Resources from the T/TA Network & Children’s Bureau
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Children in Foster Care
This NRCPFC information packet was authored by Jessica Hieger and edited by Lyn Ariyakulkan, MSW and Tracy Serdjenian, MSW. The publication provides an overview of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in children in foster care, presents relevant facts and statistics, and discusses policies and legislation pertaining to oversight and coordination of health care services for children in foster care. A list of programs implementing trauma-informed services, as well as additional resources and websites are provided. (December 2012)
Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Children Affected by Sexual Abuse or Trauma
Published by the Child Welfare Information Gateway, a service of the Children’s Bureau, this issue highlights Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), an evidence-based treatment approach to helping children affected by sexual abuse or other traumatic events. TF-CBT aims to reduce both negative emotional and behavioral responses following child traumatic, while also helping caregivers to effectively cope with their own emotional distress and develop skills that support their children. The issue brief, written primarily for caseworkers and other professionals working with at-risk families, discusses the features, key components, target population, and effectiveness of TF-CBT. It provides suggestions for workers and professionals referring children and caregivers to TF-CBT therapists, as well as considerations for child welfare agency administrators, and concludes with an array of additional resources. (August 2012)
- Children’s Bureau Express Online Digest: Spotlight on Trauma-Informed Care
This issue of Children’s Bureau Express focuses on trauma-informed child welfare practice. It includes information on the Integrating Trauma-Informed and Trauma-Focused Practice in Child Protective Service (CPS) Delivery grant cluster; spotlights publications on the effects of trauma on adolescent brain development, creating trauma-informed child welfare systems, trauma across the spectrum of experience, advancing practices on trauma intervention, and trauma and refugee families; and highlights resources and services of The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) and SAMHSA’s National Center for Trauma-Informed Care. (February 2012)
Teleconferences, Webinars, and Webcasts
- Trauma-Informed Practice with Children and Youth in the Child Welfare System
In this NRCPFC webcast, presenters discussed a growing area of focus in child welfare – trauma-informed practice and intervention. During this webcast, Dr. Glenn Saxe and Erika Tullberg from the NYU Child Study Center provided information about how trauma impacts children, families, and staff involved in the child welfare system, and offered concrete ways that foster parents, staff, agency leaders, and other stakeholders can help mitigate trauma’s impact on children, families, and the child welfare system overall. During this presentation, Dr. Saxe provided an overview of Trauma Systems Therapy, an evidence-informed, comprehensive, multi-pronged approach used by a growing number of child welfare providers that goes beyond a doctor and a child/youth in an office and takes into account a child/youth’s support system and home environment in addressing his or her trauma-related symptoms. The presenters shared information about resources that can support trauma-informed practice and intervention. (February 2013)
- NRCOI Webinar Series: Trauma Informed Child Welfare
The National Child Welfare Resource Center for Organizational Improvement (NRCOI), a service of the Children’s Bureau and member of the Training and Technical Assistance (T/TA) Network, hosted a two-part webinar series on trauma-informed child welfare that took place during November 2012 and January 2013:
- Building Systems to Support Trauma-Informed Practice
The first part of this webinar series introduces trauma-informed child welfare systems with the emphasis on how their pieces fit together to positively impact outcomes. It explores steps that can be taken to build systems to support trauma-informed practice and provides lessons learned by sites engaged in the process of building these systems. (November 15, 2012)
- Expanding Trauma-Informed Services in Child Welfare Systems
This second part of the webinar series was cosponsored by the National Resource Center for Legal and Judicial Issues (NRCLJI), a service of the Children’s Bureau and member of the Training and Technical Assistance (T/TA) Network. The event presented resources and strategies for child welfare agencies, providers, and courts to utilize in developing trauma-informed services across child serving systems. It also highlighted resources available from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN), and discussed steps taken by leaders from the local child welfare, mental health, and court systems to expand trauma-informed services in their systems and collaboratively. (January 10, 2013).
