Last year, I was doing home visits with partner teacher Suzy. We found out that the student’s mother had died years ago, when the child was 5. The student now was 16.
When we asked about whether the student had experienced any trauma, the father answered, “No.” When I asked whether he thought mom’s death might have been traumatic, he said it was years ago. It didn’t affect his child now.
Dad had remarried. He was having children with the second wife. He had moved on.
We weren’t quite sure about his child.
Talk about a different worldview. I can’t imagine ever not being affected by my mother’s death.
And so that brings us to a resource partner teacher Suzy sent me last week.
The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) Learning Center has an amazing toolkit that focuses specifically on refugees and trauma. It provides questions you can ask the family to determine student risk, how it might be manifesting itself and what you can do about it.
I feel like I’m going to be spending a lot of time on this site.
For each of the stressors listed above, it walks the liaison through, providing questions to ask and steps to take. And when you’re finished, you can print out a pdf that brings all the elements together on one page.
What an amazing tool, if we were actually connected well with the community and working toward what is best for these families.
What do they need to be successful? How can we provide it? That’s the million dollar question.