We need to do better

USAToday: Broken Adoptions

For tens of thousands of children in the U.S., their ‘forever family’ doesn’t last long. USA TODAY investigates: Why do adoptions fail? USAToday May 19, 2022 In a first of its kind investigation USAToday investigates how many adoptions are disrupted and why. Usually the focus of these conversations is on lack of […]

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Joker: A warning we should heed

Joker reflects a reality we are already seeing in our society today. Early childhood trauma is at epidemic levels. Our mental health system is in disarray. We aren't meeting the needs of the vulnerable around us and sometimes violence and tragedy are the price we pay as a society. […]

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Here’s what “trauma informed” looks like…

Due to startling research on the impacts of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) on children, there is emphasis on "trauma informed care" in many sectors – education, childcare, health care, justice, and more. Far too often, however, trauma informed care is little more than a buzzword. In fact, many community resources exacerbate […]

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RTF: A bad option, that’s sometimes the best option

My son Devon was 10-years-old when I dropped him off at a residential treatment facility (RTF) for the first time. I knew almost instantly it wasn’t going to work. They didn’t believe in consequences. School work was optional. With unlimited dessert and no rules, it was more like a summer camp […]

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95% of adoptive parents jump in heart-first, but unprepared

Our recent Facebook poll showed up to 95% of adoptive parents are not sufficiently trained on developmental trauma and the related diagnoses including Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). Survey by @RaisingDevon March 2019 While adoptive parents don't understand the scope and magnitude of developmental trauma, they do do expect children coming out […]

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School Shooters: What’s Their Path To Violence?

February 10, 20197:58 AM ETHeard on  All Things Considered Many, though not all, of the perpetrators have experienced childhood traumas such as physical or emotional abuse, and unstable families, with violent, absent or alcoholic parents or siblings, for example. And most have experienced significant losses.For example, the defendant in the case of the Parkland, Fla., […]

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It takes a village

My son Devon has a long track-record of making false allegations against staff at treatment facilities where he’s a patient. “I’m afraid Devon might make up a story about me too,” I recently told his therapist Cathy. “If CPS got involved, I could lose my other kids during the investigation…” In my mind […]

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The making of a murderer?

Our Failed Solutions for Seriously Ill Foster Youths (published by The Chronicle of Social Change) Justin Taylor Bean, removed from his abusive birth parents as a toddler, spent the next two decades in psychiatric hospitals and more than 40 residential facilities. Over the years, his physical and verbal aggression increased despite […]

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When pigs fly: the day my son’s therapist apologized…

Today my son’s therapist apologized to me. (Go ahead, take a moment to pick yourself up off the floor, then keep reading…) If you’re the parent of a child diagnosed with reactive attachment disorder (RAD) you know just how significant this is.  As parents of children with developmental trauma, one of our […]

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The Boy Who Cried Abuse

Devon was a boy who cried wolf. On several occasions, he claimed workers had purposely hurt him. When he mumbled about Mr. Myron beating him up. My stomach churned not knowing what was true, what was exaggeration, and what was an outright lie. It was hard to imagine a worker beating Devon, […]

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I’ve tried the system. It doesn’t work.

The media is calling the Parkland massacre “preventable” and pointing to missed warning signs. But, I’ve heeded the warning signs. All these mental health services, like water and sunshine, have unwittingly nurtured Devon’s proclivity for violence. He’s only gotten bigger, stronger, smarter, and more dangerous. I fear he could be the […]

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Don’t blame workers for psych center woes

Here in Charlotte, NC we've recently had a lot of news about Strategic Behavioral Center, a Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility (PRTF). You can read the full story from the Charlotte Observer here describing a disturbing riot on January 1st. Here's an excerpt: Patients at Strategic Behavioral Center — some wielding wooden boards […]

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