For Juvenile Justice Professionals/Law Enforcement/First Responders

The NCTSN National Juvenile Probation Officer Survey The court system is a common entry point for youth who have experienced trauma and are in need of treatment services. Youth going through the court system are often ordered by the court to participate in juvenile probation. In 2013, of the 716,000 justice involved youth, 54% (383,600) received court-ordered probation and 12% received out-of-home placement such as correctional facilities, group homes, and residential treatment facilities.

Each year, over 45 million children in the United States are affected by violence, crime, abuse, or psychological trauma.1 Trauma exposure can significantly interfere with the way children’s brains assess threat, which in turn can affect how they respond to stress. The negative impact of trauma exposure is particularly relevant for children and families in the child welfare system, as the majority of child welfare-involved clients have experienced multiple traumas, including abuse, neglect, and exposure to domestic violence.

It is a priority to strengthen the professional systems to support LGBTQ youth after sexual assault and other traumas that these youth commonly experience. This 13-minute video features five LGBTQ youth who discuss details of their own trauma experiences related to their respective LGBTQ identities, how they gained resilience, and how professionals helped them in this regard.


The video introduces the viewer to the needs of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ) youth who
have experienced trauma. You may use the video as a training tool, for example, during a staff meeting or in supervision
with staff. You can show the video in its entirety or in segments.
However you use this resource, be sure to allow time for discussion after viewing the video. Questions to
facilitate growth, learning, and change follow.

“Testifying in court can be a difficult and stressful experience for clinicians. But judges and lawyers are not experts in child development or the impact of trauma on children. The knowledge clinicians bring to bear is essential if the legal system is to have any hope of making sound decisions that will serve children’s interests. By educating the court through testifying, clinicians provide an invaluable service to the legal system and, most importantly, to children.”

Frank E. Vandervort

Clinical Professor of Law

University of Michigan Law School

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