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Week in Review: October 24-28

Happy Halloween Weekend! Well, Halloween is Monday so we're a bit early. We hope you have a safe candy filled, spooky holiday. This week we have a fantastic tip on resources for talking to youth about recent shootings, mass violence, and many other issues, along with a reminder about our Eastern Youth Defender Forum.

Tip of the Week: Youth Dealing with Traumatic Stress & Resources

Many of our young clients are used to drills to prepare for storms, fires, and now even possible shootings at school. And while students are currently exposed to the potential threat of harm through media and other platforms, it may be hard to cope and deal with mass violence and the threat of violence when it hits closer to home. With the recent shootings in our state and around the nation, how do we as youth defenders support our young clients who may be dealing with fear or trauma surrounding these events?

We have compiled a list of resources that could be helpful in talking to youth about these issues. These resources are not only helpful in helping youth process violence and recent events, but they are also useful in your representation. These resources talk about the trauma that youth face when exposed to violence, disasters, and images of recent events. Use these resources in your negotiations as they can help explain to prosecutors, court counselors, judges, and even parents’ reasons for your client’s behavior. Moreover, they can also be useful in aiding other parties in communicating effectively with your client.

Additionally, these resources give tips and tools to youth to cope with trauma or stressful events. If your client likes a potential solution, consider adding those solutions in disposition plans. For example, one resource mentioned doing calming activities such as yoga and listening to music for youth dealing with traumatic grief. If your client really enjoys yoga, consider adding yoga participation to their plan instead of another condition.

Below you’ll find a list of resources to both help you communicate with your young clients about these traumatic events and to help you negotiate and talk to other system stakeholders about the trauma your client may be experiencing.

Resource List:

1. Website: The Federal Interagency Working Group on Youth Programs put together a compiled a list of resources that could be helpful.

2. National Child Traumatic Stress Network

a. Coping with Mass Violence for Teens: This resource if specific to teens and addresses methods of taking care of themselves.

b. Violence, Bullying, Other Forms of Trauma: The National Child Traumatic Stress Network has resources for different forms of trauma that youth may face. They have resources for mass violence, school shootings, bullying, natural disasters, and other traumatic situations that youth my face.

3. American Psychological Association: The APA has multiple resources and articles for how to talk to youth about these issues and how to talk to youth when they need help as well. As youth defenders, we often are talking to youth during stressful situations. These APA resources are helpful in getting youth to open up to us and build the attorney client relationship.

4. National Public Radio: What to say to kids when the news is scary: This resource is targeted towards parents and is both an article and podcast that talks about how to discuss these events with children.

5. Center for Resilience and Well-Being in Schools: Taking to Teens When Violence Happens: Resource for how to speak to teens about situations after violence happens.

6. Kennedy Kriger Institute: Compilation of useful resources on these topics.

Registration for our Eastern Youth Defender Forum is live and underway! The Eastern Youth Defender Forum will be on Friday, November 4, 2022 at Lenoir County Community College: 231 North Carolina Highway 58 Kinston, NC 28504.

Registration ends this Friday, October 28, 2022! Please register here!

Travel Scholarships are also available! Please reach out to Yolanda ( if you have a need and for instructions on how to apply for funding!

Below you’ll find more information about the Youth Defender Forums.

This year we are offering three regional forums in the Western, Central, and Eastern regions of our state. North Carolina is a geographically diverse state that covers a lot of mileage from the coast to the mountains and we want to make the trainings we provide accessible to all defenders. We also want to provide a meaningful way to create a sense of community amongst youth defenders, so this year we are providing three opportunities to attend our Forum - in the mountains, in the piedmont, or on the coast! Each of the three forums will be identical in content, though we will invite local defenders to co-present with us and help us identify customs unique to the courtrooms of each region. The theme for 2022 is Raise the Age: In the Courtroom and these day long trainings will cover recent legislative updates, pertinent skill development, and the opportunity to connect with youth defenders practicing in the same region.

We held the Western Forum on June 24, 2002 and our rescheduled Central Forum will be December 2, 2022 in Asheboro, NC.

Please let us know if you have any questions!

We look forward to seeing you all there!

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