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The Solution


IF:

We accept the findings of the ACE Study, then we accept that certain experiences are major risk factors for the leading causes of illness and death as well as poor quality of life.

AND

IF:

We embrace the Florida Supreme Court's second guiding principle of family court, then we acknowledge that the needs and best interests of children should be the primary consideration of any family court. All persons, whether children or adults, should be treated with objectivity, sensitivity, dignity and respect.

THEN:

We will view the children, youth, and parents who appear in family court through a public health lens, understanding what has happened to them, identifying their needs, and promoting healing and recovery.

…moving from a “sick – well” or “victim – offender” dichotomy to one of viewing those appearing in court as “injured” in some manner begins to change the landscape of how we view and respond to children and adults who become system-involved. This shift in how we view people in crisis reflects core values of a public health perspective which emphasizes health and well-being, and subsequently reframes what responses are likely to be most effective in promoting healing and recovery. (Shawn C. Marsh, Ph.D. and Carly B. Dierkhising, MA, Juvenile and Family Justice Today, Summer 2013)