Promotoras to Tackle Child Abuse on San Antonio’s West Side


City Council Member Shirley Gonzales participates in a promotores training session (via District 5 Council Office)

Did you know eight of every 1,000 Texas kids are victims of child abuse? Sadly, that number is even higher in certain parts of San Antonio. That includes San Antonio's District 5, a largely Latino district on the West Side where families struggle with domestic violence, pregnancy, and other trauma, according to Texas Public Radio. Shirley Gonzales, the City Council representative for District 5, wanted to help. Gonzales teamed with Victoria Salas of Family Service Association to find an innovative way—promotoras—to prevent trends that lead to child abuse. The Need for Child Abuse Prevention Across the U.S., 78% of Latino kids suffer at least one adverse childhood experience (ACE), such as poverty, neglect, and child abuse, according to a recent Salud America! ...

Read More

Building A Trauma-Informed Care Network in South Texas



In the midst of the national opioid crisis are children. These children are dealing with traumatic events and often placed in foster care or with relative caregivers. Traumatic events hinder early childhood development and negatively impact school performance, lifelong physical and mental health, and professional success. Sadly, many Latino children do not get the services they need to heal and overcome the harmful effects of trauma. High rates of opioid and illegal substance abuse in Texas in 2015 sparked a small trauma-informed committee in San Antonio (67% Latino) to plan a trauma-informed conference to build a network of trauma-informed care in South Texas. They believe it is critical for counselors, teachers, caregivers, mental health professionals, and medical personal, ...

Read More

Wisconsin Leading the Nation in Trauma-Informed Care



An initiative by the First Lady of Wisconsin to prevent and reduce childhood trauma has grown to become a dynamic collaboration, putting Wisconsin in the lead to be the first trauma-informed state. Trauma during childhood negatively affects development and physical and mental health into adolescence and adulthood. Traumatic events include: physical and emotional neglect; physical, emotional and sexual abuse; parental divorce, separation, incarceration, and substance abuse; and poverty. These are also called adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and were first studied in the 1990s. The more ACEs a child experiences, the higher their risk of chronic disease, mental illness, substance abuse, violence, teen pregnancy, incarceration, and dropping out of high school. Since the ...

Read More

Ex-Coach Creates Trauma-Informed Program to Reduce Absenteeism in San Antonio



John Hernandez coached football in three disadvantaged school districts in Texas. When a player missed practice, Hernandez took it on himself to visit their home. He knew many players faced poverty and other home problems. He would check in on them and offer rides, so the players wouldn’t miss practices and games. Today, Hernandez directs student services at East Central Independent School District in San Antonio. He continues to see students facing poverty and trauma, resulting in missed school, which has disciplinary and even criminal consequences. However, his district didn’t have a program to identify, support, or counsel these students. Hernandez took it on himself to start one. The Problem of Chronic Absenteeism As director of student services, Hernandez is in ...

Read More

Latino Childhood Development Research: Strategy—Reduce Trauma


sad latino boy with mom and doctor

This is part of the Salud America! The State of Latino Early Childhood Development: A Research Review » The Importance of Preventing, Mitigating Trauma Preventing adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and/or mitigating their harmful effects is critical for improving prospects for early child development, and many programs and interventions have been implemented in this regard. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends early screening for developmental and behavioral problems starting at age 9 months through 3 years.38 The Birth to 5: Watch Me Thrive! initiative is a federal effort to promote healthy child development through care collaboration and a system-wide approach, and provides screening resources for families, educators, and various healthcare providers.39 Home ...

Read More

Latino Childhood Development Research: Childhood Trauma


sad latino kids in a truck

This is part of the Salud America! The State of Latino Early Childhood Development: A Research Review » Growing up feeling safe, secure, and loved is essential for the healthy development of all children.14 Nationally, over 46% of U.S. youth—34 million children under age 18—have had at least one ACE, and more than 20% have had at least two.15 By age 6, 70% of children in a sample of families investigated for adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) have ACEs that may have negative effects on many aspects of their developmental.8,9,16,17 ACEs may include parental domestic violence, substance abuse, mental illness, criminal justice involvement, child abuse and/or neglect, poverty/homelessness, and parental death, among others.18 Multiple studies have shown that children ...

Read More

#SaludTues Tweetchat 11/14: Early Childhood Development and Latino Kids



Abuse. Neglect. Poverty. Household dysfunction. Latino kids are more likely than their peers to suffer these kinds of "adverse childhood experiences." This can hinder children's healthy development, school readiness, and overall health and wellness in many ways. To drive solutions, Salud America! will unveil a new research review, "The State of Latino Early Childhood Development," at the #SaludTues Tweetchat on Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017, to start a conversation about new ways to reduce childhood trauma and boost healthy development. WHAT: #SaludTues Tweetchat: “Early Childhood Development and Latino Kids” TIME/DATE: 1-2 p.m. EST Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017 WHERE: On Twitter with hashtag #SaludTues HOST: @SaludAmerica CO-HOSTS: Zero to Three (@ZEROTOTHREE); Cero A ...

Read More

Report: Latino Kids are Left Out of Census Count



Latinos are the nation's second-largest population group—yet they continue to be dramatically undercounted. More than 400,000 Latino children younger than 4 were not counted in the 2010 U.S. Census, according to a recent report from the Child Trends Hispanic Institute and National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund. With the 2020 Census looming, an accurate count of Latinos is critical to ensure they get the right number of representatives in government and a fair share of funding for educational programs, healthcare, and law enforcement, as well as new schools and roads. The U.S. Census Count The U.S. Census Bureau counts every resident in the U.S. every 10 years, per Article 1, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution. The data ...

Read More

Early Head Start Services for Migrant Families


Latino health early childhood development head start

Not all kids start kindergarten equally prepared to succeed. By a child's third birthday, 85% of their brain is fully developed. Children of migrant workers and Latino children growing up exposed to adverse childhood experiences, such as domestic violence, substance abuse, neglect, and poverty, as well as limited access to healthy food and safe places to play, are at increased risk for developing physical, mental, behavioral, psychosocial, and/or cognitive issues. High-quality early childhood programs can help level the playing field for Latino children on vocabulary and on social and emotional development. With federal funding, the East Coast Migrant Health Start Project serves 3,145 children annually through 26 Head Start centers in Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, South ...

Read More