Social workers, law enforcement officers and other children’s advocates gathered Wednesday for the first day of the West Virginia Children’s Justice “Handle With Care” Conference to learn more about child trauma, intervention and ways to help children become successful.
In a state that leads the nation for opioid overdose deaths and babies born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome, West Virginia children are often witnesses to and victims of trauma.
The West Virginia Defending Childhood Initiative, also known as “Handle With Care,” said studies have shown prolonged exposure to violence and trauma can undermine a child’s ability to focus, behave appropriately and learn, which often leads to school failure, truancy, suspension or involvement in the juvenile justice system.
Many speakers at the conference said the most powerful solution is the most simple — having someone who cares.
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