- NRCPFC Webinar: Trauma-Informed Child Welfare
This NRCPFC teleconference/webinar featured Erika Tullberg, Administrative Director, ACS-NYU Children’s Trauma Institute, who addressed the issue of trauma as it relates to the child welfare system. The presentation provided a definition of a trauma-informed child welfare system; discussed the impact of traumatic stress on children, parents, staff, and the system; provided information about resources available through the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, and shared ways in which trauma-informed practice is currently being implemented. (November 16, 2011)
- NRCPFC Teleconference- Secondary Trauma: Building Resilience Among Child Welfare Staff
In this NRCPFC teleconference/webinar, Erika Tullberg (Executive Director Clinical Systems and Support, New York City Administration for Children’s Services), Fernando Lorence (Child Protective Manager, New York City Administration for Children’s Services), and Phoebe Nesmith (Supervisor 11, Child Protective Division, New York City Administration for Children’s Services) addressed the issue of secondary trauma in child welfare staff and the necessity to build resiliency. The presentation reviewed data on secondary traumatic stress of child welfare staff and reviewed interventions designed to increase staff resiliency and reduce burnout. (May 12, 2010)
Research and Reports
- IMPACT Special Edition – Culture and Trauma
This special edition issue of IMPACT, the quarterly newsletter of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN), is devoted entirely to the relationship between culture and trauma. It describes the incredible work being done across the Network by members with informed perspectives on the cultural dimensions of trauma at multiple levels: the individual, including both the client and practitioner; the organization or system; and the broader community. While the issue highlights a wide spectrum of stories and topics, the common thread is appreciation of the intersection of culture and trauma and NCTSN’s commitment to embracing it. (Spring 2012)
- The Children’s Mental Health eReview: Child Welfare Series
This online publication series from the Children, Youth & Family Consortium’s Children’s Mental Health Program reviews current research in areas related to children’s mental health and presents ideas regarding application and implications of the research in practice and policy. The following issues are part of a series focusing specifically on trauma and child welfare systems:
- Helping Children and Youth Who Have Experienced Traumatic Events
In this Short Report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), two of SAMHSA’s initiatives are highlighted– The Comprehensive Community Mental Health Services for Children and Their Families Program (Children’s Mental Health Initiative, or CMHI) and The Donald J. Cohen National Child Traumatic Stress Initiative (NCTSI). The prevalence of exposure to traumatic events among participants in these two initiatives is discussed, as well as effects of trauma and available treatments for recovery. (May 2011)
- Helping Children Cope with Violence and Trauma: A School-Based Program That Works
Published by The RAND Corporation, this research brief discusses the development, implementation, and evaluation of the Cognitive-Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools (CBITS), an approach designed to help children traumatized by violence. CBITS was developed at RAND in close collaboration with mental health clinicians at the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). The intervention consisted of ten group sessions designed for inner-city schools with a multicultural population, and was successfully implemented and delivered by school-based mental health clinicians. CBITS was found to significantly reduce symptoms of post-traumatic stress and depression in students exposed to violence. (2011)
- Illinois Childhood Trauma Coalition White Paper: Child Trauma as a Lens for the Public Sector
The Illinois Childhood Trauma Coalition produced this report which discusses the impact of child trauma on child and adolescent brain development including: short-term and long-term effects of trauma, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), disruption in brain development, three styles of developmental responses employed by traumatized youth, and prevalence rates and cost estimates of child trauma. Additionally, the report explains clinical responses to trauma. Systemic responses from both national and Illinois-based organizations are discussed, as well as systemic issues and suggestions for future steps. (December 2010)
- Helping Children in the Child Welfare System Heal from Trauma: A Systems Integration Approach
This report from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network’s System Integration Working Group presents the results of a survey conducted among 53 agencies in 11 communities. The goal of this survey was to determine how various service systems communicate with each other about trauma and how the traumatized child is positively or negatively affected through interaction with these systems. The survey is a first step of a larger project, whose ultimate goal is to identify gaps in communication among agencies and systems, as well as to develop training and educational materials to improve collaboration on issues associated with child maltreatment and trauma. (2005)
