Episode 109: “Housing Instability and Child Welfare.” Housing instability has an out-size impact on family well-being. What we can do to help children dealing with trauma retain a sense of roots and resilience? And what less-talked-about issues related to housing should we be aware of? The Urban Institute’s Maya Brennan joined us to discuss the deep cycle of cascading instabilities that has its roots in housing and what we, as a society, can do to help keep families strong.
Topics in this episode:
· Housing as a basic human need. (1:34)
· What can we do to help? (4:44)
· The impact housing instability has on children. (6:45)
· Family stressors and cascading effects of instability. (11:25)
· Domestic violence as a cause for eviction. (15:07)
· Programs that help families. (17:57)
· What doesn’t help. (20:57)
· What questions should we be asking? (25:23)
· Dangerous housing and its effect on kids’ health. (28:54)
· The public policy change we need. (34:05)
· One piece of advice for Children’s Advocacy Centers. (36:26)
· Neighborhood decay. (37:11)
· Our next episode topic. (38:46)
The Children and Instability page on the Urban Institute’s website covers housing, including supportive housing for families involved in the child welfare system, and other topics.
Episode 108: “The Edge of Compassion.” We know that compassion fatigue, secondary trauma, and burnout can take a heavy toll on people in the field of child protection. Children’s Advocacy Center staff, law enforcement, prosecutors, medical providers, case workers, and others deal with this every single day. How do we stay hopeful and resilient in the face of such suffering? We invited Françoise Mathieu, co-executive director of TEND Academy and a highly sought-after speaker on the subject of high-stress workplaces, to discuss how child advocacy professionals can protect ourselves and our colleagues as we deal with cases of horrific child abuse. How can we cope with the stress while still remaining effective and compassionate for the children and families we work so hard to help? (Call quality was a problem with this episode, but it’s absolutely worth listening to what Françoise has to say.)
Topics in this episode:
· The difference between compassion fatigue, burnout, secondary trauma, and vicarious trauma. (3:41)
· How to know in the moment that you’re being impacted by stress. (6:40)
· How the stress of our jobs can affect our own kids. (16:17)
· The weight of the job can make other things seem frivolous. (19:32)
· We can’t do this alone. (26:35)
· What do people need to be healthy? (35:47)
· Trauma exposure as a viral load. (40:14)
· Flipping our lids. (44:06)
· Low-impact debriefing. (Don’t slime people.) (53:32)
· The one thing to remember. (58:03)
· Our next episode. (59:31)
The Secondary Traumatic Stress Consortium is a group of researchers, trainers, practitioners and advocates with a common goal of advancing the field of secondary traumatic stress towards health. The website has free resources and information on training.
NCA’s Standards for Accredited Members are available on our website as a PDF. Promoting the well-being of employees and partners is part of the Organizational Capacity Standard (see page 50).
Episode 107: In “Prediction as Prevention” we ask the question: Can big data help us determine which children are most at risk of foster care placement? And how do we direct resources to those children to ensure they’re safe? We examine the way in which predictive modeling sheds light on the impact of implicit bias in our nation’s child welfare system. About 50% of African-American and black families in this country will experience a child welfare investigation. That’s far, far more than the data indicates we should expect to see. That’s a problem. But can an algorithm be the answer? Emily Putnam-Hornstein, an associate professor at the University of Southern California School of Social Work and the director of Children’s Data Network, joined One in Ten to talk about what role big data should have in making potentially life-and-death decisions about children’s safety.
Topics in this episode:
· What is predictive analytics and how it is used in child welfare? (1:56)
· The big question to answered by big data. (3:52)
· The over-representation of black families in child welfare investigations. (5:31)
· Who gets reported? (6:58)
· Why haven’t we solved this problem yet? (10:01)
· Can individuals accurately assess risk? (12:24)
· How can predictive analytics address implicit bias? (15:24)
· How does it work in practice? (19:38)
· The impact of predictive analytics. (23:58)
· What’s next for the field? (28:48)
· Our next episode topic. (32:20)
“Can big data help prevent child abuse and neglect?” by Giles Bruce at the USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism, talks about Emily Putnam-Hornstein’s work (June 24, 2019).
