January 2017

Consider This Things to Consider in January 2017

Home-Visit Program in Child Maltreatment Cases Strengthens Parent-Child Interaction  
A home-visit program for parents previously investigated for child abuse, dramatically reduced the percentage of young children who were removed from their homes and placed in foster care, according to a study funded by the National Institutes of Health. Central to the program are videotaped segments of parent-child play sessions. A trained specialist then gives parents feedback on the interaction, encouraging parents to reflect on their children’s social or emotional needs. Includes a Podcast. See another article, “Home Visits Work: Let’s Make Them Universal,” for more information on home-visit programs.

7 Ways to Calm a Young Brain in Trauma
Psychiatrists Bruce Perry and Bessel van der Kolk are pioneers in the study of trauma. Their research looks at the critical issue of how traumatized people can find a sense of safety within their own bodies. Younger children need our help to do that—to process that lump in their throat, that rapid heartbeat, or that sensation around their eyes when they’re about to cry. The best approach, according to Perry and van der Kolk, is to acknowledge the negative reactions by giving these students a safe place for a few minutes, allowing the brain and body to calm down. This article outlines seven strategies the author has used successfully in her classroom.

Homeless U: How Students Study and Survive on the Streets
A year ago, Jones had a bed in a transitional home for former foster youth. She explained she lost that spot when she broke the rules, letting a guest in when she wasn’t supposed to. Since then, she sleeps where she can: couches and floors when they’re offered, buses and subway trains when they’re not. She always carries a change of clothes, laundry detergent and toiletries. This is a chilling, and ultimately, hopeful article on an invisible population that is determined to complete a post-secondary education and become productive adults.

Barriers to Wellness:  Voices and Views from Young People in Five Cities
To better understand the obstacles to well-being experienced by young people of color in low-income urban communities, the Center for Promise (CfP) conducted a multi-site, youth-led health and wellness pilot assessment. This assessment is designed to serve as a pilot for future research. Dr. Linda Sprague Martinez, Assistant Professor, Boston University School of Social Work, is the project director for and primary author of the study on which this report is based. Boston youth were recruited by a grassroots youth organizer.

Self-Regulation and Toxic Stress Report 4: Implications for Programs and Practice
This report is the fourth and final in a series entitled Self-Regulation and Toxic Stress produced by the Administration for Children and Families’ Office of Planning, Research & Evaluation. The authors explain that the first step is to work towards decreasing environmental stressors that can negatively impact self -regulation development. Next, universal interventions should be embedded in settings such as schools, which may shift self-regulation development in the overall population and be particularly beneficial for youth who live in adversity or are at-risk. Finally, children and youth most at-risk are likely to experience the greatest benefit from early intervention. However, should this opportunity be missed, evidence suggests that interventions for at-risk middle and high school youth can be particularly beneficial.

The Late Effects of Stress: New Insights into How the Brain Responds to Trauma
A new study by Indian scientists has gained insights into how a single instance of severe stress can lead to delayed and long-term psychological trauma. The work pinpoints key molecular and physiological processes that could be driving changes in brain architecture, including a molecular mechanism that shows what is required for the culmination of events ten days after a single stress event.

Child Maltreatment and Adult Living Standards at 50 Years
The authors examined neglect and different types of abuse separately to assess whether there were differential effects on outcomes and also examined associations for multiple types of maltreatment to assess the cumulative burden. The results suggest that childhood abuse and neglect have long-term associations with detrimental outcomes in mid adulthood, indicated by a range of socioeconomic measures. The risk of unfavorable outcomes was increased for those experiencing multiple types of maltreatment.

Deadlines Loom for Schools To Comply With Key Provisions of Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)
Congress imposed a handful of new responsibilities on school administrators when it passed the Every Student Succeeds Act in 2015, and the deadlines related to the educational stability of foster care students have already started to arrive. Some of these new duties require considerable planning and collaboration, such as the provision mandating the establishment of clear, written transportation plans/procedures for students in foster care by January 31, 2017.This article outlines the changes ESSA brings with a focus on the actions that must be taken.

Useful Tools and Resources

2016 Summit Handouts and Videos
The Sixth Annual International Summit on Collaborative and Proactive Solutions, hosted by Ross Greene (also the Keynote Speaker), was held in Portland, Maine on November 4th, 2016. Videos and slides from the day’s presentations are now available.

Parent and Educator Resource Guide to Section 504 in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools
The federal Department of Education released a suite of resources which assist educators, parents, and students in understanding how the Department interprets and enforces federal civil rights laws protecting the rights of students with disabilities. The newly-released documents will clarify the rights of students with disabilities and the responsibility of educational institutions in ensuring that all students have the opportunity to learn. Includes information on the differences between a 504 and an IEP.

Educational Stability and ESSA Updates 
These slides produced by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education are easy to read and up-to-date. They include information on ESSA reauthorization of McKinney-Vento, ESSA Title 1 Foster Care Provisions, and Migrant Education, and the Military Interstate Children’s Compact.

RTSC January 17th Webinar on Juvenile Justice Reform through the Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative (JDAI)
The Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative (JDAI) is a statewide initiative to assure that low risk youth do not enter secure detention in Massachusetts but instead have their needs met in alternatives that keep these youth supported at home or in their communities. Through the lens of adolescent development, JDAI is a cross-system partnership working to use data-drive approaches to improve our juvenile justice system. In the last eight years, since the state began JDAI, Massachusetts has seen a 55% reduction in detention admissions. Yet, there is much work to do to continue to improve the system and assure equitable outcomes for all our children. Join Lynsey Heffernan, the Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative State Coordinator for the Department of Youth Services, for our January Webinar to see how far we have come and what we can expect in the future for the juvenile justice system in Massachusetts.

Register Here: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5383964673226968579

*Disclaimer: While every effort is made to ensure that the contents of Consider This… is accurate, the Federation for Children with Special Needs makes no representations or warranties in relation to the accuracy or completeness of the information found within the enclosed articles. The contents within this transmission is provided in good faith, and nothing included in it should be taken to constitute or imply professional advice, an endorsement or a formal recommendation.