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Foster Youth Services LCAP Workshop Sonja House, MSW April 22, 2014.

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Presentation on theme: "Foster Youth Services LCAP Workshop Sonja House, MSW April 22, 2014."— Presentation transcript:

1 Foster Youth Services LCAP Workshop Sonja House, MSW April 22, 2014


3 Future of Children involved in DFCS Conservative studies find one in five will become homeless after 18 At 24, only half will be employed Less than 3% will have earned a college degree 71% of women will be pregnant by 21 One in four will have experienced post-traumatic stress disorder at twice the rate of United States war veterans And too often, many are at risk of moving back into government systems -- from juvenile centers to prison


5 Those Who Age Out Each year over 4,000 foster youth emancipate in California – They lack a supportive network of adults and generally have no plan for work or housing. Within the first 2 to 4 years after aging out of the system, – 51% of these young adults are unemployed, – 40% are on public assistance, – 25% become homeless, and – 20% will be incarcerated

6 Mental Health Issues 75% of foster youth suffer from severe emotional disturbances This is often due to impermanency, neglect, prenatal drug abuse, and exposure to violence A study found that only 65% of foster children evaluated as needing mental health services were actually receiving services

7 Trauma is the most common, the most preventable and the most treatable factor affecting recipients of social services

8 Incidence and Prognosis of PTSD in Foster Care Population Incidence – Post sexual abuse64% – Post physical abuse42% – Exposure to violence18% Prognosis – 50% recover in 3 months – Type II trauma (chronic) poorest prognosis – Younger, worse prognosis

9 Traumas Effect on Behavior Hyper -vigilance Difficulty sleeping Easily startled Clinging Nightmares Disobedience Impaired social skills Anger /rage Cant self sooth or modulate emotions Depression Attention problems Impulsivity Aggression Fearful Risk taking Panic attacks Hypersensitive to touch, movement, some sounds and smells

10 Traumas Effect on Learning In the arousal (anxious) state it becomes difficult to process information, follow directions, recall information, and focus Poor problem solving, attention, and disorganized Often only hear half of the words spoken by their teachers Cognitively will generally be far behind their peers, children can often learn at three times the rate compared to when engulfed in trying to survive

11 Impact of Trauma on Learning Language and Communication Organizing narrative material Cause and Effect Taking Another's Perspective Attention Emotion Regulation Executive Functions Engaging in the Curriculum *From: Cole et al. (2005). Helping Traumatized Children Learn

12 Impact of Trauma on Behavior -Reactivity -Impulsivity -Aggression -Defiance -Withdrawal -Perfectionism -Relationships *From: Cole et al. (2005). Helping Traumatized Children Learn

13 Effects on Relationship Difficulty forming positive relationships Poor sense of self Lowered self esteem Expectation of being treated poorly Loss of secure base Loss of sense of trust

14 Trauma-Informed Care Trauma-informed care (TIC) is an approach to engaging people with histories of trauma that recognizes the presence of trauma symptoms and acknowledges the role that trauma has played in their lives. The National Center for Trauma Informed Care 2012

15 Core Principles of TIC Awareness: Everyone knows the role of trauma Safety: Ensuring physical and emotional safety Trustworthiness: Maximizing trustworthiness, making tasks clear, and maintaining appropriate boundaries Choice: Respect and prioritize the students choice and control Collaboration: Maximizing collaboration and sharing of power with consumers Empowerment: Prioritizing students empowerment and skill-building

16 Tips for Practicing TIC Recognize adaptive/maladaptive behaviors serve a purpose Why does a youth chronically miss morning classes? Is the morning the only time he/she can sleep? Make adjustments to help that youth succeed Include everyone working with the youth From receptionist to treatment staff Provide trauma training to every employee

17 How do we provide TIC? Listen – What is the survivor saying to you? – What is the survivor not saying? – How is the survivor saying it? Inform – What information do you have that may help her? – What will happen next in the process? – Why is the information important for her to have? – Are there campus services that can help?

18 How do we provide TIC? Cont. To the best of your ability and within your given time constraints: Lose the labels Let each youth tell their story Give them time and space to tell their story Let the survivor lead Respect their voice and choice Recognize the survivors comfort level Consider the survivors perspective from their cultural context

19 Quick & Easy Offer support and validation Communicate care and concern Avoid passing judgment Ask questions of the student Find out what they need to succeed Listen to what they have to say Resist interrupting Make sure your body language is receptive Offer information and assistance Refer her to an advocate (warm hand-off) Tell them you are available to help in the future

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