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Four Ways Artists Can Help Heal Communities [RWJF.org]

Our Louisville, Kentucky , neighborhood of Smoketown sits across the street from the largest concentration of health care services in our state. Yet people here live 9 years less than the typical Louisville resident. Poverty, racism, unemployment and other social determinants of health have created this gap between residents of Smoketown and those from more affluent parts of the city. An artist’s creativity has helped make that disparity concrete. Andrew Cozzens ’ Smoketown Life Line Project...

Claiming Sanctuary: Inside the Schools Now Actively Resisting President Trump’s Immigration Crackdown [The74Million.org]

The girl had already burst into tears when the bold, yellow letters on the man’s jacket came into focus: “Police.” Rómulo Avelica-González had just dropped off his 12-year-old daughter, Yuleni, at a Los Angeles charter school — as he did every morning — and was heading next to the school of his 13-year-old daughter, Fatima. That’s when U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents surrounded the undocumented Mexican immigrant’s Dodge Durango. Avelica-González, a 48-year-old father of four...

The Devastating, Long-Term Toll Violence Takes On Chicago Kids [Chicagoist.com]

Like a steady drip, the tally of shootings in Chicago ticks up by the day. As it does, the raw data regularly makes its way to the national media stage—and, at times, even as a mention in the president’s tweets. But the figures alone barely begin to tell the story of the long-term trauma that kids suffer when exposed to such violence. Health experts are more and more coming to terms with the psychological and physical toll that exposure to violence takes on children—and that toll is quite...

How One Small Town Is Turning a Corner on a Big Homeless Crisis [PSMag.com]

On the night of January 26th, volunteers and officials in cities all over the United States fanned out to count the number of homeless people living on the street or in shelters, vehicles, or encampments. This survey, along with an annual count of just those housed in shelters, is mandated by the Department of Housing and Urban Development as a way to provide a snapshot of the U.S.’s homeless population. In California, which accounts for one-fifth of the country’s total homeless population...

Prosecutors Speak on Juvenile Justice Reform [AECF.org]

The Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF) has released a report that suggests possible common ground for collaboration between prosecutors and others working to reform juvenile justice policy and practice. New Prosecutorial Perspectives: A Framework for Effective Juvenile Justice summarizes interviews with prosecutors who “have advocated for or advanced innovative practices in juvenile prosecution.” While the Foundation does not endorse this report, we believe it suggests possible common...

Evidence-based therapies can ameliorate behavior problems in maltreated children [AAPPublications.org]

A father brings his 10-year-old to your office because the boy is having a hard time paying attention at school, gets in fights with classmates and is oppositional with his teacher. As you take the psychosocial history, it’s important to ask whether the child has been exposed to any abuse, neglect, abandonment or other traumas, according to the updated AAP clinical report Clinical Considerations Related to the Behavioral Manifestations of Child Maltreatment. [For more of this story, written...

Become a Connection Magnet!

I often mention in my blog posts how we had to disconnect from our body when we were children in order to survive the abuse we endured. This is how our nervous system protected us. It knew the abuse was too much for our tender young mind, spirit, and soul to handle. However, when you grow up, this coping skill turns toxic and works against you. To fix that, you must learn how to reconnect with your body. Why? Because you can’t connect with others in a meaningful way until you connect with...

Parents Don't Always Head to Child's Doctor When Illness Strikes [Consumer.HealthDay.com]

Many American parents don't count on getting a same-day appointment with their child's doctor and turn to other health care options when their kids are suddenly sick, a new survey finds. More than 2,000 parents of youngsters up to age 18 were surveyed in the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health. The parents were asked about trying to make a health provider appointment or to get health advice if their child woke up with a sore throat and fever. Forty-two percent of...

Let’s Celebrate Our Success and Work Toward Much-Needed Progress [JJIE.org]

Our success has been unquestionable. There has been a steep decline in youth incarceration in America and there has even been some progress moving juvenile justice systems away from being punitive and deficit-based and toward positive youth development. Much credit is due to youth justice reform advocates. According to the U.S. Department of Justice’s annual count of juvenile facility populations, there has been a 40 percent reduction in youth incarceration in the U.S. in the past 10 years.

Webinar Tuesday: Learn how to use the Pair of ACEs Communications Tool

BCR Coalition Building and Communications Webinar Tuesday at 1pm (Eastern). Register at go.gwu.edu/BCRwebinar The Building Community Resilience (BCR) initiative aims to promote community resilience through cross-sector partnerships and integrated networks that will address, prevent and reduce the effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and Adverse Community Environments (ACEs) on children’s health and well-being (The “Pair of ACEs”). The BCR Pair of ACEs tree image grew out of our...

The Value of Fun and the Delicate Dance

The structure of the program was strict; necessary for kids with no boundaries; and when I entered the workshop space, there was a feeling of tension in the room similar to prisons and rehab centers where boundary issues are often violated. I could see all the kids were wary of me being brought in ‘for their own good” and they were guarded to say the least.

I Couldn't Accept I Was Struggling With Trauma Because I Didn't Know What It Was (www.themighty.com) & Commentary

Another great share I saw posted over at The Trauma Project today. It's easy to forget that before we become informed and educated about ACEs as trauma, many of us have had no idea that we called childhood was traumatic. It's another reason clinical language can sometimes be distancing. We might know our lives were a little rough, chaotic or whatever, but it's often a shock to learn that life, including life filled with ACEs, has been traumatic or that we might be struggling with traumatic...

Wisconsin First Lady Tonette Walker shares her knowledge and passion about trauma-informed programs on Capitol Hill and at HHS

Wisconsin First Lady Tonette Walker (Center), Naomi Goldstein (R), and Elizabeth Hudson (L) ________________________________________________ Note from Gail Kennedy, ACEs Connection Network and CA Department of Health Care Services. Please read this report about the leadership from Wisconsin to promote Trauma-informed policy and practice and a presentation to HHS last month. One significant highlight from the presentation, in my opinion, is the need for more " partnering—state to state, city...

Trump’s Childcare Plan Will Only Help the Rich [TheNation.com]

President Trump portrays himself as an expert at marketing designer ties and gourmet steaks, but now, as chief executive of federal social policy, his new childcare plan might be a tougher sell. The promise he has made of universal childcare, accompanied by a marketing campaign led by his glamorous career-woman daughter Ivanka, sounded family-friendly enough on the campaign trail. But to childcare advocates, the vague talking points he laid out in his first speech to Congress last month...

Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Continues to Fail: How Many Kids Must Die Before We Change? [PsychCentral.com]

As I write this article I am disgusted, feel responsible and I am ashamed to be a part of an industry that continues to flourish in spite of continued failure. I reflect on 20 years of being around the drug and alcohol rehabilitation industry and I am appalled how little we do to change an industry that 1) Lives on repeat business; 2) Denies a 95% failure rate; and 3) Takes credit for the 5% success rate but blames the addict for the 95% failure rate. [For more of this story, written by...

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