|Without a trauma-informed lens
||With a trauma-informed lens
|What is wrong with this child/family?
||What happened to this child/family?
|This child is not trying or This family does not care.
||This child/family is engaging in behaviors which are a result of things that happened to him/her/them and right now they don’t have the skills to engage in learning or communicate that with me. They are likely doing the best they can with the skills that they currently have.
|No one can get through to this child/family or No one knows what to do with this child/family.
||This family will require my support, psychoeducation, validation, and consistency so that they can feel safe enough to connect with someone and seek the support they need.
|This parent does not care or This parent isn’t cooperative.
||This parent may be overwhelmed, may struggle with his/her own history of trauma, or may need additional supports from me. Who are the members of this family’s support system and what are the barriers in activating that support?
|I just need to put up with this family until the case is closed.
||It’s my responsibility to work with, support, and connect to this family’s strengths/resources. As long as they are under my care I must challenge myself to identify something within the family that gives hope for the future and use that to push the treatment forward.
|This child has ADHD/ is defiant/ is aggressive/ is out of control.
||Assess every child for a history of trauma before diagnosing any mental health conditions or assuming a cause for behavior.
|This child/family continues to act out no matter what I do.
||It took time for the children and families we serve to get to a place where treatment was needed or recommended and recovery will also take time. It is important to remain patient and meet the child/family where they are, while gently nudging forward, and celebrating small victories along the way.
|I don’t need a break. I have work to get done.
||It’s important for me to take care of myself so that I can model self-care for caregivers and be my best in working with my children and families.