Presentation on theme: "Jean West MSW LCSW CTC-S"— Presentation transcript:
1 Trauma-Informed Services for Homeless Students: How our Community is Reaching out and Changing Lives Jean West MSW LCSW CTC-SSchool Social Worker Saint Joseph School District Missouri
2 Divorce may be more traumatizing than suicide or incarceration. Any experience that leaves a person feeling hopeless, helpless, fearing for their life/survival, their safety.Important to remember – it is a person’s perception, their experience not ours that makes something traumatic.Divorce may be more traumatizing than suicide or incarceration.
3 What Can Lead to TraumaWhat experiences could someone go through that could possibly be traumatizing?
4 Experiences which can cause trauma Physical and/or sexual abuseDomestic violenceLiving with substance abusing parentsWitnessing parental homicideHomelessnessBurns/other serious accidentsCar fatalitiesDivorceNatural disasters
5 The Themes of Trauma Safety/Lack of safety Worry Hurt Fear Anger/RevengeVictim ThinkingLoss of Future Orientation/Helplessness/Hopelessness
6 Trauma…Trauma means being “stuck” in the experience, unable to successfully face the emotional pain, cope with it, and go on with normal life
7 Trauma is…What has happened to you?NOT what is wrong with you!
9 Traumas Effect on Behavior HypervigilanceDifficulty sleepingEasily startledClingingNightmaresDisobedienceImpaired social skillsAnger /rageCan’t self sooth or modulate emotionsDepressionAttention problemsImpulsivityAggressionFearfulRisk takingPanic attacksHypersensitive to touch, movement, some sounds and smells
11 Traumas Effect on Learning In the arousal (anxious) state it becomes difficult to process information, follow directions, recall information, and focusPhysician’s officePoor problem solving, attention, 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
13 How would you describe the taste of Apple Pie ?
14 Trauma-Informed CareTrauma-informed care 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 Becoming Trauma Informed cont… Becoming trauma-informed is a process that involves striving towards a new way of understanding people and providing services and supports. This process involves a gradual integration of trauma concepts and trauma sensitive responses into daily practice.
16 Becoming Trauma Informed Understanding Trauma and Its Impact: Understanding traumatic stress and how it impacts people and recognizing that many behaviors and responses that maybe seem ineffective and unhealthy in the present, represent adaptive responses to past traumatic experiences.
18 Trauma and Homelessness “Trauma- physical, sexual, and emotional –is both a cause and a consequence of homelessness.” HCH 1999
19 Impact of Homelessness on Children Every day, homeless children are confronted with stressful, often traumatic events.74% of homeless children worry they will have no place to live.58% worry they will have no place to sleep.87% worry that something bad will happen to their family. (Impact on education, trauma) National Center on Family Homelessness 1999
20 Mental HealthThe constant barrage of stressful and traumatic experiences has profound effects on the cognitive and emotional development of homeless children.Homeless babies are four times more likely to show delayed development then non-homeless babies.Homeless children between 6 and 17 years struggle with very high rates of mental health problems. The National Center on Family Homelessness 2010
21 TeensHomeless youth exhibit psychiatric disorders at a rate six times greater than the general youth population, with between 66 and 89 percent of homeless youth having symptoms of one or more disorders. Whitbeck, 2009
22 Subgroups even more at risk Within the homeless youth population there are certain sub-groups who are the most at risk for developing a mental illness.Gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, and transgender youth appear to have the most pervasive mental health problems.Youth who have been in state careYouth who have histories of abuse. Whitbeck, 2009
23 The Emotional ImpactMore then one-fifth of homeless preschoolers have emotional problems serious enough to require professional care, but less then one-third receive any treatment.Homeless children have twice the rate of learning disabilities and three times the rate of emotional and behavioral problems as nonhomeless children.Half of school-age homeless children experience anxiety, depression, or withdrawal compared to 18% of nonhomeless children.By the time homeless children are eight years old, one in three has a major mental disorder. NCTSN 2005
25 ViolenceThe frequency of violence in the lives of homeless mothers is staggering.63% have been violently abused by an intimate male partner.27% have required medical treatment because of violence by an intimate male partner.25% have been physically or sexually assaulted during adulthood by someone other than an intimate partner.66% were violently abused by a childhood caretaker or other adult in the household before reaching 18.43% were sexually molested as children. NCTSN 2005
26 Trauma and Homelessness Cont… Homelessness results in a loss of community, routines, possessions, privacy, and security.According to The National Traumatic Stress Network, more than 90% of sheltered and low-income mothers have experienced physical and sexual assault over their lifespan.The experience of homelessness puts families in situations where they are at greater risk of additional traumatic experiences such as assault, witnessing violence, or abrupt separation.The stresses associated with homelessness can exacerbate other trauma-related difficulties and interfere with recovery due to ongoing traumatic reminders and challenges. NCTSN 2005
27 Trauma and Homelessness Cont… Trauma is THE predominant mental health issue for homeless mothers.Research confirms that the strongest predictor of emotional and behavioral problems in poor and homeless children is their mother’s level of emotional distress. HCH 2003 (resiliency research with TLC)Emotional help is needed for both the parents and their children in order to be most effective.
38 Importance in Assessment Process Programs serving families who are experiencing homelessness have an opportunity to address children’s needs and connect them to appropriate services. To meet children’s needs, questions about their exposure to trauma must be included in the intake assessment.
40 McKinney-VentoTLCCOHSJSDCouns/SWProgramsShelter TrainingsStaffMentoringOn-goingTrainingSITCAP WorkgroupCommunity AgenciesParentTrainingsSITCAPGroupsIndividual work
41 ResourcesCowan, Beryl Ann, "Trauma exposure and behavioral outcomes in sheltered homeless children: The moderating role of perceived social support" (2007). Psychology Dissertations. Paper 39.HCH Health Care for the homeless Clinician’s network. Trauma and Homelessness.(1999) Vol.3, No.3HCH Health Care for the homeless clinician’s network. Homelessness and family trauma: The Case for early intervention. (2003) Vol. 7, No. 2NCTIC The National Center for Trauma Informed CareNCTSN The National Child Traumatic Stress Network. Facts on Trauma and homeless children. (2005)Les Whitbeck, Mental Health and Emerging Adulthood Among Homeless Young People (New York: Psychology Press, 2009) 54, 75.The National Center on Family Homelessness 1999