August 2018

Consider This…

News and information about education, research, and support for SESPs; adoptive, foster, and kinship caregivers; and child welfare and education professionals helping children with trauma and other special needs get the most from their education.



Let’s Talk about Wrap-Around Services
By Mary-Beth Landy
Training and Support Specialist, RTSC

So you may have heard the phrase “wrap-around services” and wondered what it is all about. Wikipedia defines the process as, “During the wraparound process, a team of individuals who are relevant to the well-being of the child or youth (e.g., family members and other natural supports, service providers, and agency representatives) collaboratively develop an individualized plan of care, implement this plan, and evaluate success over time.” But let’s break that down a little better. Continue to full article  Continue Reading…

Things to Consider…

Shutting Down the Trauma to Prison Pipeline
Research shows that starting at age 12 untreated symptoms of complex trauma experienced during childhood can become acute with the onset of puberty, and trauma during childhood can become aggressive and/or delinquent during adolescence and lead to juvenile justice system involvement. These children are spending more time in out-of-home placement with an associated instability in their living situations. Instability in home placements disrupts attachments essential for brain development, compounding behavioral difficulties. So what does this mean in terms of children in our Child Welfare System? The number of children that are becoming “dual status” kids is staggering.
The Center for Juvenile Justice’s report titled Missed Opportunities examines ways the system can recalibrate itself to decrease the number of children entering the system, how the placements are handled, and create a more stable environment for the children already in custody.

2 States Are Making Teachers Talk About Mental Health. Could This Be a Model?
Two states are starting a model of talking in schools about mental health of their students in the same way that they talk about lesson plans for math or science. New York and Virginia are on the cutting edge of this model, but is it a sustainable model for Massachusetts?
“This is making mental health not a thing that exists outside the school,” said David E. Kirkland, the executive director of NYU’s Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools. “We’re thinking about mental health how we think about English, math or science.”

Connections Go a Long Way for Students With Trauma
How often have we, as adults, heard that we may be the one person to make a difference in the life of a child that we may be working with who has ACEs. As with many teachers, that may feel like a daunting task. This articles looks at ways that by using Resilience Touch points throughout the day, we can make this a natural part of every students day. So what are these Resiliency Touch Points? They are adult initiated, brief encounters, which target and intentionally seek out those students we know to have ACEs, so that we can have positive reinforcing moments of connection throughout their school day. This helps build a safe community for them in which to heal.

2018 KIDS COUNT Data Book
Each year the Casey Foundation publishes the Kids Data Book, which looks at the projected outcomes for children. The Data Book also looks at trends in child well-being during a period that saw continued improvement in economic well-being but mixed results in the areas of health, education and family and community factors.
The 2018 KIDS COUNT® Data Book warns that the 2020 census is mired in challenges that could shortchange the official census count by at least 1 million kids younger than age 5. This discrepancy would put hundreds of millions of federal dollars at risk and, in doing so, underfund programs that are critical for family stability and opportunity. Review Massachusetts figures… (click here)

10 Emotions That Can be Unintentionally Inherited by Children
Ever wonder where your sense of anxiety comes from? Think about your family. Is anyone else in your family anxious or a worrier? It’s just quite possible that you have unintentionally inherited your family’s anxiety. This article examines 10 emotions that are often “handed down” from generation to generation, without even being aware of it, and looks at some ways to separate yourself from this emotions.

6 Things to Know About School Recess
Very often in the realm of school discipline, recess is still a point of contention between teachers and advocates. Many teachers are struggling with what to use as leverage in discipline issues, when schools are trying to restructure how they handle behavioral issues. But many parents and advocates are pointing to new research showing how vital recess is to all students, especially some with special education needs.

New Study Explores the Role of Relationships in Transforming Youth
Over the past two decades, there has been a great deal of attention to the policy choices that could lead to improved outcomes for youth facing significant adversity. Discussion has focused largely on finding the right interventions, identifying and spreading programs that have evidence of effectiveness (“evidence-based programs”). It has also touched upon better methods of public management (for example in contracting for services); the importance of prevention; and the value of centering work with youth on their interests and abilities (“strengths-based practice”). The power of relationships to change lives has been nearly invisible.

10 Characteristics of an Innovative Classroom
What makes an innovative classroom? These ten characteristics are important in establishing one. Although they don’t necessarily always come naturally, it is important for teachers to be aware of them and to incorporate an action to help develop each characteristic on a daily basis.

Trauma suffered in childhood echoes across generations, study finds
Does one’s own Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) effect the next generation? The answer is yes! Adam Schickedanz, clinical instructor in pediatrics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA has conducted a study indicating that one’s own ACEs impact the way in which one parents their children, therefore leading to the possibility of intergenerational trauma. Parents who suffered four or more adverse events before they were 18 — including neglect, abuse and household dysfunction — were more likely to have children with behavioral issues, such as being hyperactive or having problems regulating their emotions, the research found.
“Based on the available evidence, one would expect that the stresses and trauma children are experiencing due to family separation at the border will have intergenerational behavioral health consequences,” Schickedanz said.

Useful Tools and Resources

Dr. Nadine Burke Harris Testifies Before Congress – June 2018
Dr. Nadine Burke Harris is on the front line of combating Adverse Childhood Experiences. This is a video of her testifying before Congress regarding the traumatic experienced by the children being separated from their parent by

What Trauma Taught Me About Resilience
Charles Hunt shares his own experiences of how he made it to where he is today by having resilience. He shows that resilience is one of the most important traits to have, is critical to their happiness and success, & can be learned.

The Resilience Effect
The Resilience Effect is our philanthropic initiative to take on childhood adversity in the Bay Area and build lifelong health. Together with our partners, we hope to design, test and scale the most effective ways to address childhood adversity and strengthen resilience — so that all children can have healthy and vibrant futures.