I recently went to a workshop that focused on trauma-informed care.  The purpose of the workshop was to give caregivers information about what trauma is and how it affects young children for the rest of their lives.  I learned SO MUCH at this workshop and I wanted to share a few things that I discovered.

During this workshop we watched a film titled “Resilience,” and it covers the biological impact that childhood trauma can have.  Researchers have developed a test known as the ACE (adverse childhood experience) test, and this test shows definite correlations between trauma and chronic illnesses such as heart disease, depression, and obesity.  In fact, the higher the score, the higher the chances are of individuals suffering from these illnesses.  The test includes such events such as parental abuse and neglect, parental incarceration, divorce, and sexual abuse to name a few.

These biological effects were referred to in the film as “the biggest unresearched health crisis in America.”  The film also discussed ways to help the children develop resilience, which is the ability to thrive, adapt, and cope despite stressful times. Many think that children are inherently resilient, but that is not the case.  Children who are suffering through trauma without the presence of supportive adults can develop toxic stress, which has a huge impact on their health and well-being that can affect them for the rest of their lives.  Resilience is something that children can learn when surrounded by the right environments and people.

Adults can help children develop resilience by focusing on “what happened to you and how can we help fix it” rather than “what’s wrong with you,” when dealing with children who are acting out due to trauma in their lives.  The inclusion of compassionate and caring adults in a child’s life that can help them learn resilience is the most important thing that we can do to help these children suffering through trauma.  The most important thing that we can teach these children suffering from toxic stress is that it is NOT THEIR FAULT!

For more information about this amazing film, go to their website at https://kpjrfilms.co/resilience/.

       Christine Clark
     Assistant Director
        Youth Village