By Sheila McCoy, Morrison County Record, February 2, 2020
Children who are placed in foster care or are adopted often carry trauma and other mental health issues with them. It is a natural response to their experiences.
While many receive counseling and other mental health services, there are several ways the community can help the children to build resiliency to their adverse childhood experiences. Examples of adverse childhood experiences are emotional, physical and sexual abuse, witnessing domestic violence, physical and emotional neglect, incarceration of a parent, substance abuse, homelessness and more.
Morrison County Social Services Supervisor Melanie Erickson said the Social Services and the Child Protection team work together to help decrease the impact childhood experiences can have on children. A lot of their focus is on early prevention, discovering buffers and what can be done for each child. Left without, the child’s ability to bounce back in the face of adversity decreases and leaves them with a greater risk of developing poor coping mechanisms that can result in lifelong chronic illnesses, such as depression, heart disease, obesity and substance abuse, Erickson said.