Los Angeles Supes Urged to Take Action on Maltreatment Prevention and Child Abuse Reporting System

Written by Jeremy Loudenback 

On Tuesday, the transition team tasked with implementing the recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Commission on Child Protection called on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to move faster toward increased child safety.

The team told supervisors to prioritize maltreatment prevention for children under the age of 5 and urged them to fund a child abuse reporting system used by law-enforcement agencies in the county….

Full Story @ http://sjs.li/1ybCVgz

Fordham to Host Child Advocacy Conference

Every year, more than 3 million children are abused or neglected in New York State alone, with many more cases going unreported.

In line with their mission to foster awareness of child abuse, neglect, maltreatment, and bullying, the Future Child Advocates of Fordham has announced their first annual child advocacy conference, “A Call to Advocacy: The Past, Present, and Future of Child Well-Being.”

The multidisciplinary academic event featuring some of the country’s foremost experts in child abuse pediatrics and maltreatment prevention will be held at Fordham University’s Keating Hall 1st Floor Auditorium on Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014 from 8:30 am – 1 pm. …

Full Story @ http://sjs.li/SZJdhh
#ChildAbuse, #Ethics, #Fordham, #FutureChildAdvocates, #SocialJustice

Molestation: Adults Should Have Asked, Children Are Not at Fault for Not Telling

By Detective Don Howell

Having worked around sexually motivated crimes for three decades, I’ve heard “I never told anyone” thousands of times. It’s frustrating beyond words to see loving, caring parents who want to raise safe children miss the on-going molestation of their kids, which is occurring right under their noses. Why do they miss it? The answer is really quite simple; they don’t know what to look for and they never asked the right questions. This lack of parental understanding is the foundation for my soon to be released book.

This book is intended to be a game changer on how America addresses the victimization of children. For decades, we have heard, “I never told anyone” when we should be hearing, “No one ever asked.”

This may sound like a simple shift in perspective, but it’s so much more. Think of the molested child or adult who has been telling themselves for decades, “I never told anyone.” The very statement implies that the child/adult is somehow at fault, for not telling. When we grow up, we tend to forget how we perceived the world as children. As adults, with fully developed brains and, therefore, thinking power, we look back, see what happened, and say, “I should have told someone” or “I should have done something different” or “I should have stopped it, somehow”. What people forget is that during the time of the molestation, they had the brain power of a child and therefore didn’t have the ability to think their way out of the situation.

Part of this thought process comes from the mantra, if someone touches you, tell someone. This sounds good, from an adult point of view, but to a child it makes little or no sense at all. Can a four year old distinguish between bath-time touching and something more sinister? How many times a day do we ask our children, “Did you brush your teeth?” or “Did you clean your room?” or “Did you hit your sister?” We have to keep asking because children, by their very nature, don’t volunteer a lot of information. I’ve never had one of my kids, or grand kids, come to me and volunteer, “I didn’t clean my room today” or “I decided not to do my homework” or “I haven’t brushed my teeth in a week”. Children just don’t work that way, yet we have routinely placed the responsibility of identifying child molest on their shoulders.

If you were molested as a child and have been carrying around the burden that you never told, does it change your thinking – take a load off your shoulders – to know that the truth is, no one ever asked?

Full Story @ http://sjs.li/PMFjqH
#ChildAbuse, #Molestation

The Shame of Incarceration: New Evidence on Sexual Victimization

The power of data to combat denial and distortion is dramatically illustrated in “The Shame of Our Prisons: New Evidence,” a review of studies carried in the October 24 2013 issue of the New York Review of Books by David Kaiser, chair of the board of Just Detention International (JDI) and Lovisa Stannow, ……

Full Story @ http://sjs.li/1i5wSQv
#ChildAbuse, #Incarceration, #MentalIllness

Georgia juvenile court judge galvanizes statewide child trauma initiatives

Douglas County (GA) Juvenile Court Judge Peggy Walker and “Dalton”

Douglas County Juvenile Court Judge Peggy Walker is an activist judge for the children of Georgia – the children she loves who do not get what they need for healthy, successful lives. She’s seen how the ……

Full Story @ http://sjs.li/1fkFa6h
#Aces, #ChildAbuse, #ChildTrauma, #ChildWelfare, #Education, #Medicaid, #Psychotherapy, #PublicHealth, #PublicPolicy, #Violence

How brains are built: the core story of brain development

In just four quick and easy minutes, this terrific animated graphic explains how adults and communities help children build healthy brains, and how that process can be derailed by toxic stress.
The Alberta Family Wellness Initiative developed the video, with assistance from the Harvard Center on the ……

Full Story @ http://read.socialjusticesolutions.org/bj
#ChildAbuse, #ChildTrauma, #Solutions

Caring Industry Demolishes Carer

Tia (not her name) is a middle-aged woman with adult children who works with a young boy in residential care, or did until recently. I first heard of her through a friend, who tells me Tia has been stood down and subsequently called to a meeting. I have no connection with Tia but, hearing of her situation, volunteer to support her at the meeting.

