This booklet, geared toward children ages 7-12 years, tells the story of a Native American boy named Edgar as he prepares to give testimony at the state courthouse about his home life.
The story of Edgar is part of a series of materials for children who are participating in the justice system as victims or witnesses, created by the Center for Court Innovation’s Child Witness Materials Development Project with funding by the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC). Designed to support children during their involvement in the criminal justice and child welfare systems, this booklet’s target audience is American Indian and Alaska Native children, ages 7-12 years who are involved in the dependency court system. The story follows Edgar as he prepares to testify at the state courthouse, following his interactions with relatives, Tribe members and representatives, and other kids at school; the story focuses on normalizing and validating children’s feelings and experiences, teaching healthy coping and resilience-building skills, and explaining the roles of the people involved in Child Protective Services (CPS). Throughout the story, children are prompted to acknowledge how they feel and are encouraged to perform several activities such as counting and breathing exercises, and a four-step muscle squeeze that will help them relax. The story also includes a discussion of the medicine wheel and its significance.