Recent News | CASA

The Science of Neglect

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Extensive biological and developmental research shows significant neglect—the ongoing disruption or significant absence of caregiver responsiveness—can cause more lasting harm to a young child’s development than overt physical abuse, including subsequent cognitive delays, impairments in executive functioning, and disruptions of the body’s stress response. This edition of the InBrief series explains why significant deprivation is so harmful in the earliest years of life and why effective interventions are likely to pay significant dividends in better long-term outcomes in learning, health, and parenting of the next generation. This 6-minute video provides an overview of The Science of Neglect: The Persistent Absence of Responsive Care Disrupts the Developing Brain, a Working Paper from the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child.

InBrief: The Science of Neglect

The Juvenile Dependency Court Process

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Take a journey through the California Juvenile Dependency Court system. Travel this interactive and powerful story!

CASA volunteers, as always, will perform duties and responsibilities as determined by the judge and that’s why it is so important that they understand the Juvenile Dependency Court process to better advocate for the children’s best interests.

Resources in Response to Extreme Weather

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In response to the wildfires, flooding, and extreme heat happening across the United States, the National Child Traumatic Stress Network has developed resources to help families and communities. The following resources may be relevant depending on what is happening in your area:

For Responding to Wildfires:
Parent Guidelines for Helping Children Impacted by Wildfires (En Español)
Wildfires: Tips for Parents on Media Coverage (En Español)
Trinka and Sam: The Big Fire (e-book for young children; En Español)
• For providers working with firefighters, take the Helping Heroes web-based training

To Help Children and Families Cope with any Extreme Weather Event:
Simple Activities for Children and Adolescents when Evacuating or Playing Outside is Limited
After a Crisis: Helping Young Children Heal
Age-Related Reactions to a Traumatic Event

The NCTSN also has resources for responders on Psychological First Aid (PFA). PFA is an early intervention to support children, adolescents, adults, and families impacted by these types of events. An online training course for PFA is available on  NCTSN Learning Center. PFA Handouts include:
• Parent Tips for Helping Infants and Toddlers (En Español)
• Parent Tips for Helping Preschoolers (En Español)
• Parent Tips for Helping School-Age Children (En Español)
• Parent Tips for Helping Adolescents (En Español)

For additional information
• On wildfires:
• On extreme heat:
• On floods:

NCTSN Mobile Apps (for Android and Apple mobile devices):
Help Kids Cope
PFA Mobile

Disaster Helpline
SAMHSA has a Disaster Distress Helpline – call 1-800-985-5900 or text TALKWITHUS to 66746.

Mental Health Awareness Month & Foster Care

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Recent studies suggest that up to 80% of children in foster care have significant mental health issues compared to approximately 18%-22% of children in the general population. Most youth in foster care have traumatic family histories and life experiences that result in an increased risk for mental health issues. Unfortunately, there is a lack of comprehensive mental health screenings for all children who enter care. A CASA volunteer helps cope with difficult situations and has an obligation to monitor a child’s evolving mental health care needs.

It’s HARD for youth to talk about mental health issues, The Players Tribune may help a youth feel a little less alone. #MentalHealthAwarenessMonth #MentalHealthMatters #breakthestigma

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month

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Children and families thrive when they have access to safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments. Policies and programs that are supportive of children and families can prevent child abuse and neglect and other early adversity. CDC works to better understand the problem of child abuse and neglect and to prevent it before it begins.

Learn more by following this link!

New resources added to our CASA of Sonoma County website

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Take a look at the new resources added to our Useful Links area on Transition into Adulthood and Wellness. You may find the resources under the “Advocate Resources” tab and “Useful Links” or by clicking on this link.

Guide to college for LGBTQ students

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Choosing a college is a daunting task for any first-time student, but for LGBTQ students, it can be downright terrifying. A whopping 13.4% of LGBTQ high school students who report frequent verbal harassment plan on not attending college, and 20% of all currently enrolled college students report fearing for their physical safety due to their gender identity or sexual orientation. In response, many universities are taking steps to fight back for their most vulnerable students, but understanding what to look for in a school is still difficult.

Affordable Colleges created a guide to college for LGBTQ students to help with advocating for LGBTQ youth. The guide includes actionable strategies to assess a school on its inclusivity and programs to help make the transition to college easier for LGBTQ students.


2017 Student Guide to Online Education

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Since weathering the rise and fall of some for-profit online colleges, distance education is now an accepted and important option for students who need to balance the responsibilities of work and family. Public and private colleges across the country understand that online classrooms have opened up access to students who may have thought college was out of reach. With a growing marketplace, however, prospective students now face the challenge of choosing a program that meets their needs.

Late last year, surveyed over 300 administrators and 1,500 students to gain more insight into the online education experience. These surveys were used to create this 2017 Student Guide to Online Education. The report serves to help students:

• Decide if online education is the right choice for them.
• Understand what to expect from an online program.
• Choose the best online program to meet their needs