What It's Like To...

What it's like to Advocate for Children

July 06, 2022 Elizabeth Pearson Garr Season 3 Episode 5
What It's Like To...
What it's like to Advocate for Children
Show Notes

As a teacher, Matt King has always been an advocate for children of all backgrounds. But when he fostered an 11-year-old boy who had endured trauma, his perspective changed. In this episode, Matt describes the common mistakes that schools make in dealing with victims of abuse, and questions some models of discipline. For example, if somebody is acting out, it can be best to bring them in rather than kick them out. Matt explains that much of what is defined as “bad behavior” among adolescents is a result of trauma, and that people’s first experience with violence is almost always as the victim. 

Matt creates his classroom to be an example of one that he would like to see in schools across the United States, full of empathy and acceptance. 

Now as a parent--having adopted that same 11-year-old boy--Matt shares what can be done to enhance inclusivity and better understand children who have endured trauma.

  • What sparked Matt's interest in being an advocate for children of abuse (1:15)
  • What is trauma? (6:00)
  • How Matt advocates for children (14:00)
  • What services are currently available for youth with trauma (17:35)
  • Societal issues around trauma and neglect (23:30)
  • The dynamics of an abusive relationship (30:50)
  • Why Matt became a foster and then an adoptive parent (33:11)
  • What can be done to help this issue on a larger scale (38:12)

Want to know more about Matt?

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