It is too common of a story at the Northwest Arkansas Children’s Shelter.
“More than 50% of the children come here because their parents have been arrested for drugs,” Executive Director Maury Peterson said. “We’ve been in business for 26 years and in that time we’ve served over 11,000 children.,” she said.
All of those children have been abused, abandoned or neglected And it has serious effects.
“Changes in the child’s behavior and biology and their beliefs about themselves and even about adults,” NWACS training manager Adam Martin said.
The shelter does not just help the kids, but also the foster parents who take them in.
“The training we provide will help them to better understand the children that they’re caring for and help children in foster care feel understood by families,” Martin said.
10 times a year, there is training for foster parents on how to help a kid who has been abused.
“Much of it is research-based where that information is passed along and then we have conversations about how that information applies to the children that they’ve cared for,” Martin said. He teaches those classes.
The lesson changes every time.
“Anything from how does trauma impact the brain, to how do you deescalate a teenager to how do you integrate your biological children with the children who are in foster care,” Peterson said. “Foster parents are wonderful people that step forward to take children in and care for them in their greatest time of need so we really want to do whatever we can to support them,” she added.
For more information on upcoming classes, click here.