Displaying items by tag: Survivors of abuse and trauma

MAY 23, 2017

Over the past several weeks, many youth development professionals have become aware of the Netflix series, 13 Reasons Why, which revolves around the suicide of a female high school student, Hannah Baker. Due to its fast-spreading popularity, whether or not you have seen it, you may have received questions from parents and youth about the themes that are addressed in the series. These themes, many of which are uncomfortable and controversial, are nonetheless important to talk about, especially with students of a similar age to the characters depicted on the show. Conversations about mental health and suicide can reduce the stigma behind these experiences to allow those who are suffering to know that they are not alone and can get help. However, because of the complexity of these topics and the ways in which they are depicted in the series, parents/guardians, school administrators, and youth development professionals should be aware of the questions and concerns young people may have after watching it, so they can be prepared for the important discussions the series may spark.

For those who are unfamiliar with the series’ premise, the story unfolds through a series of pre-recorded tapes on which the main character, Hannah Baker, describes thirteen reasons that led up to her suicide. Through the episodes the audience finds out that Hannah has had many rumors spread about her, and that eventually she was the target of bullying, social isolation, and sexual abuse. Below, we offer some information about the complex themes addressed in the show, and where you can go for more resources. As we know many parents and youth development professionals have been addressing these topics with youth, we invite you to post other resources and tips you have found useful in the comments section below.

Published in NMRC Blog
Friday, 19 August 2016 12:19

A New Lens for Mentoring: Trauma Informed Care

Webinar Date: March 19, 2015


  • Laurie Vargas, M.S., PPSC, Mentoring for Success


Paper List of Additional Resources
Paper Self Care Assessment
Paper Download the Presentation Slides

Published in Webinars
Friday, 15 March 2019 11:50


MARCH 15, 2019

Art Heals!

Karen pulls up to the suburban four-bedroom home in West Phoenix, opens her trunk and pulls out two green canvas bags that read “Free Arts” on the side. She looks up and notices a small face pressed against the glass in the front window. The front door swings open and a staff member from the foster care group home unlocks the screen from the inside, letting Karen into the house. Immediately, two grade school aged girls run up and ask, “What are we making today, Miss Karen?” “You’ll see!” Karen replies with a twinkle in her eye. “Want to help me set out the supplies?” The girls agree and set to work. Soon, five other girls trickle into the kitchen area, some with wet hair fresh from the shower, others already in their pajamas. They gather around the large dining table, picking up supplies and asking excited questions, “Are these for us?” “What are these?” “Ooo, shiny!” one exclaims about some stickers fresh from the package. “I’m new here, who are you?” one asks.

Published in NMRC Blog
Wednesday, 29 November 2017 09:14

Bulletin Examines Trauma-Informed Classrooms

NOVEMBER 29, 2017
Trauma Informed Classrooms

The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges has released "Trauma-Informed Classrooms." This OJJDP-funded technical assistance bulletin provides an overview of the impact of trauma on students and explores how adverse life experiences can impact their behavior in the classroom. The bulletin also offers strategies for creating trauma-informed classrooms. This bulletin and the associated webinar will be useful for youth practitioners across the board because integrating a trauma-informed approach into your program’s policies and procedures fosters resilience and recovery for the youth that you serve. This information may be especially relevant to mentoring practitioners implementing school-based or group mentoring models, since many of its recommendations – like its discussion of common classroom triggers, for example – can be applied to programs that bring young people and adults together regularly in groups.


Pickens, I.B., & Tschopp, N. (2017). Trauma-Informed Classrooms. National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges.

Published in NMRC Blog
OCTOBER 16, 2020

October is National Bullying Prevention Month, but at Camp Mariposa, every month is bullying prevention month. Camp Mariposa is a national addiction prevention and mentoring program that serves youth ages 9–17 who are affected by a family member’s substance use disorder. Camp Mariposa is funded and coordinated by Eluna, a Philadelphia-based nonprofit organization whose mission is to support children and families impacted by addiction. Camp Mariposa uses a group and peer mentoring model in which youth and trained adult mentors make a one-year commitment to the program. Many youth who attend Camp Mariposa have experienced bullying and significant trauma—including abuse, neglect, and the addiction-related loss of loved ones due to incarceration and/or death. The mentors and staff at Camp Mariposa create a safe and supportive community where kids can be kids and escape the challenges of their daily lives.

Published in NMRC Blog
APRIL 30, 2019


Court-appointed special advocate (CASA) volunteers work with some of society’s most vulnerable children—those who have experienced abuse or neglect. When someone signs up to be a CASA volunteer, they’re signing up to advocate for the best interests of a child in court.

Volunteers work with child welfare agencies, legal and child welfare professionals, educators and service providers to ensure that judges have all the information they need to make the most well-informed decisions for the best interest of each child.

