For some students, there are events in their lifetime that are described as being traumatic. Trauma can affect things such as retaining memory, connecting with other people, and responding to future stressful events. Seeing a parent being arrested, or a guardian experiencing incarceration has been listed as an adverse childhood experience (ACE) that negatively affects a child’s wellbeing. Educators working directly with children who have experienced this ACE may feel burnt out and overwhelmed by trying to properly assist this population.
Throughout the ten week research conducted, qualitative research had been gathered through interviews with educators working with students whose parent had been incarcerated, and adults who had experienced a parent's incarceration during their childhood. Literature reviews were created about various children's books and professional development texts looking at the emotional and social implications of dealing with the stigma of a parent's incarceration. Cultural responsiveness and trauma-informed practices were reviewed as well. Finally, a website containing all of the information gathered throughout the research process has been made available for all educators to access.
Obtaining education on the effects of trauma can give educators and families insight on the cognitive and behavioral patterns that may occur in and out of the classroom. Copious resources such as a list of children's literature on incarceration, opportunities for self-care, and de-escalation in the classroom can give adults the tools to effectively assist traumatized students. Ultimately, making sure that professional development is readily available and accessible for educators and caregivers is imperative toward building positive role models and connecting with every student.