Family law: Some Arizona kids struggle with traumatic events

Some kids are struggling to keep their heads above water. Arizona family law rules are in existence to protect children and to do what is in their best interests, but many kids have been and are being traumatized by situations in which they should not be involved: physical, emotional and sexual abuse, substance abuse by their parents, and other egregious wrongdoings by the adults in their lives who should be looking after them. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), more than two-thirds of children in the country reported at least one traumatic event by the time they reached 16 years of age.

The numbers are even worse regarding kids in Arizona where 27% have had two or more adverse events in their lives by age 16. These incidents can also include neglect, domestic violence, mental illness, divorce or separation of their parents or parents being incarcerated. Children who have two or more traumatic experiences in their young lives are more likely to need to repeat a grade or more in school, miss more days of school and are more likely to be overweight or obese.

Experts says when events negatively impact children their daily lives are also impacted. They have a harder time concentrating in school, sleeping, and either eat too much or too little. They also are likely to have difficulty with self-esteem, self-confidence and are less likely to participate in social activities.

Children in Arizona have the right to have legal representation when it comes to family law issues that might impact them. Some of these children may have ended up in foster care and a compassionate attorney may be able to help them to have a positive outcome. A lawyer may also be able to help a client by strengthening legal advocacy, ensuring appropriate screening, in-depth assessment, and helping to access evidence-based treatment.      

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