This booklet, geared toward children ages 2-6 years, tells the story of a Native American girl named Aiyana after social workers visit her home.
The story of Aiyana 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 2-6 years, who are facing dependency court; it focuses on normalizing and validating children’s feelings and experiences, teaching healthy coping and resilience-building skills, and explaining the roles of the child welfare practitioners with whom a child may interact. Throughout the story, children are prompted to acknowledge how they feel and are encouraged to perform several activities such as drawing animals. Descriptions of breath and memory exercises that will help them relax are included along with a list of suggestions for what to do when experiencing difficult feelings.