Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Play

The American Rescue Plan could provide essential training to boost jobs in construction, and we explore a trauma-informed approach to preventing marijuana use in teens.

Play

Pfizer says its vaccine is safe for children ages 5 to 11, travel restrictions soon will ease for vaccinated international visitors to the U.S., and a Texas doctor who performed an abortion under new restrictions is sued.

Play

Lawsuits stall debt relief for America's Black farmers; Idaho hospitals using "critical care" protocols; grant money boosts rural towns in Utah and more conservation acreage could protect the iconic sage grouse.

Safe Spaces Become Learning Spaces for Children Fleeing Violence

Play

Tuesday, September 8, 2020   

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Families and educators in Ohio aren't the only ones coping with back-to-school challenges during a pandemic.

Domestic violence shelters also are working tirelessly to turn safe spaces into learning spaces.

Terri Heckmen, CEO for the Battered Women's Shelter of Summit and Medina Counties, explained their residents have children in 14 different schools; some attending classes in person, and others online.

She said they were ready when classes started for their current residents, and hope to move quickly to get any incoming children connected for their schooling.

"When we bring families in, the average is children are missing two days," Heckmen said. "We can get some of them back up the next day, depending on complications of the actual domestic violence. But we would like kids to not miss any schooling. If we can get them up and running right away, we'd like to be able to do that."

To accommodate learning, some shelters are converting living areas into classroom spaces; others are changing mealtimes to match school schedules. And Heckmen said they're working with local districts to bring in tutors, and have hired a new staff member with educational experience to work with kids.

Sonia Ferencik, youth advocacy and trauma-informed services coordinator for the Ohio Domestic Violence Network, said life is turned upside down for children entering a shelter setting with a parent.

Most have experienced a great deal of trauma from witnessing violence, which she said can take a toll on learning.

"A lot of times kids have difficulty; 'stressed brains,' it's been said," Ferencik explained. "It's hard to learn, because you're in your 'survival brain,' as opposed to your prefrontal cortex or your 'thinking brain.' "

Ferencik said there are specific advocates in some shelters working with kids on calming activities to help them feel safe and ready to learn. And then, there are the practical considerations for getting school work done.

"Do they have a desk?" Ferencik asked. "Shelters are always looking for people to help with school supplies, backpacks, and it may be access to laptops and hotspots to be able to reach your school."

She added the shelters have done tremendous work to stay open and clean during the pandemic, and will continue to adjust their operations to ensure the safety of survivors and their children.

Disclosure: The Ohio Domestic Violence Network contributes to our fund for reporting on Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
Food prices are rising nationwide, and the cost of a grocery store trip is up 3.5% from a year ago, according to a USDA report. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

RALEIGH, N.C. -- More than $1 million in COVID-19 relief grants are helping rural organizations increase their focus on locally sourced food relief…


Environment

DES MOINES, Iowa -- This fall, the Iowa Utilities Board is hosting meetings to inform the public about a proposed underground pipeline, which would …

Social Issues

MANDAN, N.D. -- North Dakota has had nearly 18,000 job openings in recent months, with roughly 1,000 in construction. A labor leader in the trades …


Approximately 3% of the 1,500 students in Montgomery County who were screened for behavioral health indicators were found to be at risk of substance use. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

DAYTON, Ohio -- An Ohio county is taking a trauma-informed approach to its work on preventing marijuana use in teens. As marijuana policy changes …

Social Issues

DENVER -- As Congress considers making significant investments in the nation's child-care system, children's advocates say now is the time to make …

This, year the theme of Sea Otter Awareness Week is the species' key role in the mosaic of the ecosystem. (Wikimedia Commons)

Environment

MONTEREY BAY, Calif. - This week, conservation groups are celebrating Sea Otter Awareness Week with online and in-person events across the state…

Environment

LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Admission to any state park in Nevada is free this coming Saturday, as part of the first Nevada Public Lands Week - with a series …

Social Issues

HARRISBURG, Pa. - A new Redistricting Advisory Council announced last week by Gov. Tom Wolf's office will focus on reducing gerrymandering as new …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021