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Trauma-Informed Care for Children Exposed to Violence: Tips for Parent Education Programs

NCJ Number
248427
Date Published
2011
Length
4 pages
Annotation
After documenting that a significant number of children are directly or indirectly exposed to violence, this paper outlines the warning signs that such exposure has occurred, followed by recommendations that guide planners and deliverers of parent education programs in addressing the adverse impacts of children's and youths' exposure to violence.
Abstract
Recent national surveys indicate that a large number of children are directly or indirectly exposed to violence in their homes, schools, and communities. Many families involved in parent education programs are likely to have been exposed to violence. Given the adverse impacts of such exposure on physical, cognitive, and emotional development of the children involved, it is important that parent education programs instruct parents in the warning signs of trauma due to exposure to violence. This paper outlines the warning signs of such trauma in the following age groups: children ages 5 and younger, children 6-12 years old, and teens 13-18 years old. The paper then presents five recommendations that guide the planners and deliverers of parent education programs so as to ensure that children's exposure to violence is addressed. First, be aware of the impact of exposure to violence on parenting capacity, particularly when working with high-risk families. Second, assess the impact of exposure to violence on parenting capacity. Third, be attentive to the signs of possible exposure of children to violence in the home. Fourth, instruct parents in skills that promote a safe and comfortable environment where children can talk about their feelings and concerns. Fifth, assist parents in seeking support from others who can provide specialized help that parents are not able to provide. 3 web-based resource listings