Children’s Exposure to Violence: Treatment Considerations

first_imgBy Kacy Mixon, M.S., LMFTAs we’ve covered in previous posts, the adverse effects associated with children’s exposure to violence are affecting millions of U.S. children and is thought of as a national crisis. What’s more, unrecognized trauma associated with children’s exposure to violence significantly increases the likelihood that these children will engage in violence during adulthood. For these reasons, Attorney General Eric Holder has focused his attention on the Defending Childhood Initiative which aims to:[Flickr, …and this is how we do it, Susana Fernandez, CC BY-ND 2.0] Retrieved on September 17, 2015Prevent children’s exposure to violence,Mitigate the negative impact of children’s exposure to violence when it does occur andAdvance knowledge and awareness about children’s exposure to violence.The National Task Force on Children Exposed to Violence asks:“…for a collective investment nationwide in defending our children from exposure to violence and psychological trauma, healing families and communities, and enabling all of our children to imagine their safe and creative development and productive futures.” [1]How can professionals working with military families assist in these efforts?“In order to heal and sustain recovery, these children need trauma-focused services and trauma-specific treatment.” [1]The Importance of Trauma-informed Treatment:Treatment and services neglecting to include components of trauma-informed care for the social-emotional and behavioral problems experienced by children exposed to violence are most often not effective [1]. In fact, treatments without trauma-informed care may worsen the child’s symptoms, causing further harm as trauma-specific treatment has three important aspects that are typically missing from standard treatments:Mixon, K. (2013). Trauma-Informed Treatment Provisions. Kacy Mixon gives eXtension.org permission to use her personal photo.Below is a list of resources showing evidence based trauma-informed treatment models that combat adverse effects of violence and psychological trauma to help children continue on a healthy developmental course.SAMHSA’s National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices (NREPP)Crime Solutions (includes ratings based on evidence of whether a program achieves its goals)Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Model Program GuidesBlueprints for Healthy Youth Development References[1] Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). (December 2012). Report of the Attorney General’s National Task Force on Children Exposed to Violence. Defending Childhood, Author. (p. 27, 85, 36)This post was written by Kacy Mixon, M.S., LMFT, Social Media Specialist.  She is a member of the MFLN Family Development (FD) team which aims to support the development of professionals working with military families. Find out more about the Military Families Learning Network FD concentration on our website, on Facebook, on Twitter, YouTube, and on LinkedIn.last_img

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