Protecting our Children’s Well-Being During Covid-19: Recommendations for Supporting Children and Families Who Have Experienced Trauma and Stress During the Pandemic [Massachusetts].
Massachusetts. Childhood Trauma Task Force.
State Resource Technical Report
Published: June 2020
Massachusetts Office of the Child Advocate
One Ashburton Place, 5th Floor
Boston, MA 02108
Tel: 617-979-8374 866-790-3690 (Toll Free)
This report presents the findings and recommendations of the Massachusetts Childhood Trauma Task Force (CTTF) that was tasked by the Legislature with determining how the Commonwealth can better identify and provide services to children who have experienced trauma, with the goal of preventing future juvenile justice system involvement. The findings and recommendations are the result of the CTTF’s research on post-disaster trauma and analysis of the Commonwealth’s capacity to meet children’s mental health needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Findings indicate: during the COVID-19 pandemic, many children are living through traumatic and stressful experiences that may have a significant, long-term impact on their mental health; under-resourced communities will require targeted support; the impact of COVID-related trauma will have serious consequences for children; the current behavioral health system cannot adequately meet the needs of children during this crisis; technology-based resources hold the potential to overcome many barriers to mental health services if allocated equitably; caring adults in regular contact with children are key to recovery; and there are many existing initiatives and intervention models focused on childhood trauma and mental health upon which initiatives can build. The need to build skills and capacity on the child-serving front-line to address trauma stress and behavioral health needs is discussed, as well as the need to increase availability of mental and behavioral health services and supports for students and build capacity in the community to provide culturally competent behavioral health services. 69 references.
Massachusetts; COVID-19; trauma informed practice; child welfare services; mental health services; State disaster response