Youth Services Law

Showing 304 posts by Deborah A. Ausburn.

Men in Early Childhood Education

Male teacher

One of the unfortunate side effects of increased awareness of child sexual abuse is increased stereotyping of men who work in early childhood education. I have lost count of the many times that clients have told me, “I never hire men to work with children because the risk is too high.” That attitude is understandable, but unfortunate both for men who would be good teachers and children who miss out on a good male role model.

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Mentoring or Grooming? How Do We Tell the Difference?

Man and child talking outside

Numerous mental health studies suggest that one of the best ways to help children develop resilience and recover from adverse childhood experiences is for them to have a trusted confidante outside the family. Yet we also are told that to protect children from sexual abuse, we need to stay alert to signs that a sexual predator is grooming them. I worry sometimes that we are frightening ourselves out of allowing our children to establish beneficial relationships.

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Helping Children Become Resilient by Being a Safe Space

Child and adult forming heart with hands

For those of us who work with children, it is difficult to know how to help children who have been abused. A recent study from Canada tells us that being a safe person for children to confide in may be one of the best things that we can do.

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Resilience and Self-Esteem: Which Comes First?

Children dressed as superheros

A pattern that shows up very often in studies of resilience is a high correlation between resilience and self-esteem. It would be very easy to conclude that, if we help children develop self-esteem, we can also increase their resilience. These studies, however, only measure correlation, not causation. Furthermore, other studies of self-esteem indicate that it comes not from adult encouragement or self-talk, but actual accomplishments. In other words, resilience may lead to self-esteem rather than vice-versa.

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Resilience Requires Unsupervised Time

Children playing outside

One of the most important, and difficult, ways that we can encourage resilience in children is to allow them unsupervised play time. Allowing children to have unsupervised time is extremely difficult in our hyper-protective society, but it is essential to helping children become resilient.

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New North Carolina Mandated Reporting Law

North Carolina flag

North Carolina has a new mandated reporting law as of December 1, 2019. It does not change any of the older laws, but adds a new reporting requirement for certain offenses.

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Encouraging Resilience

Group of children jumping

One of the better trends in the last decade of caring for children is the recognition that children need to develop resilience. In spite of our best efforts, all children will face setbacks and conflicts. They will be much better off if we spend our resources not on preventing all life difficulties but helping them learn how to bounce back.

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Webinar about Mandated Reporting

Webinar blocks with coffee and computer

On January 28, 2020, I will be participating in a webinar about mandated reporting laws and dilemmas that we face in applying those laws.

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Mandated Reporting: Another Cautionary Tale

I ran across a report of another teacher prosecuted for failure to make a mandated report. The news story about the jury verdict finding her guilty was not very helpful, as it simply repeated the prosecution’s charge that, “having reasonable cause to believe that a child known to her in her professional capacity was an abused child, failed to make a report.” A more recent news story, reporting on her being sentenced to probation, relayed the prosecutors’ contention that a friend of the victim told the teacher about the abuse, but the teacher “did not believe her and did not make the required call.”

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Ransomware a Persistent Threat to School Districts

Reporting in 2019 indicates that waves of ransomware attacks continue to hit school districts; one cyber intelligence agency reports that more than 500 schools had been hit by late September. After three Louisiana districts were targeted, the Louisiana governor declared a state of emergency relating to school ransomware attacks during the summer.

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