Published in NMRC Blog

Denver Children's Home

Denver Children’s Home, Bansbach Academy (DCH) is a Colorado Department of Education accredited facility-based school that serve students who have experienced trauma and have learning difficulties as a result. Because of the experiences of these youth, DCH strives to consistently and intentionally connect its youth with qualified adults who will work in the youths’ best interests. According to Marisa A. Murgolo, LCSW, who is DCH’s Director of Daytime & Community Based Programs, the Children’s Home emphasizes “exposing [youth] to adults who are safe and invested in their growth.”

In order to achieve this goal, DCH reached out to MENTOR Colorado’s Drew DeMarie. The Denver Children’s Home applied to receive no-cost Technical Assistance (TA) through the National Mentoring Resource Center (NMRC). “We wanted to develop a training protocol for mentors,” Murgolo says, “who will be working with children and adolescents with trauma backgrounds, mental health issues, and educational challenges.”

Denver Children's Home.jpgDeMarie used therapeutic crisis intervention practices and training materials based off MENTOR’s Element of Effective Practice in Mentoring (EEPM) Toolkit to develop guidance for DCH mentors. Through a combination of in-person trainings and phone and video conference calls, DeMarie collaborated with Murgolo and DCH’s Educational Director, Annie Haskins, to create two 3-hour training sessions for incoming mentors that would prepare them to meet the needs of DCH’s unique population. “Our students have special challenges, Haskins says. “Drew was skilled in helping us navigate their needs and build aspects of the program that weren’t possible prior to his involvement.”

Because of their NMRC TA, Denver Children’s Home has the resources to provide its mentors with guidance on best practices in trauma-informed mentoring and enhance the support it provides for its youth. As Murgolo and Haskins agree, “we have a training program for mentors that we feel confident about.”

“DCH now has some of the training tools to guide interested volunteers towards becoming trauma-informed, effective mentors,” DeMarie says.

MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership (MENTOR) partners with the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) to deliver the National Mentoring Resource Center (NMRC) to the mentoring field. In addition to convening a Research Board which develops evidence-based reviews about mentoring topics, and offering a comprehensive mentoring resource center website, the NMRC provides mentoring programs nationwide with the opportunity to request and receive no-cost technical assistance to help them more deeply incorporate evidence-based practices into their programming. Once a mentoring program requests technical assistance, their request is assigned to a local or regional technical assistance provider within MENTOR's network of state and local affiliates and TA providers. New and emerging mentoring programs may benefit from technical assistance to help them design and implement programs that meet quality standards as outlined in the Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring™, while existing or established programs may utilize TA to improve operations, assess impact, or adapt their program to changing or emerging community needs.

Learn more about Denver Children’s Home here, and MENTOR Colorado here. Submit a request for no-cost technical assistance for your youth mentoring program here.

Published in TA Spotlights
SEPTEMBER 19, 2017
Engaging the Faith Community through Shared Intentions

Faith and spirituality are known to be key protective factors for youth, particularly those who have been, or are at risk of being sexually exploited (Countryman-Roswurm, 2012). In serving young people, naming the value of someone’s relationship with the Universe/God/Spirit/Higher Power, and how they see it is a powerful part of many interventions and should be given space in the mentoring world. The faith-community has been a long-time supporter of mentoring efforts, as well as in joining the fight against human trafficking and supporting victims of sexual exploitation. Integrating spirituality is an important aspect of holistic services and the faith community offers much as a community resource.

Understanding the difference between spirituality and religion can be helpful as you consider how to incorporate spirituality into services for survivors of CSEC and other youth at risk. It is not about elevating one religion over another or insisting that program participants associate with a certain religion. Rather, it is about helping them to explore, understand and express their own views on spirituality.

Published in NMRC Blog
Monday, 30 September 2019 14:13

Fostering Healthy Futures

SEPTEMBER 30, 2019

Fostering Healthy Futures

We recently published a paper replicating findings from previous research on the mental health impacts of the Fostering Healthy Futures (FHF) program (Taussig, Weiler, Garrido, Rhodes, Boat & Fadell, 2019). The study was a randomized controlled trial with 426 children who were randomly assigned to either FHF or the control condition. Below are a few important takeaways from this research.

Briefly, FHF is a mentoring and skills group program for preadolescent youth (ages 9-11) who have experienced maltreatment and been placed in foster care. The mentors are graduate students in social work and psychology who receive course credit for their mentoring. Each graduate student mentors two children in one-to-one matches over the course of 30 weeks (across the academic year). They also provide transportation for their mentees to and from a weekly skills group.

Published in NMRC Blog
Friday, 19 August 2016 10:08

Fostering Healthy Futures Program

Evidence Rating: Promising - One study

Date: This profile was posted on July 20, 2015

Program Summary

A preventative intervention for preadolescent youth recently placed in foster care due to child maltreatment, with an overall goal of improving child well-being. The program is rated Promising. Evaluation results suggest that the program significantly reduced mental health problems, and measures of dissociation. In addition, treatment group youths living in nonrelative foster homes at baseline were more likely to achieve permanency and experience fewer placements.

You can read the full review on CrimeSolutions.gov.

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