The Walla Walla Valley is fortunate to have many individuals, agencies and service providers who care about children, families and our mutual future. Unfortunately the common causes of child abuse, neglect and early trauma exist here too.
Through long-term studies of children who experienced early adverse events, the research shows that brain development is impacted. Those structural changes in the brain can then be reflected throughout a person’s lifetime as diverse as chronic health problems.
They can also struggle with decision- making skills, boundary-setting, math achievement and poor productivity in job settings. As an advocate in the Court-Appointed Special Advocate program for local children in the foster care system, I see the early impact of such stress and trauma — never caused by a child, but felt so intensely by them all.
Washington-CASA was fortunate to have Teri Barila from our local Children’s Resilience Initiative speak at their recent statewide conference in Spokane. Teri challenged volunteers, social workers, attorneys and judges to use information about the positive impact of resilience skills in their work with kids and families.
I challenge us all to become more trauma informed so we might strengthen and support the children of our future. It’s in the best interest of us all.