Each day our team works tirelessly to make a positive impact on Montana through spreading community awareness, creating homes for children, and supporting birth and foster families. Here are five ways that Youth Dynamics is working to address child abuse in Montana.
We have a host of community education events throughout Montana. We host public trainings on parenting, the effects of child abuse and neglect, trauma, and much more. Our trainings give professionals, parents, and general community members the tools to recognize when and how to offer a child or family help. Our community education creates positive change at the community level.
Creating Public Awareness
Youth Dynamics has a well-established media presence. We use social media to help the community understand child abuse, trauma, and give them the tools to recognize when something is wrong. Youth Dynamics also uses more traditional media outlets to address pressing social issues, and fight stigma associated with mental health and caregivers reaching out for support.
Finding Needed Resources for Families
Did you know that children in families experiencing poverty are 22% more likely to be the victim of child abuse or neglect? This is a shocking statistic for some, but many families in poverty are under stress and lack the necessary resources to thrive. For example, for a single working mother with a varying schedule, childcare may be hard to find, a parent may need to choose between leaving a child alone or not being able to pay rent. Other families lack stable transportation, which can greatly impact a child’s ability to attend school regularly.
We work with families to link them to all of the resources that are necessary for them to thrive. Our teams can help parents find childcare, housing, or even transportation. We can also advocate for families with landlords, schools, public assistance, and much more. It is important to us that children and their families have a safe foundation to build on.
Parenting Education and Support
Did you know that many of the perpetrators or child abuse were once victims themselves? Many parents are parenting with the tools they are familiar with. It is important to us to work with families non-judgmentally, with unconditional positive regard. We work alongside parents and caregivers, giving them new tools they can utilize in parenting. We also offer services that can support parents and reduce stress in the home. Therapeutic mentor services can be scheduled weekly, 6-20 hours a week depending on the needs of the child. Parents can use this time for self-care or after school. We also offer respite to our families for up to 48 hours a month. Parents can use respite for a weekend break, or support during the month if there is a time they need emergency childcare.
Creating Homes for Children in Need
While it is our first and foremost goal to help give children and families the tools to thrive, we also understand that some children cannot remain in their home due to safety issues. In this case, the State of Montana, BIA, and local tribes may refer children to us that are in need of placement. In the last year we have nearly tripled the amount of homes available to Montana kids through Youth Dynamics. All of our homes have been trained in parenting children who have experienced trauma. We have also wrapped our foster parents and foster children up in supportive services. Support and education are designed to help keep children in their foster care placements, preventing the need for children to move around to different homes and communities.