June 2015

A National Look at the Use of Congregate Care in Child Welfare
Congregate care as an appropriate choice for placement through the child welfare system has recently been examined. There is a consensus that most children and youth, especially young children, are best served in a supportive family setting. This data brief from the US Department of Health and Human Services was written to help policymakers and other professionals understand the population of children and youth who are likely to experience congregate care and what additional supports may be needed to reduce reliance on it as a placement for at-risk children and youth.

Just Breathe – Kids in this Video Explain How to Calm Your Brain
Social-emotional learning in some schools now includes mindfulness, breathing exercises, and meditation – all ways to calm the mind and body. This short film shows children in one elementary school program explaining their understanding of difficult emotions and how they cope through breathing and meditation. Watch this and learn from the kids how to calm down.

The Science of Resilience
The development of resilience, the ability to adapt in the face of serious hardship, has been a central research topic for those seeking to improve the lives of children who experience adversity. Understanding why some children do well may inform us in developing programs to help all children. The Center for the Developing Child at Harvard University offers a variety of resources here to better understand the development of resilience.

Understanding the Effects of Maltreatment on Brain Development
There is now scientific evidence of altered brain functioning as a result of early abuse and neglect. This issue brief from Child Welfare Information Gateway provides basic information on typical brain development and the potential effects of abuse and neglect on that development. The information sheds light on the emotional, educational, and behavioral impact of early abuse and neglect in children who come to the attention of the child welfare system. Additional resources and a two-page glossary of neurological terms are also included.

Safe, Healthy and Ready to Learn
This report looks at public policy solutions to prevent and address childhood exposure to violence and trauma. Recommendations and goals focus on children, families, schools, and whole communities.
Futures Without Violence; www.futureswithoutviolence.org