Why Is Starfish Addressing Childhood Trauma?
- Research shows that when children are repeatedly exposed to trauma – including violence, abuse, neglect, and household dysfunction – their brain development is negatively affected. They may have trouble learning and controlling their emotions.
- Prolonged exposure to trauma causes toxic stress, which can lead to chronic illnesses and self-destructive behaviors in adulthood. Childhood trauma is one of today’s most serious public health threats.
- Studies show 1 in 4 children experience trauma by preschool, and that a positive, supportive relationship with an adult is the best defense to adverse experiences.
- Key adults in a child’s life can be trained to help buffer trauma. Starfish’s staff is ready to do just that and to train parents to effectively support their children.
How is Starfish Addressing Childhood Trauma?
- Starfish Family Services is a pioneer in successfully incorporating mental health supports in early childhood care and education. And is tackling one of today’s most serious public health threats – childhood trauma which can harm social-emotional development and physical health.
- Trauma-informed care is an overarching philosophy at Starfish. We don’t ask, “What’s wrong with this child?” but “What happened to this child?”
- Starfish is incorporating the nationally-recognized Trauma Smart® program into its services as part of a multi-year initiative to equip staff, parents, and communities with the tools to help families address trauma in healthy ways.
- Children in our early childhood classrooms automatically receive annual trauma screenings from staff professionals.
- Today, nearly 600 children and their families are better able to manage stress and adversity thanks to the skills of more than 100 Starfish staff at eight sites in Southeast Michigan.