It’s complicated: Parenting a child with complex trauma as a kinship caregiver

by Kate Murray • Many children in kinship care have experienced complex trauma. The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) defines complex trauma as children’s exposure to multiple traumatic events (such as physical and sexual abuse) from a young age. These traumatic events often occur within their caregiving relationship and have long-term effects on a child’s behavior and development. When

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Compassionate Schools
A trauma-informed initiative

by John McMahon • Trauma is a common experience for American children. According to one study, by age 16, two-thirds of children in the U.S. have experienced a traumatic event (Copeland, et al., 2007). This is a challenge for schools, because trauma and traumatic stress reactions can disrupt learning not only for the child who experiences the event, but also

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Together in the trenches
Reflections from an Adoptive Father

by Bob DeMarco When children have experienced trauma, we sometimes need to parent them differently. This can make all the difference for our kids, but it can also lead us to isolate ourselves from those who can support us. Whether our motivation is to protect, teach, or prevent, often our go-to solution includes limiting social interaction in some way. Left

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When a Parent is Incarcerated: A Primer for Social Workers and Foster Parents
by Melissa Radcliff

“I guess some caseworkers assume your mom is a bad person when they hear she’s incarcerated. But they should keep an open mind and remember that every child has only one mother, one father. The ones we’re given are special to us, even if we can’t live with them, even if they’re not perfect.” –Youth speaker with Foster Change for

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Caring for Children with Nonsuicidal, Self-Injurious Behavior
by Jeanne Preisler

Someone close to me used to intentionally cut himself when he was younger. He wasn’t trying to kill himself. He wasn’t trying to harm himself at all. On the contrary, he cut himself because it helped him cope in really difficult situations. This is often referred to with terms such as “nonsuicidal self-injury” or “self-harm” or “self-mutilation.” Youth who use

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