Massachusetts, Washington State lead U.S. trauma-sensitive school movement

Washington State determined that 13 out of every 30 students in a classroom will have toxic stress from 3 or more traumatic experiences. Those children are likely to be more “unruly”, more “unmotivated” or more absent than the others. Source: Washington State Family Policy Council.


TRAUMA-SENSITIVE SCHOOLS. TRAUMA-INFORMED classrooms. Compassionate schools. Safe and supportive schools. All different names to describe a movement that’s taking shape and gaining momentum across the country.

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Roundup: ACEs in kids predict child abuse when they’re parents; big demand for dating-violence prevention info in MI county; how some abusive men use DV laws to their advantage

Chronic child abuse and/or neglect (CAN) suffered by children leads to increased risk in all categories above. In cases of violent delinquency, brain injury, and further child abuse by parents who were abused as children, there’s a slight decline for the highest category compared with middle categories. But in all cases having reports was associated with higher rates of problems.


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Toxic stress from childhood trauma causes obesity, too

HBO’s four-part series, “The Weight of the Nation”, says a lack of exercise, genetics, an overabundance of sugar and food marketing cause 78 million Americans to be obese and morbidly obese. But HBO missed something significant — the link between obesity and adverse childhood experiences. For millions of people, it’s more important than all the rest.

More than six million obese and morbidly obese people are likely to have suffered physical, sexual and/or verbal abuse during their childhoods, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s ACE Study. It’s likely that millions more can point to other types of childhood trauma – including loss of a parent through divorce, living with an alcoholic parent or a mentally ill family member – or other traumatic experiences such as rape or assault — as a starting point for their weight gain.

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Roundup: Pittsburg, PA, model for fixing child homelessness? Child sex abuse case goes from “founded” to “unfounded”; Does your state prohibit employers from firing DV victims?

Lincoln High School staff member Brooke Bouchey in supply room full of food, clothes, blankets, backpacks, and sleeping bags donated by Walla Walla community.


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Roundup: States graded on secrecy for child abuse reporting; strangulation = gunshot in more states; India talk show highlights stunningly high rates of child abuse

The Children’s Advocacy Institute at the University of San Diego School of Law last month came out with its grades for  states’ reporting of child abuse fatalities or near-fatalities. Oklahoma went from a C+ in 2008 to a B this year, and promptly landed itself in hot water. That’s because of what seems to be a federal agency that’s bucking a federal law.

The Child Abuse Prevention and Training Act (CAPTA) requires that in cases of death or near-death, the case details “must be made public so that they can be examined to identify needed systemic reform”, and states must comply, according to the Institute’s 2012 report.

Just 4% of maltreatment reports result in the removal of a child from his/her home. Certainly, the removal of any child from a family is a serious decision. An error in judgment when separating a child from his or her family is fraught with mental trauma. Every jurisdiction in America imposes a series of measures designed to limit state abuses in cases of unjustified removal. But what about error in the other direction?

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