At the 2014 American Bar Association (ABA) Midyear Meeting, a resolution was passed about traumatized youth:
“RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association urges the development and adoption of trauma-informed, evidence-based approaches and practices on behalf of justice system-involved children and youth who have been exposed to violence, including victims of child abuse and neglect or other crimes and those subject to delinquency or status offense proceedings by:
(a) recognizing the impact that current or prior exposure to violence and trauma has on physical, emotional, psychological, and behavioral development and well-being;
(b) responding to child traumatic stress through legal representation that reflects awareness of trauma’s adverse impacts on children and youth who have contact with the legal system; and
(c) acting in collaboration with other professionals involved with the child or youth to facilitate and support recovery and resiliency of the child and family.
FURTHER RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association urges federal, state, local tribal and territorial bar associations, working with judges, lawyers, and other professionals with subject matter expertise in trauma-informed systems of care, to develop and implement training programs for judges, child welfare attorneys, prosecutors, defense counsel, and law students that will enable them to integrate trauma knowledge into daily legal practice and integrate and sustain trauma awareness, knowledge, and skills in practice and policies.
FURTHER RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association encourages court systems, lawyers, law schools, and bar associations to promote awareness of secondary trauma among legal professionals working with traumatized children and youth and to develop positive strategies for addressing secondary trauma among those involved with children and youth in the justice system.”
To learn more about traumatized youth, see the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, Child Welfare Information Gateway, the National Center for Trauma-Informed Care, Understanding the Impact of Trauma in the Lives of DCS-Involved Children and Families by Richard T. Rowlinson, and this prior post: Resources About Trauma-Informed Care
For additional information about secondary trauma (also sometimes called vicarious trauma and compassion fatigue) for legal professionals working with traumatized clients, see the American Bar Association website on compassion fatigue, Secondary Trauma and Burnout in Attorneys: Effects of Work with Clients Who are Victims of Domestic Violence and Abuse by Andrew P. Levin, M.D. (2008), Healing Power: How to Keep Legal Minds Intact by Mitigating Compassion Fatigue by Linda Albert (2013), and Secondary Trauma & Compassion Fatigue When Working with Clients in Crisis by Aline Carton Listfjeld (2012).
The post ABA Urges Focus on Traumatized Youth and Secondary Trauma on Practitioners first appeared on the Indiana Juvenile Justice Blog.