Perhaps no other child-serving systems encounter a higher percentage of children with a trauma history than the child welfare system. Almost by definition, children served by child welfare have experienced at least one major traumatic event, and many have long and complex trauma histories. Children in the child welfare system, especially those in foster care, have a higher prevalence of mental health problems than the general population. Abuse and neglect often occur with concurrent exposure to domestic violence, substance abuse, and community violence. These children also often face the additional stressors of removal from the home, multiple placements in out-of-home care (foster homes, shelters, group homes, residential treatment facilities, kinship placements), and different schools and peer groups. Research shows that exposure to trauma can increase the risk of experiencing multiple types of trauma, known as polyvictimization or complex trauma, with increased likelihood of adverse traumatic symptoms.
CWLA is committed to ensuring that children and their families are provided with effective trauma-informed services that lead to their optimal well-being. In the winter of 2012, CWLA will devote a special issue of its journal, Child Welfare, to addressing the effect of child traumatic stress on children, families, operations, and staff within child welfare. Of particular interest are articles that address the following: Trauma-informed, evidence-based innovative practice and policy across the spectrum of child welfare services including prevention of child abuse and neglect, family preservation and support, child and family protection, placement, and permanency services Trauma-informed, evidenced-based mental health practice within the child welfare system (e.g., screening, assessment, and treatment) Trauma and evidence-informed strategies and practices that improve the social and emotional well-being for children involved or at risk of involvement with...
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