2 Reaching and teaching Children that Hurt Understanding Trauma Lisa Arieta Hayes, ED.D, MSW, LCSW
3 Future of Children involved in DFCS Conservative studies find one in five will become homeless after 18At 24, only half will be employedLess than 3% will have earned a college degree71% of women will be pregnant by 21One in four will have experienced post-traumatic stress disorder at twice the rate of United States war veteransAnd too often, many are at risk of moving back into government systems -- from juvenile centers to prison
5 Those Who Age OutEach year over 4,000 foster youth emancipate in CaliforniaThey 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, and20% will be incarcerated
6 Mental Health Issues75% of foster youth suffer from severe emotional disturbancesThis is often due to impermanency, neglect, prenatal drug abuse, and exposure to violenceA 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 Post sexual abuse 64%Post physical abuse 42%Exposure to violence 18%Prognosis50% recover in 3 monthsType II trauma (chronic) poorest prognosisYounger, worse prognosis
9 Trauma’s Effect on Behavior DepressionAttention problemsImpulsivityAggressionFearfulRisk takingPanic attacksHypersensitive to touch, movement, some sounds and smellsHyper -vigilanceDifficulty sleepingEasily startledClingingNightmaresDisobedienceImpaired social skillsAnger /rageCan’t self sooth or modulate emotions
10 Trauma’s Effect on Learning In the arousal (anxious) state it becomes difficult to process information, follow directions, recall information, and focusPoor problem solving, attention, and disorganizedOften only hear half of the words spoken by their teachersCognitively 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 CommunicationOrganizing narrative materialCause and EffectTaking Another's PerspectiveAttentionEmotion RegulationExecutive FunctionsEngaging in the Curriculum *From: Cole et al. (2005). Helping Traumatized Children LearnSo to summarize what all of this means for a child’s learning and behavior.As Holly said, when the over activation of the survival functions of the brain interfere with the development of higher level thinking skills.Language and communication skills are often delayedThe ability to organize narrative material is impacted. Putting experience into words is challenging for a child whose experiences have been overwhelming. -- building this skill is an important part of healing.Cause and Effect.?Taking another's perspective is hard for a child to learn if others have not been so good at understanding their (own the child's) perspectiveAbility to focus and pay attentionAbility to manage emotions so that they can stay focused in the classroom.Executive functioning refers to the planning, organization and goal setting capabilities that are essential to academic success.All of this impacts the child’s ability to engage in the curriculum in a meaningful way.j
12 Impact of Trauma on Behavior -Reactivity-Impulsivity-Aggression-Defiance-Withdrawal-Perfectionism-Relationships*From: Cole et al. (2005). Helping Traumatized Children LearnThe helping traumatized children learn describe the impact of trauma on behavior as:Behavior that is displayed as...
13 Effects on Relationship Difficulty forming positive relationshipsPoor sense of selfLowered self esteemExpectation of being treated poorlyLoss of secure baseLoss of sense of trust
14 Trauma-Informed CareTrauma-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 safetyTrustworthiness:Maximizing trustworthiness, making tasks clear, and maintaining appropriate boundariesChoice:Respect and prioritize the student’s choice and controlCollaboration:Maximizing collaboration and sharing of power with consumersEmpowerment:Prioritizing student’s empowerment and skill-building
16 Tips for Practicing TIC Recognize adaptive/maladaptive behaviors serve a purposeWhy does a youth chronically miss morning classes?Is the morning the only time he/she can sleep?Make adjustments to help that youth succeedInclude everyone working with the youthFrom receptionist to treatment staffProvide trauma training to every employeeLet’s now think about systems that are not trauma-informed and what they look like. These systems often have labels for individuals that are viewed as attention-seeking and manipulative. There is a culture of secrecy and the staff act as rule enforcers that encourage those seeking services to comply.LABELS that pathologize individuals as manipulative, needy or attention seekingCulture of SECRECY – No advocates, poor monitoring of staffStaff believes their job is to be a RULE ENFORCEREmphasizes COMPLIANCE rather than collaborationEnvironments that DISEMPOWER and UNDERVALUE staffHigh rate of TURNOVER and LOW MORALELOWER RATES of long-term program SUCCESS for the survivorMisuse or overuse of DISPLAYS OF POWERTIC changes the management structure of an organization from traditional hierarchical practice to one that views all employees and those seeking services at the same level and with the same authority and decision making authority in the trauma treatment process. TI practices empower survivors, are neutral, objective and incorporate supportive language, understand the role of trauma in people’s lives, facilitate healing, and respect a survivor’s voice and choice in the process.
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?InformWhat 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?Look past verbal disclosure. Watch for body, non verbal ques.Get comfortable asking tough questions about reproductive coercion, STIs, birth control sabotage
18 How do we provide TIC? Cont. To the best of your ability and within your given time constraints:Lose the labelsLet each youth tell their storyGive them time and space to tell their storyLet the survivor leadRespect their voice and choiceRecognize the survivor’s comfort levelConsider the survivor’s perspective from their cultural context
19 Quick & Easy Offer support and validation Communicate care and concern Avoid passing judgmentAsk questions of the studentFind out what they need to succeedListen to what they have to sayResist interruptingMake sure your body language is receptiveOffer information and assistanceRefer her to an advocate (warm hand-off)Tell them you are available to help in the future
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