Episode 106: “Treating the Smoke and Not the Fire” is a conversation about a new documentary, Cracked Up—an emotionally arresting, trauma-informed look at the lifelong consequences when we fail to protect a child. In Cracked Up, filmmaker Michelle Esrick chronicles Saturday Night Live star Darrell Hammond’s journey from childhood trauma, through decades of misdiagnoses of its effects, toward hope and healing. The duo talk about what drove them to make the film and how they hope it will help change the conversation about child abuse. As Michelle says, too often society treats the smoke—things like addiction and mental illness—and not the fire—the very experiences that caused them in the first place.
Topics in this episode:
· What drove them to make Cracked Up (2:20)
· What they didn’t know at the start of the journey (4:34)
· Trauma is when your reality is not seen or known (8:04)
· Telling a survivor’s story with respect and without causing them further harm (9:36)
· A hunger to call out the bad guy, and to be believed (12:14)
· The consequences of trusting your own reality (14:23)
· The haunted house—the shock a simple thought can cause (23:18)
· Trauma, substance use, and addiction: Treating the smoke and not the fire (28:25)
· The investment in disbelief. It’s hard to shatter images—and monsters hide in the light (35:23)
· Public policy: What would you like to see changed? (39:38)
· How to set up an educational screening of Cracked Up (41:35)
· Our next episode topic (42:00)
Dr. Bessel van der Kolk and The Body Keeps the Score
Dr. Vincent Felitti, co-principal investigator of the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study
And the $10 million we’d like to see the government spend is to give the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention funding for research into preventing child abuse. Learn more about that in our interview on “Child Abuse as a Public Health Issue” with Dr. Elizabeth Letourneau.
Episode 105: “The Science of Storytelling” features Nat Kendall-Taylor, CEO of the FrameWorks Institute, which works to change the conversation on social issues. We discussed how to get people to engage in conversations about an uncomfortable topic—child sexual abuse. What should we change about our own messaging to give people hope that they can do something about it? We also discussed a new research project into communication strategies on this issue, and when we might learn the results.
Topics in this episode:
· The most surprising result of research into child sexual abuse. (1:47)
· How we talk about the issue can be a problem. What should we stop doing? (5:11)
· Pivoting—our biggest communication challenge. (13:28)
· When people think monsters are the root cause, what’s the solution? (18:42)
· Balanced messaging. (21:17)
· Talk about progress without losing urgency. (26:25)
· When death won’t do it in driving a sense of urgency, what will? (29:38)
· The “snapping” myth. (33:05)
· Current research on communication strategies—and when we’ll get results. (37:43)
· Summing it all up. (41:36)
· Our next episode topic. (43:42)
Crimes Against Children Research Center
Dr. Elizabeth Letourneau at the Moore Center for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse, at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr. Letourneau was our very first guest on One in Ten, in the episode on “Child Abuse as a Public Health Issue.”
Episode 104: “The Failure That Leads to All Others,” features Mary Graw Leary, a former prosecutor and a professor at The Catholic University of America School of Law. Why does child sexual abuse seem to flourish in institutional settings? How can institutions prevent abuse? And when prevention fails, how must institutions respond?
The Catholic University of America School of Law
In Episode 103: The Bystander Effect—Why People Don’t Report Child Abuse, Wendy Walsh, a research assistant professor of sociology at the Crimes Against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire, talks about why people shy away from reporting suspected child abuse—and how we can overcome those barriers.
In Episode 102, “Faith, Trauma, and the Problem of Evil,” Teresa talks to renowned writer and trainer Victor Vieth from Zero Abuse Project about the intersection of faith and child protection. How do we respond when children struggle to understand what happened to them in the context of their faith? How can we help survivors and frontline professionals who wrestle with the human need to make sense of a world where we bear witness to trauma every day? As a Christian theologian and a former prosecutor, Victor knows the importance of learning how to handle when faith, trauma, and the problem of evil collide.
Research indicates that 15-20 percent of girls and 5-10 percent of boys in the United States are affected by child sexual abuse. Those are numbers that should make everyone sit up and take notice, and yet one of the biggest funding gaps we see in our field is the lack of government support for research on how to prevent this abuse. Instead of a public health issue, child sexual abuse is still seen by many as a criminal justice problem. In this episode, we talk to Dr. Elizabeth Letourneau of the Moore Center for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse about what policies she sees as fundamentally flawed, where the bright spots are, and why prevention should be a federal priority.
Mentioned in this episode:
Division of Violence Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention