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Trauma-informed care for children exposed to violence: Tips for engaging men and fathers

Safe Start Center; Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention – 2011

A fact sheet on children’s exposure to violence for professionals seeking to engage fathers. Explains the negative impact of exposure to violence on children. Provides warning signs to look for in different child age groups. Reactions are listed for young children (5 and younger), school age children (6-12), and teenagers (13-18). Gives advice on engaging fathers in interventions to reduce the impact of exposure to violence on children. Notes the importance of developing domestic violence protocols that address men, fathers, and father figures. Also notes the importance of encouraging culturally specific values that support responsible fatherhood. Describes how parenting education programs can help men become effective fathers. Discusses how fathers involved in the child welfare system often have histories of child trauma and exposure to violence, and need trauma-informed treatment themselves. Notes that men who have battered their partners need monitoring and support to ensure proper parenting behavior. Advocates partnering with other programs (such as substance abuse treatment, batterer intervention, and job training) to further support fathers.