Mental Health

Reflections on the NACC Conference: The Need for More Education on the Role of Trauma in Child Development

Reflections on the NACC Conference: The Need for More Education on the Role of Trauma in Child Development

This year I attended the National Child Welfare, Juvenile, and Family Law Conference  in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and it was an amazing experience. I was delighted to see an abundance of child welfare advocates and discover that people were generally interested in helping vulnerable children. Growing up in foster care, this is a side of the child welfare system that is barely seen. Oftentimes in foster care, it feels like no one understands how life in foster care feels or like

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Child Welfare Law and Practice: Red Book 3 for Dependency Attorneys is Born

Child Welfare Law and Practice: Red Book 3 for Dependency Attorneys is Born

It’s a lot thicker! That was the most common initial reaction from NACC members at our recent annual conference in Philadelphia to our new, third edition of Child Welfare Law and Practice: Representing Children, Parents, and State Agencies in Abuse, Neglect, and Dependency Cases. Yes, pick up this substantial book and you’ll notice we’ve gone from 788 pages to 1,127 in order to more fully cover what an attorney (or judge, or social worker) needs to know in this field.

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We Are All in This Together: The Value of Dialogue in a Challenging Field

We Are All in This Together: The Value of Dialogue in a Challenging Field

“Why did you go into this work?” As part of a training on compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma, my co-presenters and I begin every session with this question. Responses vary slightly but are always connected to a desire to advocate for, empower, and help vulnerable children and families and to work for positive social change on a larger scale. This question is like an anchor for everything else we discuss and explore, namely that the reality of our work is

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Many Medicines, Few Cures: Advocating for Children Who Have Been Prescribed Psychotropic Medications

Many Medicines, Few Cures: Advocating for Children Who Have Been Prescribed Psychotropic Medications

“Many medicines, few cures” – Benjamin Franklin I am fortunate to live and work in the great city of Philadelphia, birthplace of the United States, home to the cheesesteak and the guy who wrote the above quote – Benjamin Franklin. We are excited that NACC is coming to Philadelphia this year. Several of us at Support Center for Child Advocates will present workshops and a few more will attend. I will be presenting “Use of Psychotropic Medication: Research Informing Policy

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How to Relieve Stress: Breathing Exercises for Child Welfare Attorneys and Other Busy Professionals

How to Relieve Stress: Breathing Exercises for Child Welfare Attorneys and Other Busy Professionals

Last year I attended a seminar regarding civility in the legal profession by Robert’s Fund at Seattle University School of Law. During a break I had a conversation with one of the instructors, Professor Paula Lustbader about how stress, exhaustion, and compassion fatigue in the child welfare arena may play a role in the level of civility (or lack thereof) that we see among attorneys and judges. Using myself as an example, (I admittedly get cranky when I’m overtired) we

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