December 12, 2019
“There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.”
― John Holmes
Y4Y is proud to offer a new Click & Go on trauma-informed care. This collection of resources provides 21st CCLC professionals with important new research on the relationship between adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and everything from learning disabilities to adult mental and physical health crises.
As explained in the Click & Go, the ACE study has helped raise awareness among a wide variety of professionals working with children on how to recognize the signs of trauma and what steps can be taken to help these students. Children who are under constant stress, especially to the point of what might be called "toxic stress," are not capable of processing their environment (and their schoolwork) as effectively as children with a more typical childhood. While it can be easy to mistake many signs of trauma for more familiar learning disabilities or behavioral issues, practitioners who can recognize subtle but important differences are poised to have enormous impact in the lives of their students. The Click & Go has a mini-lesson with a good overview of this important topic.
Your role as a 21st CCLC educator is a crucial one, and should be navigated carefully when it comes to childhood trauma. There may be situations where you believe that a student has experienced abuse or neglect. Most states have criteria on mandated reporting for professionals who work with vulnerable populations, whether juvenile, disabled or elderly. Staff in 21st CCLC programs need to be aware of these criteria. Program leaders can raise awareness of reporting requirements and start a dialog with staff around the many layers to this heavy responsibility, such as the emotional impact on practitioners.
Most important, never forget that you have the simple but powerful opportunity to be a daily, positive force in a tender life — and you may be one of very few such positives. There’s no greater offering than the irreplaceable gift of compassion.