September 2015

Bullies in the Block Area: The Early Childhood Origins of “Mean” Behavior
This study from Child Trends examines early antecedents of bullying in order to shed more light on the development of effective interventions. Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), parental personality traits, amount of time spent engaging with family members or other caregivers, and exposure to media are viewed as possible reasons why children develop bullying (or victim-bullying) traits. The authors also identify promising evidence-based strategies for early education.

Comparing Outcomes for Youth in Treatment Foster Care and Family-Style Group Care
More than half a million youth are placed in out-of-home placements through the child welfare system in the United States. For the 20 percent of these children who live in residential settings or group homes, the rate of significant diagnoses for emotional disorders can be more than twice that of youth in foster family settings. The cohorts in the study were treated with the Teaching-Family model, which encompasses a large home with live-in houseparents who provide consistent supervision and maintain a family-like environment through relationship building. Findings from this study indicate a possibility that some youth may benefit from a structured group care program.

Abused Children Show Encouraging Ability to Regulate Emotions
Difficulties with regulating emotions are linked to the onset of mental disorders and other problematic behaviors among maltreated children. This University of Washington study suggests that given the right tools, youth with complex childhood trauma may be better able to control their intense emotional responses to real-world situations, demonstrating more resiliency than previously thought.

Webinar Available – The ACE Study: Measuring Childhood Trauma Exposure and Working to Change the Ending for Survivors and their Children
In this webinar, Dr. Vincent Felitti, co-principal investigator for the original Adverse Childhood Experiences Study, and Casey Gwinn, author of the new book Cheering for the Children: Creating Pathways to HOPE for Children Exposed to Trauma, discuss the findings of the ACE Study and challenge listeners to integrate those findings into any program dealing with those exposed to childhood trauma and abuse.

Moving to Young Adult Life: A Legal Guide for Parents of Youth with Mental Health Needs
This legal guide from the Parent/Professional Advocacy League is a practical look at what youth with significant mental health issues will need to be aware of and need support for when they turn 18. Financial, health care, and personal decision making options are discussed. Education transition plans, a discussion on Chapter 688 referrals, and helpful timelines are included.

3Qs: Fixing Massachusetts’ Troubled Foster Care System
Two Northeastern professors (one, a foster parent) are asked the following questions: is the recent criticism of the Department of Children and Families warranted; what changes should be made to improve the foster care system; and what is the role and importance of foster families?