Project Joy℠

in Treatment

A playful child views the world as a loving, nurturing place in which they are empowered to navigate joyfully. Play develops the ability to connect to one another, develops channels for problem solving, creative thought, and allows us to explore the world with open arms.

When a child is faced with chronic poverty, abuse, neglect, community violence, or other adverse event – their desire or willingness to play evaporates. A child who stops playing, stops growing, learning and evolving.  The good news is, research shows that even ONE trusted relationship with a skilled, loving adult can help protect children from the catastrophic, long-term effects of childhood trauma.


In 2005, Family & Children’s Aid partnered with the Life is Good™ Playmakers to begin our journey of gaining the knowledge, skills, and resources needed to deliver the powerful medicine of play to the children who need it. Today, the Family & Children's Aid Project Joy℠ movement is a guiding principle in our approach to healing children and families who have been affected by life’s tougher challenges.


Family & Children’s Aid embraces a culture of playfulness through the Project Joy℠ modality.


Staff at Family & Children’s Aid are here to support children and families who experience adverse childhood experiences through the Project Joy℠ modality.  Used in individual, family, and group sessions, Project Joy℠ helps heal the neurobiology in the brain…think of it as a brain massage.


Play helps children develop social skills and self-esteem.  It supports children with emotional regulation such as understanding feelings and verbalizing emotions.  Children can learn to control their impulses and channel their energy.   In group settings, children learn to build connections, improve communications, cooperation, team building, and compromise.


Project Joy℠ can help a child with coping skills and calm their stress response. Successful mental and behavioral health services for children works when the brain is calm and engaged in the present.  The natural medium of communication for children is play and activity - we must enter their world!