an adult. Other themed basket ideas include; Date Night, Movie Night, Family Game Night, Cat Lover/ Dog Lover, Sports/Team enthusiasts, Gardening/Crafter, Specialty Food/Tea Baskets – just to name a few!
  • Please wrap the basket in clear cellophane and attach a list of items that are in the basket.
  • Provide an estimate of the basket’s worth, so that we can price each one appropriately.
  • Baskets should be brought to Hope’s Place the week of March 27, 2017. If you would prefer to send a financial gift in lieu of a basket, you may mail it to our address or bring it by our office. As a reminder, Hope’s Place is a non-profit organization so your donation is tax deductible.

We are looking forward to another year of Chocolate and fun!  Please join us this Easter season in providing help, hope, and healing for child victims of sexual abuse by supporting this special event.

We greatly appreciate your consideration of our request and welcome any questions you may have.  Please contact Hope’s Place at 606-325-4737 or email Erica at with any questions.


Making a Safe Space for Ducky

     “Trauma informed practice implies that we empower, support adaptive coping skills, and see individuals as capable of not just surviving, but also thriving.”

 – Dr. Cathy Malchiodi, Ph.D, LPAT, LPCC, ATR-BC, REAT

At Hope’s Place, our therapists understand the importance of “trauma-informed” practice. Trauma doesn’t only impact a child’s behavior and mood – it literally changes the brain. As trauma informed counselors, we know that trauma can shut down the language center of the brain. That means TALKING about what happened is nearly impossible and that is why we use art and play so much. Folks, young and old, who have experienced trauma, are often functioning more from the right hemisphere of the brain, so they need to be engaged “where they are”. And so we marry creative, expressive art with evidence-based therapy.

One of my favorite trauma informed activities was presented in a conference by Dr. Cathy Malchiodi, one of the leading experts in trauma informed art therapy. Taking a directive approach, the therapist provides a wide range of craft supplies such as tissue paper, chenille stems, foam sheets, stickers, feathers, Popsicle sticks, toothpicks, glue sticks, and strings. The client is given a rubber duck and a paper plate then directed to create a safe space for the ducky to live. As they create this space, you ask questions about who this duck is and why they need help creating a safe space. This exercise allows a child to project any feelings about safety and security, or the opposite, through the duck. I’ve watched some children spend 10 minutes on this project, tops, and move on to the next thing. In comparison, I’ve also seen kids spend hours fencing in their duck’s space, using jagged toothpicks and layers upon layers of “barbed” wire, never completely satisfied that the duck will remained unharmed. It doesn’t take a mental health professional to understand that these particular children could be projecting feelings of intense insecurity and impending doom based on their experienced trauma.

The duckies I’ve met have needed protection from other bully ducks, scary crocodiles, swamp monsters, Mommy and Daddy ducks, ducks on drugs, crazy uncle ducks, demons, snakes, etc. It was a profound moment when I was working with a young child who was protecting her ducky, Princess from being killed. She spent so long wrapping her duck and making a soft bed of feathers, pompoms, and tissues that I thought surely she was finished and began the process of wrapping up our session. “No, no!” she exclaimed, “I’m not done! She needs one more thing!” Imagine my astonishment when she grabbed a business card from my desk and placed it in her ducky’s home. She made her duck safe by giving it a Hope’s Place card. She equates Hope’s Place to a safe place; a place that helps protect children.

What an honor and privilege to be a part of her healing journey. Would you like to be a part of that journey too?


Mandy Leach-Justice, M.Ed., LPCC

Finding Beauty in the Broken – Clarissa’s Story — Darkness to Light Blog

Darkness to Light shares survivor stories in the hopes of highlighting the ways that survivors are healing from their abuse and helping others. Clarissa Carpenter helps survivors of child sexual abuse through her work with The Younique Foundation, an organization that provides retreats for women where they learn skills that can help them find individual healing.…

via Finding Beauty in the Broken – Clarissa’s Story — Darkness to Light Blog

Diversity Blast: Deaf and Hard of Hearing Survivors of Abuse

Hope’s Place strives to provide services to ALL victims of abuse. It is constantly important to us to have knowledge and insight about traditionally under-served populations. Every week we provide to our staff a “Diversity Blast” with information relevant to treating those typically under-served populations. This weekly training/ tip is provided in an effort to keep an on-going conversation about kids who may be referred that have special needs. Our staff is trained about various issues and encouraged to have an open-mind about conducting services in a sensitive way to treat ALL kids affected by sexual abuse. Unfortunately, our experience has taught us that children who are “different” because of race, ethnicity, physical or mental disability are those who are most at risk for being sexually abused. These kids matter to us.

Today’s DIVERSITY BLAST is dedicated to working with SURVIVORS of abuse who are also Deaf and/ or Hard of Hearing (HOH). We are still actively seeking local interpreters to contract for in person translation services, so if you know of anyone, please pass along their contact information to Hope’s Place at 606-325-4737 or via email at If you have a personal connection and can make an introduction, I would love to talk with you!

The link below is a quick Youtube video that has some GREAT tips for considering how to provide services to the Deaf and HOH population – which actually prefer to be known as a part of a culture, as opposed to being identified as having a disability. Educate yourself – this video is only 8 minutes. More resources to follow in the coming blog posts!

Serving Deaf Survivors of Domestic and Sexual Violence

Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Training


Hope’s Place Child Advocacy Center 
is hosting two FREE 
Stewards of Children Sexual Abuse Prevention Workshop

Thursday, June 16th at Hope’s Place Child Advocacy Center, 1100 Greenup Ave,  Ashland, KY 41101. 606-325-4737

Stewards of Children is the only evidence-based child sexual abuse prevention training proven effective in educating adults to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse. Training approved for PD & CEUs. Open to the Community and anyone who works with children!

Workshop Times! (You only need to attend one of these)

June 16th, 11:00 am – 1:15 pm

and one at June, 16th 6-8:15 pm

Light lunch/dinner, snacks and workbook provided free of charge!

RSVP: Mark Cole:  606-325-4737

You can also register by emailing or leaving a Facebook Message!

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Teen Topics

teen topics

At Hope’s Place we realize that teenagers face difficult issues. Teen Topics is a safe place to discuss difficult issues such as: body image, bullying, internet exploitation, drugs, alcohol, peer pressure, human trafficking, dating violence and other topics that teenagers face. Teen Topics is presented by a licensed mental health counselor and provides support, prevention education, and fun activities to help teens face these challenges. All teen girls from ages 13-18 are welcome and do not need to be a client of Hope’s Place. Contact Deana or Nikki at 606-325-4737 to register.


Our Mission


Hope’s Place is a victim-focused, children’s advocacy center that provides a safe atmosphere, lessens trauma and promotes healing by maximizing services through a multi-disciplinary team approach for child victims of sexual abuse. Hope’s Place actively seeks to reduce the occurrence of sexual abuse and heighten awareness through prevention education.

We exist to heal child victims of sexual abuse!

What is a Children’s Advocacy Center?

Hopes pLace logo sniped

A Children’s Advocacy Center typically has a multi-disciplinary team of medical and mental health personnel, child protective services, prosecutors, and law enforcement officers who work together to bring the investigation to a successful conclusion. The Center is a child-friendly place where child victims and families can receive needed services such as parent support groups, counseling, and crisis intervention. Trained personnel are available to work with families traumatized by child abuse and can also help bridge the gap between social services and the Criminal Justice System. Children’s Advocacy Centers have proven to be effective and successful in meeting needs of children and families who have experienced sexual abuse. Hope’s Place is a Children’s Advocacy Center.