Pilot CWS-R-SAP – v. 1 Current CWS, 3. Preface

Pilot Child Welfare System Redesign

Strategic Action Plan


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3. Preface

To put the “welfare of the child” back into the Child Welfare System, we must first understand that child abuse doesn’t “go away” like bruises or broken bones. Child abuse reshapes the child’s brain, self-view, and worldview

Focus on the child, not just removing the child from the abusive situation, but healing the child with therapy and other services before the abuse and trauma make physical changes in the child’s brain and sense of self.

The effects of child abuse remain as the child becomes an adult, forming a set of mental illnesses, such as:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Constant fear
  • Anger – expressed or unexpressed
  • PTSD
  • Complex PTSD
  • Lack of trust
  • Lack of self-esteem
  • Lack of self-worth
  • Lack of value
  • Compliant
  • Focus on others at the expense of self
  • Dissociative Identity Disorder
  • Belief that the world is violent, unforgiving, and against them
  • Belief they are bad
  • Belief they were born bad
  • Belief they are not lovable
  • Belief they are being punished by God or the universe
  • Codependent
  • Choosing violent partners who continue the pattern of violence from childhood
  • Belief that violence equals love
  • Belief they deserve to be beaten
  • Belief that abuse is their lot in life
  • Suicidal ideations
  • Suicide attempts
  • Failing at suicide deepens their despair, hopelessness, helplessness, and reinforces that they can’t do anything right
  • Self-punishment
  • Cutting
  • Belief in living a life of pain
  • Desperately trying to be good, to please others
  • “People Pleasing Disease” – Oprah Winfrey
  • Want to make others happy so they can finally be happy
  • Projection of self-hatred as coming from others
  • Treating the child within as they were treated as a child
  • Desperate to be loved but not knowing what love is
  • Hypervigilant
  • Startle response
  • Constant stress
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Weight gain
  • Physical changes in the brain
  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Homelessness
  • Bullying
  • Criminal behavior
  • And others

The Child Welfare System in the United States has an opportunity to stop these long-term effects of child abuse by therapeutically treating the trauma soon after the abuse starts. That is true “Child Welfare.”

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To submit questions or comments, please email Jo@Jo-Calk.com. I welcome all input, ideas, and suggestions. Thank you for caring for children.


Jo Calk