There’s a lot that’s indisputable about childhood trauma. Emotional or physical abuse early in life impacts health outcomes as children grow up. Community- and family-based approaches to dealing with trauma are better than institutional settings. And children of color are more likely to face traumatizing childhood experiences.
Those events can include something as common as divorce, but also encompass circumstances such as having an incarcerated parent, living with someone with a substance abuse disorder or being exposed to domestic violence. Traumatized children, experts know, are not only more likely to develop mental health problems but also to suffer from physical health challenges such as diabetes or heart disease later in life.
But despite what experts know, there’s still a lot they don’t, and in the past year or so there’s been a groundswell in the research and advocacy communities to understand more about what causes trauma in childhood and what are effective ways to address it. “The science is clear, but what we don’t know is how to apply it at the policy and practice level,” says Jennifer Jones, director of child and family systems innovation at the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities.
[For more on this story by MATTIE QUINN, go to http://www.governing.com/topic...uma-foster-care.html]