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.
We know that if you’re visiting your children in foster care only by video or phone because of the pandemic, you are suffering. We hope this tip sheet and resources on coping with virtual visits, self-advocating and taking care of yourself can help you stay strong during this tough time. You will make it. You can get through this and get your children home. —WITH LOVE FROM THE RISE TEAM
Resources from Rise
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