Patterns in Traumatized Children

Children who have survived exposure to trauma are more likely than non-traumatized children to develop mental health problems. Trauma exposure happens through many avenues, such as child abuse, neglect, exposure to violence or disaster.

There are three main components that non-profit organizations focus on in order to help these traumatized children:

Risk and protective factors

Traumatized children often have a combination of risk and protective factors that increase their likelihood for poor mental health outcomes. Risk factors not only cause children to be more likely to develop mental illness, but also hinder the treatment process if they are present. Protective factors, on the other hand, can buffer children from developing mental illness or improve their mental health if they are present.

Interventions for traumatized children

Of the estimated 77.6 million children 10-17 years of age, 19.3 million (24.1%) experienced psychological trauma in 2011 (Lewinsohn & Klein, 2012). Some non-profit organizations are taking action to make sure all kids feel safe and comfortable regardless of their past or current experiences with trauma.

A non-profit organization, Safeplace, created a program that provides treatment to young children who have experienced trauma. This program included individual therapy sessions with the child as well as parent training. They found that this combination of intervention was most beneficial to the child.

Child abuse and neglect are two of the most prominent risk factors that non-profits address. Child abuse includes physical, emotional, sexual or other maltreatment that can harm a child’s social emotional development. This is especially the case when the perpetrator is someone whom the child should be able to trust. Additionally, non-profit organizations contribute to child abuse prevention through education and support of non-abusive parenting, which also serves as a community outreach.

A non-profit group called Family Tree offers clinical services for children who are victims of child abuse. They understand the potentially lasting effects that child maltreatment can have on mental health. Therefore, Family Tree offers clinical counselling in addition to support groups. They also offer family counselling and home-based services for child abuse victims in order to ensure that the child is in a non-threatening environment while he/she receives support.

Based in Lexington, SC, The Haiti Children Project was established to assist children in Haiti from their orphanage or partner agency care with obtaining a university degree in the program of their choice.

Haiti Children Project’s mission is to invest in people, not projects, to help Christian leaders build a better Haiti with real life skills and education investing in their own future.