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National Child Traumatic Stress Network e-Bulletin September 2013

On the NCTSN Product Shelf

Building Community Resilience for Children and Families is a guidebook that provides information about building community resilience, helping communities improve their capacity to respond effectively to natural or man-made disasters or acts of terrorism. To be most effective, community plans must address the emotional well-being of residents, including children. Putting strategies in place before an incident occurs enhances the community's ability to improve its outcomes after an event.

Noteworthy Resources

 You can still access the Missing and Exploited Children's Program's webinar, Interviewing Children with Disabilities, on effective interviewing of and communication with children with disabilities. Interviewing child victims or witnesses of abuse requires specialized skills and training and should be conducted by a trained forensic interviewer. However, in some cases and jurisdictions, law enforcement, child protection, and medical professionals conduct interviews. Regardless of the profession, interviewers must accommodate a child's unique language and communication skills, his or her reluctance to talk about private matters, and a potentially close and complex relationship to the alleged perpetrator. This webinar addressed common developmental disabilities, the concept of person-first language, and cultural and physical considerations for interviewing or communicating with children with disabilities. 


 ISTSS experts presented a webinar entitled Ask the Experts: Trauma and Stress or Related Disorders in the DSM-5 on the implications of the DSM-5 criteria for assessment within the context of treatment—emphasizing the changes as well as new items and their criteria—and how these might affect treatment or assessment before or after treatment. Panelists will also discuss the recognition of a dissociative subtype of PTSD within the DSM-5. For information on the presenters please click here



Recent Publications by Network Members, Affiliates, and Colleagues:

Theresa Betancourt, Elizabeth Newnham, Christopher M. Layne, Soeun Kim, Alan Steinberg, Heidi Ellis, and Dina Birman in their work, Trauma History and Psychopathology in War-Affected Refugee Children Referred for Trauma-Related Mental Health Services in the United States, in the Journal of Traumatic Stress (Volume 25, Number 6), investigated the trauma history profiles, psychopathology, and associated behavioral and functional indicators among war-affected refugee children presenting for psychological treatment. From the National Child Traumatic Stress Network's Core Data Set, 60 war-affected refugee children were identified (51.7% males, mean age = 13.1 years, SD = 4.13). Clinical assessments indicated high rates of probable posttraumatic stress disorder (30.4%), generalized anxiety (26.8%), somatization (26.8%), traumatic grief (21.4%), and general behavioral problems (21.4%). Exposure to war or political violence frequently co-occurred with forced displacement, traumatic loss, bereavement or separation, exposure to community violence, and exposure to domestic violence. Academic problems and behavioral difficulties were prevalent (53.6% and 44.6%, respectively); however, criminal activity, alcohol/drug use, and self-harm were rare (all < 5.45%). These findings highlight the complex trauma profiles, comorbid conditions, and functional problems that are important to consider in providing mental health interventions for refugee children and adolescents. Given the difficulties associated with access to mental health services for refugees, both preventive and community-based interventions within family, school, and peer systems hold particular promise.

 Carly Dierkhising of the NCCTS and Shawn Marsh of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges are the authors of Toward a Conceptual Framework for Trauma-Informed Practice in Juvenile and Family Courts in Juvenile & Family Justice Today (Summer 2013). Trauma-informed practice is the hot issue for juvenile and family courts. Indeed, one of the most frequent requests for training received by the NCJFCJ over the last several years involves trauma or trauma-related topics. Partnering with such organizations as the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, the NCJFCJ stands ready to assist juvenile and family courts to become trauma-informed. This article discusses a public health approach to the juvenile court system and a trauma-informed framework, along with describing trauma audits and how to use them to advance a trauma-informed court.


New on the NCTSN Learning Center

Enhancing Multidisciplinary Responses to Polyvictimization: Complex Trauma Speaker Series
September 12, 2013 (12:00 pm PT)
Presenter: Lisa Goldblatt-Grace, MA, LICSW, Trauma Center at Justice Resource Institute, My Life My Choice Program
Presenters will examine the nuances of polyvictimization as it relates to the commercial sexual exploitation of both girls and women. 
September 26, 2013 (12:00 pm PT)
Presenter: Stephen Procopio, ACSW, Trauma Center at Justice Resource Institute
Presenter will examine the nuances of polyvictimization as it relates to the commercial sexual exploitation of both boys and men.

From the Learning Center Archives

Joint webinar by the Terrorism and Disaster and Schools Committee

Presenters: Melissa Brymer, PhD, PsyD, UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute; Matthew Taylor, MA, Institute for Educational research and Service at the University of Montana; Douglas Walker, PhD, Project Fleur-de-lis, Mercy Family Center  
This webinar will focus on the fundamentals of Psychological First Aid for Schools (PFA-S). PFA-S helps reduce the distress that school communities can experience after a disaster or violent event. Presenters will discuss the importance of working within the school structure and system; how teachers, support staff, and administrators can use PFA-S to prepare for and respond to a disaster or violent event; and how to support the school community as a whole, including working with students, staff, and families. 
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