COEUR d’ALENE — A new building on the grounds of Children's Village will help the nonprofit expand its efforts to help families and kids while increasing security and services.
"It started as a dream," Mark Goodwin, Children’s Village Foundation president, said Wednesday during a groundbreaking event. "For the Children's Village, this is going to assist in providing the needed counseling and education for the kids and the family members."
Work officially began to prepare for construction on the 1,700-square-foot counseling and education center a couple weeks ago. The building is expected to be complete by winter.
The project is a part of a five-year strategic plan to enhance the level of therapeutic care provided to Children's Village children. It will also serve their biological, adoptive or foster families and will facilitate a new revenue stream through the billing of insurance for authorized therapeutic services.
"It's going to add a lot of great things to the Children's Village," said Children's Village gift officer Tabitha Wiltse.
The counseling and education center will provide a space on the grounds for individual and family therapy, early intervention assessments, support services, guardian education/training and transitional aftercare support.
Project benefits include reducing the impact of childhood trauma, building resiliency in children, minimizing system gaps and increasing security.
A monitored security gate and fencing for a secure perimeter on the campus will also be added.
"It's huge safety for our staff and for our kids to have that as part of the education and counseling center," Wiltse said. "It's going to be the welcoming center. People will go there first. They'll never go in the homes again without a full background check."
Wiltse said the $200,000 facility is being funded by grants, private donors and local businesses and companies.
Children's Village, located at 1350 W. Hanley Ave. in Coeur d'Alene, is hosting an open house Tuesday from 3 to 5 p.m. for anyone who would like to tour one of the Children's Village homes and learn about the new education and counseling center.