When she lost her brother last year, Anika* felt adrift. Generally a happy young woman, she experienced anger and struggled to listen to the safe adults she had come to trust. Her normally cheerful demeanor turned sarcastic and cold, and her daily patterns changed drastically.
The safe adults in the 17-year old’s life remained consistent in pursuing her, checking on her, and making sure she never forgot how loved she was, even when she wasn’t showing love to others. Back2Back staff are extensively trained in Trauma Competent Care, and so they understand that behavior is how a child who’s lost their voice communicates. They understood Anika was struggling – missing her brother, wondering why he was taken from her, and not knowing how to express such intense and heavy emotions.
With time and continual investment from the adults in her life, Anika started showing improvement; she became the kind and smiling young lady they all know and love, she started communicating more clearly and expressing her needs as they came. This is the power of safe adults who are trauma informed in the lives of vulnerable populations – they know from where the children come and they offer them love and care right where they are.