REBUILDING CONNECTION BETWEEN CHILDREN AND PARENTS WHO USED VIOLENCE
In the aftermath of family violence, it takes a great deal of work to ensure a child’s safety and...
Domestic Violence, social services and other child-serving programs are each essential parts of a community’s service network for children and families. Given the prevalence and effects of experiencing domestic violence on children, families and program staff, organizations and systems must recognize the impact of trauma on children and youth entering their programs in addition to the needs of adult survivors. In order to adequately support healing and resiliency within families involved in these programs (and staff), and to break the intergenerational cycle of violence, programs should adopt trauma-informed approaches, philosophies, policies, and advocacy.
According to the National Child Traumatic Stress Network – Trauma-informed care occurs when all parties involved recognize and respond to the impact of traumatic stress on those who have contact with an organization, including children, caregivers, and service providers. Trauma-informed organizations infuse and sustain trauma awareness, knowledge, and skills into their organizational cultures, practices, and policies. Collaborating with all those who are involved with the child and using the best available science will maximize physical and psychological safety, facilitate the recovery of the child and family, and promote and support staff well-being. Organizations that serve children and families have an opportunity and an obligation to identify those experiencing trauma and help them receive appropriate care as early as possible, to prevent potential negative outcomes and promote children’s ability to thrive. Trauma-informed care also requires that organizations support their staff by preventing and addressing the impact of secondary trauma.
A service system with a trauma-informed perspective is one in which programs, agencies, and service providers:
Routinely screen for trauma exposure and related symptoms
Use evidence-based, culturally responsive assessment and treatment for traumatic stress and associated mental health symptoms
Make resources available to children, families, and providers on trauma exposure, its impact, and treatment
Engage in efforts to strengthen the resilience and protective factors of children and families impacted by and vulnerable to trauma
Address parent and caregiver trauma and its impact on the family system
Emphasize continuity of care and collaboration across child-service systems
Maintain an environment of care for staff that addresses, minimizes, and treats secondary traumatic stress, and that increases staff resilience
These activities are rooted in an understanding that trauma-informed agencies, programs, and service providers:
Build meaningful partnerships that create mutuality among children, families, caregivers, and professionals at an individual and organizational level.
Address the intersections of trauma with culture, history, race, gender, location, and language, acknowledge the compounding impact of structural inequity, and are responsive to the unique needs of diverse communities.
For more information – visit: https://www.nctsn.org/