Partnering With Educators
Establish a respectful rapport with school professionals.
Your child spends more time at school than they do with you or your ex-partner. Educators get to know your child personally and they are adept at noticing changes.
Educators are extremely credible and respected professionals who know more about child development than most of the professionals you will work with. They appreciate caring parents who take an active role in helping their children succeed in all domains.
Partnering with your child's school is a win-win-win plan. The ACEs and Trauma Informed movement is rapidly being integrated in our school systems which means that educators are learning what it means to become trauma sensitive. This is a way for us to enhance every school's agenda to address trauma in a personal way and tobuild a supportive base for mission.
Meet early in the year with people who will have significant contact with your child
1. Set up brief (20 min.) appointments with the people who will spend significant time your child this year.
2. Make copies of the cover letter, special report, clinical indicators of abuse and any court orders or placement schedules.
3. Plan what you want to say and link it to the report and the indicators of abuse.
4. If your child starts "acting out" at home, the school will probably also notice somethings change like classroom performance, interpersonal changes, mood shifts, missing classes/school or changes in routines or friends
Ask them to contact you if they notice anything concerning about your child and that you will do the same.
5. Record the date, time, names, responses and/or conclusions of each meetings in the journal that you always keep documenting your child's cognitive, emotional, behavioral, and moral profile and changes.
6. The best way a targeted parent can say thank you is to stay within the time limit set! Whatever else your new allies need to know, they can read about, call you, or contact the Alliance.
As a side note, when our children are being traumatized to this degree, nothing is "normal"my daughter started started getting depressed in 3rd grade. It expressed as stomachaches.
All educators are mandatory reporters. This means that if someone from the school suspects that a child is being abused or neglected, he or she is required to call Child Protective Services within 36 hours of their observation. Educators do not need to confirm the abuse or neglect, they just need to have a reasonable suspicion.
An educator's objective observations can tip the scale for getting an order for protective separation for your child through Child Protective Services and/or Family Court. But it has to be their observation not ours. Do not expect professionals to file a child abuse report because you ask them to, but the best outcome would be a collaborative effort.
Keep in mind that because our children are being severely traumatized, nothing about their lives is "normal."
For example, my daughter started getting a lot of stomachaches in 3rd grade. I didn't have to look far to find out that her stomachaches were a symptoms of depression. We now know that depression pianos don'tfall out of sky on our children. Depression, anxiety and anything else that mental health professionals want to diagnose our children with, are symptoms of child psychological abuse. Abuse is the problem, protective separation is the solution.
Please see the page on child protection for more detailed information on filing a child psychological abuse report.