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Child Welfare Toolkit for Early Education Professionals: Materials and Tools to Support Collaboration with the Child Welfare System (DCF)

Klimczak, Cork.;Lusardi, Sarah.;Morrisey, Alison – 2014

This toolkit is designed to enhance the work of early childhood professionals with the child welfare system and high-need children ages birth to five and their families. Section 1 reviews the impact of early abuse and neglect and includes information on the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences, signs of trauma in infants and toddlers, the role of child welfare workers, and vicarious trauma. Red flags signaling possible abuse and neglect are described for each developmental level, and types of trauma are reviewed. Strategies for building the child’s social-emotional house are discussed, and five simple steps to brighten the future for the very young children in an early education program are recommended. Section 2 explains child behavior as a way of communicating and includes information on attachment, the Circle of Security, temperament, emotion regulation, sensory integration, and the effects of prenatal drug exposure. Section 3 focuses on home visits and includes information on best practices for newborn visits, visits with young children, genograms, post-partum depression, strategies for building protective factors, transitions and out-of-home placements, and successful visitation for infants and toddlers. Section 4 explains strategies for building relationships with youth children. Coloring books are provided for preschool children and school-aged children, and tips are included for building trust with young children. Section 5 focuses on collaborating with child welfare agencies. Information is provided on collaboration tips, the importance of continuity in early education programs, and strategies for helping children thrive in child care. Community resources are described in Section 6. Final sections provide materials for parents and list additional resources.