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If you are a Parent/Caregiver...

"Those 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

Healing 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

The 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.

National Foster Parent Association
Issues for foster care parents with children exposed to violence, abuse, and neglect.

A 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.

A 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, and resources.

The 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.

Biography of Sandra Spencer, Executive Director of the National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health

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.

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