This report by Tricia Stephens, LCSW-R, Ph.D. is intended to provide family court officers and child welfare professionals who engage with child welfare involved (CWI) parents, introductory knowledge on the trauma-informed approach. Readers will be introduced to the importance of using the trauma-informed approach in their work with CWI parents, with a focus on the impact that language has on the way in which CWI parents are depicted and responded to in the courtroom. Definitions of key terms are provided first, followed by an overview of the trauma-informed approach and its application to working with CWI parents. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, this report has been updated to include recommendations for trauma-informed practices that best support families during a period of collective/shared trauma. Then the section titled, “What parents want you to know”, provides direct input from parents on their experiences, needs and perspectives. Finally, a composite vignette which compares traditional language to trauma-informed language is presented.
Posts Tagged: coronavirus
I’m writing as a parent that has been impacted by the coronavirus shutdown and lives in public housing with limited resources. I had a child welfare case, but it is closed and my kids are home with me now.
The coronavirus is impacting me and my family — I’m struggling financially, our housing is impacted, and I’m scared to go outside.
The children get home schooling and some activities are fun, some are boring. It’s very hard for my son to get teletherapy (therapy over FaceTime). He wants to go back to school and he is bored.
Still, I try to make sure my kids have good moments, like baking cupcakes in the house. We have had fun playing with Play-Doh and making new things out of it, such as caterpillars and butterflies.
Everything is not perfect but I do my best every day to do what I need to do.
My son Aaron has a ton of energy, and if he doesn’t have a way to release it, we are both not happy. Since the weather is absolutely beautiful, we go out at least once a day. We try to go as much as possible to the track field for exercise.
We are also being creative with building magna tiles and doing art projects.
Luckily, Aaron and I have a support system in place. We have family and friends. We get a delivery of food every two days from a food program and our good friend is always having her husband drop off food for us. We are so lucky that we have these people to love and care about us so much.
Aaron’s teacher said it would be a good idea to end each day by rating our mood and discussing why we feel that way. We do this when he is getting ready for bed. He tells me if he had a good day or a bad day, rating it from 1-10. If he had a bad day, we try to see how we can fix it the next day.
As long as we take all precautions, haven’t gone anywhere, check our temps every day and have no symptoms, why can’t I go see my son at placement? My sister is fostering him and wants me there. All of us want me there. We have all been super cautious because my brother-in-law is high risk. Still, the worker said no, and if we visited anyway, they would come take him to a stranger’s house. Then my son would be exposed to unknown people and would be more likely to get sick than if I was there with a mask. So I stay home. It’s ridiculous. It’s not to protect my son, it’s to protect their control over me and my family.
Adapted from the Brain Architects Podcast with Jack Shonkoff, Harvard Center on the Developing Child
Adults are really
struggling with the pressures and tensions of this time. When we’re feeling
significant stress, anxiety, unease and even depression about what’s going on,
you don’t have as much energy to be on your best game at all times.
For everyone, feeling some sense of safety and control brings
your stress system back down. And
none of us are capable of
feeling safe and secure … Read More