The Children's Waiting Room, operated by Vanessa Behan, is a free drop-in childcare program available for anyone attending to business on the Spokane County Courthouse campus. Children between the ages of birth and twelve are welcome on a first-come, first-served basis.
Parents or guardians attending to court business involving domestic/intimate partner violence, are encouraged to call ahead to reserve space as there is a limited number of children that can be served at one time.
The goal of the Children's Waiting Room program is to shelter children from witnessing sometimes upsetting courtroom events and reducing trauma exposure. As well, to increase victims likelihood of seeking remedies to ensure safety for parents and their children. Objectives related to this goal include:
Creating community awareness about the program and services available
Providing safe, nurturing, non-violent environment to hundreds of children each year whose parents are attending to court matters
Providing fun and educational activities that encourage children to forget about their anxiety and fear
Providing one-on-one care for anxious children by volunteers and staff
The majority of funding for this program is provided through Spokane County and generous jury members.