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Children, Families, and Crisis

Ensuring all parties have an appropriate plan for the future by using (TIC) to look at the circumstances of the whole person and not just the current issue or symptom at hand.

Many families end up in some sort of high-stress situation in their life. One thing rolls into another until there is a crisis. When that happens, our society looks at the issue at hand – the current issue. This is often a bandaid and we continue to spend time and money dealing with this family as they morph into chronic faces in the system. If we had taken just a little more time in the beginning and helped the family identify the root cause, and then helped with not only the bandages needed but also the root cause, the family’s situation might turn out to be quite different. This is a basic concept of Trauma-Informed Care: looking at the whole picture.

 An important part of Trauma-Informed Care is understanding Adverse Childhood Experiences, commonly referred to as ACE. When a child experiences trauma there can be both emotional and physical changes. There is a 10 question test.(with variations for cultures) The higher the score, the higher the risk for long-term adult health issues. 

Children who experience a higher score on ACE are shown to have actual neurological changes; it is not just situational. Let’s take a look at a child who experiences a lot of trauma in the home. Will they act out in school? Quit school? Act out in socially unacceptable ways? Commit suicide? There is a higher likelihood.

When interacting with people, we don’t know their current or past situation. No matter your job or position, treating everyone with dignity and respect is part of living in a community. That is the minimum you should expect from your Constable.

We are lucky here in Tempe that the entire city staff [including law enforcement and firefighters] are all being trained in Trauma-Informed Care.