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This is the key resource for current information about the commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors in the United States. This report is divided into three parts: "Part I: Understanding Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States"—introduction, the nature and extent, risk factors and consequences, and legal framework; "Part II: Current and Emerging Strategies"—the legal system, victim and support services, health and health care, the education sector, the commercial sector, and multisector and interagency collaboration; and "Part III: Recommendations"—overall conclusions and recommendations. "The report finds that, even with law enforcement, policymakers, and media focusing increasingly on sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation of children, the U.S. is in the very early stages of recognizing, understanding, and developing solutions for these problems. Further, the report demonstrates that no one sector, discipline, or area of practice can fully understand or respond effectively to the complex problems surrounding commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors. Therefore, participation from and cooperation among numerous individuals and entities—including victim and support service providers, health and mental health care providers, legislators, law enforcement personnel, prosecutors, public defenders, educators, and the commercial sector—is required." Appendixes include: "Disentangling the Language of Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States"; and "Lessons Learned from International Efforts to Respond to Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors". This website provides access to the full report, Report Brief, Myths and Facts, an infographic "How We Are Preventing, Identifying, and Responding Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the U.S.?", and the related video.

Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States Cover

If you work with traumatized youth, you need to read this brief. "PbS [Performance-based Standards] shares the first national results about youths’ perceptions of the current level of trauma-informed care in residential facilities and programs in this issue brief. The information offers baseline data to begin work to increase and deepen the positive impacts of integrating trauma-informed care into youth facility practices" (p. 4). Sections cover: integrating trauma-informed care into PbS; PbS and the Maine Division of Juvenile Services; PbS Youth Climate Survey; and what the youths said--46% of the youth remarked that they were told what trauma is and why it is important, 53% said someone asked them whether they had experienced any bad or upsetting things, 79% felt that staff respected them, and 53% believed that confidential conversations could not be overheard.

First Step to Integrate Trauma-Informed Care: Ask Youths Cover

While the negative influence of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) on adults has been studied, the prevalence and impact of ACEs on juvenile offenders is less well known. This study aims to address this lack of knowledge. "Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) refer to the following 10 childhood experiences researchers have identified as risk factors for chronic disease in adulthood: emotional abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional neglect, physical neglect, violent treatment towards mother, household substance abuse, household mental illness, parental separation or divorce, and having an incarcerated household member" (p. 2). Sections following an abstract include: introduction; adverse experiences and justice-involved youth; gender differences in ACE exposure and repercussions; the Positive Achievement Change Tool (PACT) risk/needs assessment; use of PACT data to create ACE composite scores; results—prevalence of ACE indicators and ACE composite score by gender; discussion; and conclusion. Juveniles with ACEs are at increased risk for justice system involvement and risk for re-offense.

The Prevalence of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) in the Lives of Juvenile Offenders Cover

"The need for trauma-informed juvenile justice systems to recognize and respond to trauma as it affects caregivers, to act in collaboration with all those who are involved with the child, to make resources available, to address family trauma and strengthen family resilience … makes it absolutely critical that such a system partner with families. It is only through fully embracing family engagement that a juvenile justice system can become a truly trauma-informed system. Family partnership is the means through which the necessary relationships can be built, and through which policies, practices, and agency culture can be shifted to create a trauma-informed system" (p. 2). Sections cover: what family engagement is; why family engagement is a key element in trauma-informed juvenile justice; how family engagement supports a more trauma-informed juvenile justice system and vice versa; what a trauma-informed juvenile justice system that embraces family engagement looks like; SAMSHA key principles of trauma-informed approach and related applications for family involvement in juvenile justice systems; the challenges to family engagement in juvenile justice; recommendations to address these challenges; transformational bright spots.

The Role of Family Engagement in Creating Trauma-Informed Juvenile Justice Systems Cover

Many types of traumatic experiences occur in the lives of children and adolescents from all walks of life. Often, the after-effects of these experiences – persistent, post-traumatic stress reactions – play a role in the legal and behavioral problems that bring youth in contact with law enforcement and the juvenile justice system … Using a trauma-informed approach, juvenile justice systems can improve outcomes for justice-involved youth by: Better matching youth with trauma services that can reduce the impact of traumatic stress; Improving general conditions of confinement; [and] Preventing the harmful and inadvertent “re-traumatization” of youth." Sections cover: what psychological trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are, and how these affect youth and families; survival mode in youth with PTSD; why youth who are involved in the juvenile justice system are especially at risk for problems with traumatic stress; what constitutes trauma-informed services within juvenile justice systems—universal screening, assessment, and trauma treatment interventions; what also contributes to a trauma-informed perspective—creating trauma-informed environments, and collaborating across systems; what the benefits and challenges of a trauma-informed juvenile justice system are; guidance from the field for youth and families, juvenile justice systems, and examples of programs; and additional resources.

“This study describes detailed trauma histories, mental health problems, and associated risk factors (i.e., academic problems, substance/alcohol use, and concurrent child welfare involvement) among adolescents with recent involvement in the juvenile justice system” (p. 20276). Results are presented for: prevalence rates for trauma types, mental health problems, and associated risk factors; and the age at which youth first experience trauma and co-occurring trauma (multiple trauma types occurring within a single year).

Trauma Histories among Justice-Involved Youth: Findings from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network Cover

“This guidance letter is intended to encourage the integrated use of trauma-focused screening, functional assessments and evidence-based practices (EBPs) in child-serving settings for the purpose of improving child well-being. The Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) are engaged in an ongoing partnership to address complex, interpersonal trauma and improve social-emotional health among children known to child welfare systems. We look to state and tribal governments to further this important work” (p. 1). Sections of this guidance letter include: introduction to the issue of complex trauma; the interplay between child trauma and psychotropic medications; components of a cross-system approach for promoting child well-being—integrating screening, assessment, referrals, and interventions; financial resources for addressing child trauma—child welfare, mental health and substance abuse, and Medicaid; quality impact of addressing child trauma.

Tri-Agency Letter on Trauma-Informed Treatment Cover

"The TLC TIER (Trauma Informed Effective Reinforcement) System for Girls is a female responsive, research-based model that offers short-term detention and residential programs an effective alternative to compliance-focused behavior management systems. The TIER System for Girls teaches staff skills that are more effective in motivating positive behavior with girls than traditional points and level systems. This Webinar reviews the framework of the TIER System for Girls, and provides examples of processes and techniques that will establish a gender responsive, trauma-informed program culture. Learning Objectives: explore the elements of a trauma-informed, gender responsive system that promotes safe behavior in residential programs and detention facilities; learn about the importance of developing a gender responsive program culture/environment for girls; and discover how to engage girls and staff when improving elements of program culture/environment through real-life examples. This website provides access to a recording of the webinar, presentation slides, speakers' transcript, and a transcript of chat questions and answers.

Webinar: A Trauma-Informed Effective Reinforcement System for Girls Cover
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