Hannah’s House opened its doors in late 2001 in response to new legislation which gave judges more latitude to order supervised visitation in cases where there were possible risks to the children involved due to domestic violence, child abuse or neglect. The Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex had already seen first-hand a number of tragic cases where children suffered, and at times died, during contentious custody battles. Hannah’s House began with a clear commitment to providing prevention services, but the need is staggering. In Dallas County alone there are approximately 22,000 new divorce cases per year with an estimated 1,300 of those cases involving families with spousal abuse, child abuse, or both. From the site:
Hannah’s House provides a safe location for children to have contact with parents and other relatives they might not otherwise be able to maintain a relationship with due to custody litigation or other difficult family transitions. We also provide a neutral location where parents can pick up and drop off children without having to interact directly with each other. Our goal in providing these services is to eliminate as much of the emotional hardship that children frequently have to endure as a result of custody litigation as possible, while helping them maintain safe contact with their parents and other significant relatives.
While there may be many allegations made between parents in custody litigation, Hannah’s House strives to provide a neutral, non-judgmental, and respectful environment for the parents who use our services. We do provide referral services for issues related to domestic violence, substance abuse, and other difficulties which might impair a parent’s relationship with their children, however our focus is on ensuring that children can have safe and positive contact with their parents rather than rehashing the issues which are already being addressed by the Family Courts. Although Hannah’s House does charge fees for services, we are a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that would not be able to continue its work with children without the generous donations of time and money from our Hannah’s Helpers.