THOMASVILLE — With an eye for providing clients greater access to the support it provides, Family Services of Davidson County is now assisting Thomasville residents through an office at Thomasville Police Department.
Family Services and the Davidson County Magistrate’s Office currently have satellite offices at TPD, where clients are afforded the opportunity to visit a more accessible location rather than having to go to Lexington, where the main office is located. Tim Tilley, executive director of Family Services of Davidson County, has been with the organization since it was established 22 years ago. At that time, Youth and Family Counseling Services and Davidson County Domestic Violence merged to form the current organization.
Family Services provides counseling, crisis intervention and youth development programs for individuals and families. Victoria Hayes, case manager at Family Services, said now that the group has its office in Thomasville, a more personable experience could help residents reach out for help when they need it.
“I think it gives clients a chance to just walk in,” Hayes said. “The police department in general has been great about … encouraging clients to come and talk to us. It might be that they want to talk to us about filing a restraining order. Now that there’s a magistrate here, we can [ask], ‘Do you want to file a restraining order or file charges?’
“It’s about letting them know that they have that choice, that it doesn’t have to be a law enforcement officer involved.”
The agency’s licensed clinicians provide individual, couple, family, and group counseling services. Professionals address issues such as parent-child relationship problems, child behavior problems, child abuse and adults with a history of abuse and anxiety, depression, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and other problems associated with experiencing trauma.
Crisis Intervention Services provides a safe, temporary home, accessible 24 hours a day to individuals and families who are actively fleeing domestic and/or sexual violence, to support victims and their families throughout the legal, medical and healing process. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Tilley said he has seen the prevalence of violent behavior spike.
“Part of its power is isolation,” Tilley said of domestic violence. “Now we’ve gone through a whole 14 months of people being even more isolated. … When victims are preparing to leave a domestic violence relationship, or about a year after they’ve left, is the deadliest time.
“Being visible, being available and cutting back some of the barriers are created in a county like ours and making sure folks have access is paramount.”
Family Services is available every Wednesday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the front lobby of the Thomasville Police Department. For more information about Family Services of Davidson County, visit the organization’s website at www.fsdc.org.
Staff writer Daniel Kennedy can be reached at 336-888-3578, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.