July 4th Remembrance-Children and Military Families

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July 4th is an important day of remembrance, celebrating freedom. It’s also a great time to remember and say thanks to the U.S. Armed Forces and their children and families for the sacrifices they’ve made to help protect that freedom.

Close to half the men and women in all branches of the military have children and many of those children are of school age. Those children and parents often face many challenges during deployment and in peacetime. They face exposure to violence and traumatic experiences through things such as bullying at school or domestic violence at home.

In a recent article, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta talks about the challenges facing children in military families citing examples such as “the children of a career service member will move an average of eight times during their school years. They will spend long periods away from their parents, and they will move between school systems that differ in quality.” It is noted in Bullying and the Military Child that these frequent movements can make children especially vulnerable to bullying because they are constantly re-establishing identities.

In addition, these children and their families are also at higher risk for exposure to violence through incidents of domestic violence. A few years ago, the New York Times shared a series on what can happen when war veterans return home. There were several devastating stories of domestic violence situations that escalated and turned deadly for the family.

The important thing to remember is that people, communities, organizations, and the government are really working to raise awareness and provide support to families in order to build hope and work to prevent and reduce risks. A few recent examples in the news include:

Coming Together Around Military Families ®: an online newsletter from Military Family Projects at ZERO TO THREE

http://main.zerotothree.org/site/MessageViewer?em_id=9180.0

The National Center for Infants, Toddlers, and Families shares some great new resources for veterans and active military personnel and their families.

Experts get elementary to help children in military families

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2018521017_militarychildren25.html

A program implemented in six elementary schools at Joint Base Lewis-McChord is placing mental-health experts in classrooms to help children in military families cope when their parents are deployed.

Mental health group urges increased assistance for military, families

http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/2012/06/28/2101369/mental-health-group-urges-increased.html

A new report by the National Alliance on Mental Illness said the government needs to fill the gaps in mental health coverage for America’s soldiers and veterans, who – along with their families – face high rates of mental illness.

Sean Farnham aiming to bring basketball to military children

http://www.mercurynews.com/other-sports/ci_20995097/sean-farnham-aiming-bring-basketball-military-children

Sean Farnham, college basketball analyst for ESPN, has started a foundation, Hoops From Home. It is an organization that, on the surface, is designed to bring basketball camps to kids living on military bases. The hope is that it will provide kids with an outlet to deal with the stress of having a deployed parent and to help them build relationships.

Finally, as you celebrate the 4th this year, please remember our troops and their families!

Teen Dating Violence: An Overview of Boys and Girls

Teen Dating Violence (TDV)

We opened the month in support of Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month, and this week we’d like to talk more about how teen dating violence affects girls and boys. Because “among adolescents aged 12 to 21, almost 3 in 10 have experienced violence in opposite-sex relationships,” and according to Womenshealth.gov “in the United States, teens and young women experience the highest rates of relationship violence. In fact, 1 in 10 female high-schoolers say they have been physically abused by a dating partner in the past year.”

The Cycle of Violence

Although teen dating violence is a problem itself, it is helpful to look at violence as a whole to better understand why, how, and when it happens. One way of looking at the subject of violence is through what is called the “cycle of violence,” which looks at the different phases of abuse. This cycle is about controlling another person within the boundaries of a relationship, and it can be physical, emotional, mental, or even financial.

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Hunting the Predator

Originally posted on Justice For Life:

 

Why the ‘Johns’ aren’t getting prosecuted – Fox…, posted with vodpod

Human trafficking is a global problem. But it’s quickly gaining local media attention as people learn how prevalent the problem is in cities such as Atlanta, Phoenix and New York, among others. Local law enforcement agencies say it is more challenging than ever to crack down on the ‘johns.’ “The issue with prosecuting buyers — or ‘johns’ as some people call them — typically they’re not known to the victim,” said Cobb County Police Detective Carol Largent. “They may not know a first name, a last name; know what they drive, where they live. They may not be able to give us any information about them.”

Read more at Elizabeth Prann’s Fox News article: Human Trafficking: Hunting the Predator.

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USA Today’s Bullying Article Is Brutally Honest

Originally posted on Bullying Stories:

Bruce Kugler, a contributing writer for USA Today wrote a very strong article on bullying titled “Bullying in USA: Are we defenseless?” In this straightforward article, Mr. Kugler brings up the latest victims of the bullying issue and asks the question to us all in his article title.

What’s the answer? At one point in the article, his daughter, after he tells her of a recent tragedy tells him that “It’s Not Going To Get Better”, changing the current catch phase of the anti-bullying movement. It is a sad, but honest article of  some of the current cases of bullycide and victimization due to bullying.

In the article, Mr. Kugler shares a story of Amanda Cummings, who recently committed suicide due in part to bullying. He shares:

“On Dec. 27, a 15-year-old high school sophomore named Amanda Cummings walked onto the main boulevard in her neighborhood and, according to witnesses…

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Safe Start Center:

Severe Traumatic Brain Injury Affects Development in Young Children

Originally posted on The Chart:

Children who have severe traumatic brain injuries early in life may have impaired cognitive development and long-term intellectual ability as they get older, according to two small studies published Monday in the journal Pediatrics. 

The first study compared the social, intellectual, and behavioral functions of 53 children who had experienced a traumatic brain injury before the age of three, most of which were the result of falls, with 27 children of the same age who had never sustained a TBI. 

The authors write that while a severe TBI was associated with lowered intellectual function, the socioeconomic status of the child’s family may be a more powerful predictor of the child’s intellectual development.  They cannot fully explain why, but they suggest lower socioeconomic status, high parental stress and low parental involvement has an effect on a child’s recovery. 

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Traumatic Brain Injury and Juvenile Justice

We just wanted to share some information about a recent webinar conducted by Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Federal Traumatic Brain Injury program on Dec. 13, 2011. The webinar focused on the growing problems associated with Children and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in the Juvenile Justice System.

The overall goals of the webinar were to

  • Develop an understanding of the issues experienced by juveniles with TBI, including under-identification, symptoms, limited access to treatment, and recidivism;
  • Become acquainted with approaches to identification and treatment, including the critical role of partnerships; and
  • Review preliminary data showing impact of interventions and consider next steps.

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When a Parent Is Incarcerated: A Primer for Social Workers

Checkout this new pub from the Annie E. Casey Foundation!

When a Parent Is Incarcerated: A Primer for Social Workers.

Description from website:

The goal of this publication is to provide relevant and practical information for public child welfare agencies and social workers when working with incarcerated parents and their children, including a chapter on immigration. This primer also outlines the many compelling reasons why child welfare agencies should develop programs and policies specifically to address the needs of this subset of children in the child welfare system.”

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