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Birth Parents with Trauma Histories and the Child Welfare System

March 7, 2012 Comments off

Birth Parents with Trauma Histories and the Child Welfare System: A Guide for Judges and Attorneys (PDF)
Source: National Child Traumatic Stress Network

Judges and attorneys who work in the child welfare system are well aware that many of the children in the system have experienced trauma; less well rcognized is that the birth parents of these children often have their own histories of childhood and adult trauma. For example, research indicates that 30-60% of maltreated children have caretakers who have experienced domestic violence themselves. Past or present experiences of trauma can affect a parent’s confidence and ability to keep children safe, work effectively with child welfare staff, and respond to the requirements of the courts. Fortunately, trauma-informed services are increasingly available for both parents and children who need them. Trauma-informed services include mental health services offered by trained professionals that address specific reactions to traumatic events. By recognizing the potential impact of trauma on parenting, judges and attorneys can more easily connect parents with those services.

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