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National Child Traumatic Stress Network e-Bulletin June 2013


Testifying in Court about Trauma: How to Prepare is a fact sheet that offers clinicians guidance on testifying as an expert witness for a client’s court case. From understanding a subpoena, the right of confidentiality, and the therapist-client privilege to preparing yourself, your client, and his/her caregivers for your court appearance, this fact sheet lays out ethical considerations, describes how to navigate conversations with your consumers, and gives you self-care tips.

The NCTSN has developed two bench cards for judges and court-appointment professionals doing mental health assessments of children. NCTSN Bench Card for the Trauma-Informed Judge and NCTSN Bench Card for Court-Ordered Trauma-Informed Mental Health Evaluation of Child: Sample Addendum raise useful questions and provide judges with guidelines to help them base their decisions on scientific findings emerging in the traumatic stress field.










New on the NCTSN Learning Center

Biological and Developmental Impact of Polyvictimization
June 13, 2013 (12:00 p.m. PST)
Presenter: Bessel van der Kolk, MD, Trauma Center at the Justice Resource Center. 
Dr. van der Kolk will discuss the biological and developmental impact of polyvictimization on children and youth. 
Polyvicitimzation Considerations in the Judicial System
June 27, 2013 (12:00 p.m. PST)
Presenter: Julian Ford, PhD, University of Connecticut Health Center, Child Trauma Clinic
Dr. Ford will offer insight into youth in the juvenile justice who have a history of polyvictimization, explore the role that polyvictimization plays in the behaviors seen in these youth, and how providers can help. 

Noteworthy Resources

Recent Publications by Network Members, Affiliates, and Colleaguest:

 Benjamin Sigel and our colleagues at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences are the authors of A Statewide Introduction of Trauma-Informed Care in the Child Welfare System in Children and Youth Services Review (Volume 35). The purpose of this study was to evaluate initial stages of a trauma-informed training program for the Arkansas Division of Child and Family Services (DCFS). In Phase 1, 102 (75%) of DCFS area directors and supervisors participated in 10 regional, two-day workshops modeled after the NCTSN trauma-informed training for child welfare. Pre- and post-training evaluations demonstrated significant improvements in participants' knowledge of trauma-informed practices. A three-month follow-up with directors and supervisors indicated that use of trauma-informed practices increased significantly, and that such changes were correlated with pre- versus post-training improvement in knowledge. Most participants were able to partially implement action steps established at the time of training; however, a number of barriers were cited as preventing full implementation, including time constraints, heavy caseloads, lack of staff, and limited resources. Results are discussed in light of plans under way for Phase II training for all DCFS front-line staff.


 Abigail Gewirtz and Chris Bray were guest co-editors of CW360°: Trauma-Informed Child Welfare (Winter 2013). This special issue of CW360° examining childhood traumatic stress, is the product of the long-standing partnership between Ambit Network and the Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare (CASCW). The authors expressed gratitude and appreciation to CASCW and to the many authors who contributed their expertise to the publication. Ambit Network—a National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) Community Treatment and Services Center funded through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)—is a university-community partnership committed to raising the standard of care and improving access to quality services for traumatized children, their families, and communities throughout Minnesota and eastern North Dakota. Traumatic events can be devastating to children and families. Children and families can respond to traumatic events in a range of ways. Some children are resilient and have strong supports in their lives, which can mitigate the damage traumatic events often engender. Children and families in the child welfare system often experience trauma that is complex and ongoing and may lack the resources to resolve their traumatic experiences. It is the authors hope that this issue of CW360° will provide those working alongside troubled children and families with a resource that will guide them in their work as they recognize and understand the effects of traumatic stress.

Diagnostic Issues in Polyvictimized Children and Adults
Presenter: Julian Ford, PhD, University of Connecticut Health Center, Child Trauma Clinic
This webinar, the first in a series with experts in the field of complex trauma, is a collaborative effort between the OVC National Action Partnership on Polyvictimization and the National Child Traumatic Stress Network's Complex Trauma Workgroup and Complex Trauma Treatment Network. Dr. Ford will provide participants with information about polyvictimization and resources for those working with children and adults in child welfare, medical and mental health, and educational settings. 
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