It’s the adults, stupid!; HBO child sex abuse doc; Philly gets $1.6m for trauma-informed care

With apologies to Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential slogan, “The economy, stupid!”, the CARE model developed at Cornell University can be summarized: “It’s the adults, stupid!”

The CARE model recognizes that troubled kids have histories of adverse childhood experiences, such as verbal abuse, living with an alcoholic or mentally ill parent, being homeless, etc. The approach shows that when adults change how they work with kids who are having troubles, to meet kids where they are, the kids do better. From The Beat, a great blog on the National Clearinghouse on Families and Youth site, here’s part of a transcript from a four-minute podcast with Bill Martin, executive director of the Waterford Country waterfordSchool, a Connecticut youth shelter, which began using the model three years ago:

And I think that when we brought this in, it just became … it caused us all to look at what we’ve been doing for the last ten or fifteen or twenty years and wonder if that was in the best interest of kids. And it did give permission to do some things that you weren’t really sure was okay historically….

It gave permission to excuse expectations sometimes. You get crazy around rule enforcement in group care. And that this was talking about kids that might not be able to meet the expectations, either in the moment or in general and teaching us to be able to amend those expectations to help the kids be successful, as opposed to kind of sanctioning them for not meeting their expectations.

It also really puts the responsibility for the change much more on the adult than some of the previous thinking had been, is that basically the program model is designed in the fact that kids will do well if they can. And if they’re not doing well, something has derailed them. And it’s really incumbent on us to find out what that is and meet the underlying needs. So that the kids can get back on track for more spontaneous development.

docHBO’s CHILD SEX ABUSE DOCUMENTARY, Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God, premiers Monday, Feb. 4. The synopsis:

…..investigates the secret crimes of Father Lawrence Murphy, a charismatic Milwaukee priest who abused more than 200 Deaf children

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