We occupied a small piece of the Twitterverse on Wednesday to discuss children’s exposure to violence and the role schools can play to help. A follow-up to the release of our new toolkit, CEV in the School, the Twitter chat was a way to share our abundance of resources as well as answer any questions about the issue.
No surprise to us, the conversation drifted to the lack of resources for educators when it comes to how to deal with students who are struggling to cope after being exposed to violence. (Please visit our Storify page for a collection of key tweets from the chat) Fellow tweeters said resources lacking included professional development for teachers and mental health employees trained in identifying CEV.
The National Survey of Children Exposed to Violence found that 42 percent of children who had been exposed to violence were known to school authorities, evidence of how crucial it is for school officials to be knowledgeable about CEV. Having a teacher trained of the signs and how to help could make a huge impact on a child.
Children’s exposure to violence is a growing, evolving field and much work is being done to make people more aware of its impact and prevalence. The Safe Start Initiative is one of many steps toward awareness and solutions to children’s exposure to violence. Funded by the Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, eight grantees across the country are currently implementing evidence-based programs to test their efficacy in preventing and helping children who have been exposed. There is also Attorney General Eric Holder’s Defending Childhood Initiative, which has grantees implementing similar programs with a law enforcement focus.
Thanks to everyone who helped spread the word about this topic. With so much of a child’s time spent in school, educators play such an important role in helping children who have been exposed to violence at home, in the community or within the school itself.
Questions? Suggestions? Feedback? Feel free to comment below.