Franciscan Peacemakers, Milwaukee By Dr. Kimberly Frank

Franciscan Peacemakers is a faith-based charitable organization in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, established to provide humanitarian aid and assistance to victims of human trafficking and the impoverished. Organized in 1995, Franciscan Peacemakers today is recognized as a vital support group for foreigners brought to the United States unlawfully as sex workers or laborers, and for U.S. citizens suffering from similar abuse. With a mission to rid society of prostitution and human trafficking, the Franciscan Peacemakers opened Clare House in 1996 to provide a home environment and community for women escaping prostitution. Clare House provides educational and vocational opportunities for impoverished women, life-skills training, and an empowering atmosphere for economic self-sufficiency and spiritual growth. The Franciscan Peacemakers’ secondary mission is to provide food to the impoverished children, women, and men of inner city Milwaukee. With the help of volunteers and charitable donors, Franciscan Peacemakers provides roughly 1,000 bag lunches each month, Monday through Friday, through parish churches in the neighborhoods of Milwaukee most affected by poverty and prostitution.

About the Author:

Dr. Kimberly Frank is an expert in child and adolescent psychiatry based in Racine, and volunteers her time at Franciscan Peacemakers to distribute food to the poor of Milwaukee. As a practicing professional and concerned citizen, Kimberly Frank is making a difference in the lives of many and doing her part to make Wisconsin a better place for everyone.

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Mental Health Aspects of Adoption and the Psychology of Adopted Children By Dr. Kimberly Frank

Some studies have found that adopted children constitute a higher number of those admitted to mental health facilities than non-adopted children. This may be because the child was raised in an unstable environment without the opportunity to form successful familial attachments. Some adopted children were placed in foster care as a result of abuse or neglect in their birth parent’s homes. These developmental obstacles may contribute to psychological and social maladjustment later in life.

Environment and experience play an important role in psychological development. A child in foster care who has moved frequently or experienced abusive situations may struggle to form a stable identity and relationships. Some children may be more resilient to the changes and difficulties adoption entails, while others may be more affected.

Every adopted child has a unique background and history. It is important for foster parents to work closely with mental health professionals and social workers, both before and after the adoption, in order to understand and meet the psychological needs of their adopted child.

About the Author:

Dr. Kimberly Hammes Frank is a child and adolescent psychiatric specialist. She believes that successful psychiatric treatment of children and adolescents integrates biological, psychological, and social aspects of the patient’s life, and also includes the input of families and schools. Adoption lies at the center of these complex forces, and Dr. Kimberly Frank has several years of experience working with children in adoption clinics who often have psychological needs distinct from those of non-adopted children.

Cognitive Differences between Children and Adults

By Dr. Kimberly Frank

Most psychologists understand cognitive development as a series of stages through which a person progresses as he or she ages. Thus, an adult may possess more advanced cognitive skills in areas such as problem solving, attention, and memory than a child, but both are continually learning and changing. Some psychologists argue that children actually have a greater cognitive capacity than adults, because they are often able to absorb larger amounts of information more quickly, such as a new language.

Cognitive functioning in children can be so different from that of adults that adults may have difficulty understanding the experiences and thought patterns of young children. For example, children may use transductive logic, which is the belief that if two things share a common characteristic, they must have other similarities as well. Children may also confuse the cause and effect relationship between two events or things, such as believing that a fire truck causes fires.

About the author: Dr. Kimberly Hammes Frank has been a practicing child and adolescent psychiatrist for over fifteen years. She has worked in both inpatient and outpatient mental health clinics and received the Outstanding Fellow Award in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry from the University of Nebraska in 1995. In part because of the cognitive changes that occur with aging, Dr. Kimberly Frank emphasizes an integrated approach to the psychiatric treatment of children and adolescents that incorporates biological, social, and psychological factors.