Blog

U.S. Senator Heitkamp spreads the word about trauma to Senate colleagues and urges advocates to do more

At a March 8 breakfast meeting in Washington, D.C., the featured speakers—U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota (left) and Judith Sandalow, Executive Director of the DC Children’s Law Center (CLC)—used the vivid image of children growing up with “black mold climbing the walls,” referring to unsafe physical and emotional environments at home and in communities, exacerbated by poverty but not limited to poor households. Heitkamp described how the science now explains what we already...

Beyond Mom: Postpartum depression can impact a partner’s well-being, too [WashingtonPost.com]

Like any expecting couple, Brett Pipitone and his wife, Laura, knew that having a child would upend their daily routine. But no research or planning prepared them for their biggest challenge: postpartum depression. “It was an incredibly stressful situation,” Brett said. After giving birth to their daughter in 2014, Laura found herself “wanting to disappear” and completely disengaged from her surroundings. She’d call Brett at work in tears, and he’d rush home to help. He wound up taking much...

Ex-Foster Youth Turned Lawmaker Prioritizes Spending for Foster Care Reform [JJIE.org]

In a community center decked with streamers and balloons, Georgia state Rep. Erica Thomas urged a small crowd of teenagers to the center of the room for a rap contest last Friday. “Somebody might get discovered tonight! I may have a record deal for you!” she joked, opening her arms wide in welcome amid the clamor of a communal birthday party for teenagers and young adults who are dealing with homelessness, abuse and neglect, or other troubles. They inched their way to Thomas, then grew more...

Free public film screening of Paper Tigers March 30 [News.IllinoisState.edu]

In an effort to ignite conversation and create awareness about traumatized youth, Illinois State University’s College of Education and Illinois Education Association Affiliates will host a film screening of Paper Tigers, from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, March 30, in Braden Auditorium of the Bone Student Center. The event is free and open to the public, and the film will be followed by an expert panel discussion. Online registration is preferred, but not required. Participants need to register by...

What Children’s Brains Tell Us About Trauma: Invest Early [ChronicleOfSocialChange.org]

This column was adapted from oral remarks given by the author, Wendy Smith, an associate dean at the University of Southern California’s School of Social Work, during a Congressional roundtable sponsored by the National Foster Youth Institute and the Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth in February. Advocates, professionals, legislators, families, caregivers and all those who interact with the child welfare system grapple with the question of when and how resources should be invested at...

Aging Out, Stepping Up [JJIE.org]

James Milan entered foster care at age 4. “My childhood wasn’t the greatest,” he says wryly. “I was trying to figure out why my mother didn’t want me, why my father wasn’t there.” In and out of foster care homes and group homes, he found the Claremont Neighborhood Center in the Bronx, N.Y., — and now works as a senior counselor there with kids ages 5 through 13. [For more go to http://jjie.org/170747-2/170747/]

Solitary Reform Shows Power of Brain Science to Change Policy [JJIE.org]

Citing research and data on the negative impacts of solitary confinement on the human mind and spirit, President Obama has banned the use of solitary confinement in federal prisons for juveniles. The hope is that for now, this policy will serve as a model for state correctional systems to adopt as well. Sen. Cory Booker, D-New Jersey, is also working to prohibit widespread juvenile solitary confinement. Booker teamed with Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, to introduce the Record Expungement...

Africa's Children Need Help Coping With a Myriad of Stresses, Not Just HIV [AllAfrica.com]

HIV has exacted a terrible toll on many children in sub-Saharan Africa. Of more than 17.8 million children who have lost one or both parents to HIV globally, 15 million live in Africa. Another three million are infected with HIV. And each year very large numbers are made vulnerable when parents or family members become sick and are unable to work. The global health community has made significant progress over the past 15 years to understand how to keep HIV-positive children alive and prevent...

What’s the Solution to Middle-Class Stagnation? [TheAtlantic.com]

A&Q is a special series that inverts the classic Q&A , taking some of the most frequently posed solutions to pressing matters of policy and exploring their complexity. One of the underlying themes of the tumultuous presidential election is that middle-class Americans feel like they’re stuck in a rut. Indeed, U.S. workers’ share of national income has been shrinking since the late 1990s (meaning that more of it than ever is going to the top 1 percent), and average annual income growth...

What Can the U.S. Do to Improve Police Accountability? [TheAtlantic.com]

A&Q is a special series that inverts the classic Q&A , taking some of the most frequently posed solutions to pressing matters of policy and exploring their complexity. There’s nearly bipartisan consensus these days that something has gone wrong in the relationship between police and the public in the United States. Shootings of unarmed people, videos of excessive force, and massive protests from coast to coast attest to the problem. But recognizing the problem is different from...

Wisconsin: Past the Tipping Point

In Wisconsin, ACEs awareness has entered the governor’s mansion. One day this fall, Governor Scott Walker stopped by to chat with a group that works with First Lady Tonette Walker on Fostering Futures, her initiative to boost child and family well-being through trauma-informed culture, policies and practices. Elizabeth Hudson, Director of the state’s Office of Children’s Mental Health (OCMH), listened as the governor told of a visit to the Veterans’ Administration (VA). When he asked how the...

Grant Announcements and Technical Assistance Webinars: Communities Addressing Childhood Trauma (ACT) & Re-Entry Community Linkages (RE-LINK) Program

Hello all, I wanted to raise your awareness of these two great funding opportunities. I believe there a a few groups here that might be perfect ... Communities Addressing Childhood Trauma (ACT) Estimated Funding Level: $3,000,000 per budget period Expected Number of Awards : 7-9 Range of Awards : $325,000 to $400,000 per budget period Anticipated Start Date : 07/01/2016 Period of Performance : Not to exceed five years Budget Period Length: 12 months Application Deadline: April 18, 2016 by 5...

It Is Possible to Heal Our Caged Children [JJIE.org]

They’re labeled thugs, treated like throwaways and classified by some as “superpredators”: teenage boys and girls who seek sanctuary in gangs, commit violent crimes and end up in the criminal justice system. Not only are they physically locked up, but these children are caged in emotional turmoil. Childhood friends, teachers, school counselors, social workers, lawyers and judges are all baffled as to why these kids would choose a lifestyle where they risk getting shot and killed. Analyzing...

Team approach is vital to mental-health care [MRT.com]

People who have been diagnosed with a chronic, serious mental illness often do not fully understand the importance of health care maintenance. Health care maintenance in the mental health field means finding a psychiatrist and a therapist who are qualified to meet the individual’s needs. Many times, other mental health (social workers, caseworkers, etc.) and medical health workers (general practitioners, specialists, etc.) need to be involved as well. Over time, people who accept the need...

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