Two women are in the room when we enter. One is Tia’s coordinator, the other is from child protection at the Department of Human Services (DHS). Tia is asked to give her account of the events a particular day.  “What can you tell us,” she is then asked, “about someone saying that you …?”. Tia responds that these claims are untrue. “I have never hurt a child in my life,” she says. “Not my own, and certainly not this one.”

I ask about possible outcomes of the investigation and get a cautious answer about fully, partly or unsubstantiated findings. I ask how long the investigation is likely to take, and get an even more cautious answer, tagged by the comment that “I can see you are taking notes, Joan.”

Two months later, Tia is called to a second meeting. Two women are again there to meet us, both representing the employer this time, although neither was at the first meeting; one is Tia’s manager; the other is from Human Resources. The following letter is on the table:

“This is to confirm the discussion at the meeting today that Caring Family Services [the name is changed] have decided to terminate your employment during the probationary period. Consistent with our obligations under the Fair Work Act 2009 and the National Employment Standards, you will be provided one week’s pay in lieu of notice, and the termination of your employment is effective immediately.”…

Full Story @ http://read.socialjusticesolutions.org/7o
#ChildAbuse, #Employment, #SocialJustice, #WrongfulTermination

There’s no such thing as a bad kid in these six Spokane, WA, trauma-informed elementary schools

What’s a trauma-informed school? It’s a place where this happens:

There’s this third-grade kid. Let’s call him Sam. He’s got ODD (oppositional defiant disorder…a misnomer for normal behavior a child exhibits when he’s living with chronic trauma).

Nine-year-old Sam (not his real name) is very smart. But sometimes he balked, dug his heels in deep, and refused to work in class. So his teacher sent him to see the principal. Often.

The teacher and the principal knew something about his home life. At night, Sam sleeps on a couch. Dad sleeps on the other couch. The TV’s on all day, all night. When Dad’s awake, he always has a computer in his lap. Mom drifts in and out of the home. His parents have little to do with their son. They rarely touch him.

“He obviously needed hugs, and I was giving him those,” says the principal. But it wasn’t quite getting Sam out of his funk or making enough of a dent in his class behavior. “One day, I was teasing him and as he moved away, I poked him a little,” she recalls. “He laughed, and his eyes lit up. I did it again, and he laughed, and loved it.” In fact, he howled with laughter, inviting more tickles.  

Not only was Sam not getting hugs at home, the principal realized, but his parents weren’t playing with him, either.

So, now Sam knows what he needs and where to get it. Three to five days a week, he walks into the principal’s office to be tickled and hugged.

“If people looked in and didn’t know what was going on, they would say I’m torturing this kid,” says the principal, because Sam rolls on the floor and shrieks with laughter. “It’s not usually what I do with kids. But he needs touch. So, I tickle him for a while. Then he falls into my lap, gets some hugs. Then he straightens up and says: ‘I’m ready to go to class.’” …

Full Story @ http://read.socialjusticesolutions.org/78
#ChildAbuse, #ChildTrauma, #Solutions, #WashingtonState

Why I Went From Being A Top Student To An Expelled Dropout

I was expelled from school in 9th grade, and I’m currently 19 years old with no plans on ‘finishing’ my education (as if education ever ends). I say this with pride, because too often, people dismiss academic-underachievers as “lazy,” and any attempt to explain our side is labelled an excuse. I feel a need to show why it’s rarely that simple for the kids who leave school. I used to be a top student, the kind that got praised by teachers, friends, and family alike. For me to leave that behind, it had to take something special. Through the following moments, I will share how I went from a parent’s dream child, to a delinquent with a reticent family….

Full Story @ http://read.socialjusticesolutions.org/64
#ChildAbuse, #ChildTrauma

Could Child Abuse Be Causing Autism?

Written by, Courtney Kidd, LMSW, SJS Staff Writer
Childhood abuse as a predictive variable in who will have an autistic child. A study put on by JAMA Psychiatry studied 50,000 women, looking at medical records, answered questions relating to childhood abuse(physical, sexual or emotional)…