The Family Advocacy Clinics (FAC) in Midlothian will celebrate their 10th Anniversary this month. The celebration is well-deserved, but isn’t likely to keep the Clinic from their work helping families for long. Established by nurse psychotherapist Dr. Hilda Woodby in 1998, FAC’s dedication to guiding families and individuals to safer and healthier lives has earned them recognition by the Commonwealth of Virginia and Governor Kaine. Serving Richmond, Chesterfield, and Henrico Counties, FAC is one of very few clinics nationwide that provides individual counseling to each person affected by an abusive family situation; the abused, children who witness violence, even the person identified as the batterer.
Rare Resource: “It is a unique model because this is all based on my research,” Dr. Woodby says. “I was interviewing women who were pregnant. A lot of them were depressed, as well as having generalized anxiety disorder and post traumatic stress disorder. We got to talking about how that would impact on the child, but none of them were interested in leaving the partner. With traditional treatment, all we were telling people was to get out and stay out. Yet here was this sizable population that didn’t fit the treatment model, so they weren’t getting service. So what we did was develop our own model and put it together.”
Then and Now: FAC began in Sep. 1998 with two offices and three pieces of donated furniture. “We had a desk and two cane-bottomed chairs,” Dr. Woodby says. “I still have contact with those clients. That’s one of the rewarding things about this. In a sense, I become an extension of the family,” Today, FAC serves forty families.
Honors Received: Richmond City Council District Service Award, 2008; 2008 Governor’s Volunteerism and Community Service Award
Lend a Hand: The average annual income of a family of four who seeks FAC’s services is $15,000. School supplies are particularly needed at this time. Volunteers are often needed for special events. Or send your tax-deductible donations to Family Advocacy Clinics, 5717 Midlothian Turnpike, Richmond 23225
On the Web: www.FamilyAdvocacyClinics.org