of us raising children in today’s world have the one of the most
challenging and important roles in our communities. We must be
prepared to meet all of the day to day needs of our children, while
also managing the wide array of behaviors each child presents,
and coping with the influences, challenges and crises thrust upon
us by the world we live in.
One of the primary responsibilities of being a parent is to protect
our children from all forms of violence at home and in the community.
Parenting means being a child’s first teacher, healer, and advocate.
And, when our children are exposed to violence, including discrimination
and poverty, there comes an added responsibility of being involved
with an often confusing web of agencies, schools, courts, and other
institutions. Sometimes we are unprepared, lack information, or
are simply overwhelmed. We need to not do this alone.
Communities need to provide parents with information, resources
and access to services. With support and mentoring from other families,
community members and helping agencies, we can build stronger children
in healthier families. This is the nucleus for a future with less
violent and more nurturing communities."
Safe Start Center
the Invisible Wounds: Children's Exposure to Violence - A Guide for Families, (2009)
Children who experience or witness violence may suffer from "invisible
wounds" that affect them emotionally and psychologically.
In this booklet, the authors provide a guide to common behaviors
of children at different developmental stages that may indicate
distress, and what caregivers can do to support the healing process.
A list of resources, including books for children, is included.
Tip Sheet for Parents & Caregivers: Trauma - Informed Care for Children Exposed to Violence
National Child Traumatic Stress Network: Resources for Parents and Caregivers
Parents and caregivers play a critical role in addressing children
and adolescents’ exposure to violent and traumatic experiences.
Although they may feel hopeless and isolated, there are many families
facing similar situations. These resources can help raise awareness
about parents and caregivers roles in helping children and youth
recover from these experiences as well as prevent them.
Foster Parent Association
Issues for foster care parents with children exposed to violence,
abuse, and neglect.
Family's Guide to the Child Welfare System - Technical Assistance
Partnership for Child and Family Health, et al., (2003)
This guide was created to help families better understand how the
child welfare system works, inform about rights and responsibilities,
answer questions, and describe experiences of families with the
system. Contents include laws and policies of agencies and the
courts; various roles in service systems; ways to advocate for
families' rights; responsibilities as a parent; and practical tips
from other parents.
Guide for Understanding Traumatic Stress in Children - National
Center on Family Homelessness, (2006)
This guide is for caregivers working with children who have experienced
traumatic stress. The authors define traumatic stress and complex
trauma, explain common developmental effects on children, ways
for caregivers to help children heal, the importance of self-care,
Magic of Everyday Moments: Loving and Learning Through Daily
Activities - Zero to Three, (2000)
This series of booklets serve as guides to parents of infants and
toddlers for building strong relationships with their babies through
interactions during everyday moments. These activities serve as
the foundation for their child's learning and healthy development.
Conversation Starter Cards: 15+
Make Time To Listen, Take Time To Talk...About Bullying
Encourages parents and caregivers to initiate conversations with
their children to help prevent youth violence. Interactive conversation
cards have questions to start communication with children and about
bullying and ways to prevent bullying and violence.
Ms. Spencer has commanded respect from national
policy and program leaders, family members, youth, and children
for almost twenty years. Sandra has navigated a highly visible
career path through local family organizing and state and national
advocacy on behalf of children and youth with mental, behavioral
and emotional challenges and their families.
Sandra has become a much sought after public speaker on the subject
of children’s mental health from a national as well as a parent’s
perspective. Her combination of passion and experience validates
her message. Sandra’s leadership has advanced the family advocacy
movement and forged new relationships with national and international
organizations. Sandra is also the mentor and protégé for the newly
emerging national youth organization, Youth M.O.V.E. (Motivating
Others through Voices of Experience) National, a subsidiary of
the National Federation.