Many immigrant children involved in family court proceedings are survivors of traumatic events such as domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, child abuse, abandonment, or neglect. Immigrant children may have experienced trauma in their home country, throughout their journey to the United States, or during the resettlement and adaptation to life in the United States. The history of traumatic events is a crucial component for state family court judges who are responsible under state best interests laws for deciding in whose custody a child will reside, guardianship of children, and placement of children who have suffered trauma. This page contains sources and research on the effect of trauma of children and family court proceedings.
District of Columbia Superior Court – Family Court Interdisciplinary Conference (October 16, 2020)
First Impressions: Exposure to Violence and a Child’s Developing Brain
- The Family Court of the District of Columbia Superior Court Eighteenth Annual Interdisciplinary Conference (October 16, 2020)
- Domestic Violence Developing Brains, and the Lifespan New Knowledge from Neuroscience by Lynn Hecht Schafran
- Appendix E: Understanding the Significance of a Minor’s Trauma History in Family Court Rulings