Getting to Know the Unthought Known: Trauma, Patterns, and Very Young Children in Foster Care
The traumatic experiences of very young children in foster care are discussed, and the neurological patterns that developed as a result of this trauma are explained in this article by Diane Kukulis, published in The Infant Crier (p. 9-12). The need for practitioners to explore these patterns to "be with" the young children and their families is emphasized and practitioners are urged to help caregivers and children to hold feelings that arise and to co-regulate with them. (Winter 2012)
Supporting Infants, Toddlers and Families Impacted by Caregiver Mental Health Problems, Substance Abuse, and Trauma – A Community Action Guide
Using a case study approach, this guide published by SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) presents resources that service providers, advocates, and practitioners can use to better understand and engage the community in responding to children whose caregivers are negatively impacted by mental illness, substance abuse, or trauma. (October 2012)
Trauma-Informed Care Emerging as Proven Treatment for Children, Adults with Behavioral, Mental Health Problems
Children who are physically or sexually abused, or who go through other trauma-inducing experiences, can develop mental health disorders and related problems. Indeed, trauma can fundamentally affect how a young person grows and develops. Trauma-informed care is a treatment approach that explicitly acknowledges the role trauma plays in people’s lives. That approach is increasingly being developed and refined as a method of treatment by professionals working in medicine, mental health, education, foster care, juvenile justice, and other areas.
This brief article from Youth Law News, by Ta Lynn Mitchell, discusses: Exposure to Trauma; Trauma’s Effects; Trauma-Informed Care; Helping Native Youth; and Trauma-Informed Care in California, and Beyond. (2012)
Victimization and Trauma Experienced by Children and Youth: Implications for Legal Advocates
This issue brief translates emerging research and program practice into action steps for dependency and delinquency judges, attorneys, and legal advocates. The goal is to build their capacity to meet the needs of children and youth who are victimized and exposed to violence or other traumatic events. In this resource, developed in partnership with the Safe Start Center, ABA Center on Children and the Law, and Child and Family Policy Associates, you will find: information about the prevalence and impact of victimization and exposure to violence; practice tips for juvenile defenders, children's attorneys and GALs, judges, and CASAs; explanations of traumatic stress symptoms and trauma-related assessments and treatments; descriptions of promising local and state initiatives to address trauma; and, guidance on policy reforms and other considerations for trauma-informed advocacy. (2012)
- Evidence-Based Treatments for Childhood Trauma
This volume of the Virginia Child Protection Newsletter (VCPN), a publication by James Madison University that is sponsored by the Virginia Department of Social Services, focuses on childhood trauma and some available evidence-based treatments for children who have experienced trauma. Evidence-based treatments discussed in this publication include: Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), The Child and Family Traumatic Stress Intervention (CFTSI), Child Parent Psychotherapy (CPP), Continued Parent-Child Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CPC-CBT), Risk Reduction through Family Therapy (RRFT), and Culturally Modified Trauma-Focused Treatment (CM-TF). (Fall 2012)
- Creating Trauma-Informed Child Welfare Systems: A Guide for Administrators
In an effort to improve services for children and families involved in the child welfare system, the Chadwick Trauma-Informed Systems Project (CTISP), as part of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN), has coordinated a groundbreaking national effort to create a new resource to help professionals understand the impact of trauma on these children and families. This guide informs the reader about how trauma can affect children and families in all aspects of the child welfare system and gives practical implications for child welfare administrators in each chapter. Experts in the field of child welfare, child trauma research, clinical practice, and policy worked together with the CTISP staff to create these guidelines. (2012)
- Birth Parents with Trauma Histories and the Child Welfare System
This series of four fact sheets from The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) were put forth by the Birth Parent Subcommittee of the Child Welfare Committee regarding the serious consequences of trauma histories for birth parents, as well as the potential impact it can have on their children and families.
- A Guide for Birth Parents
This guide is specifically for birth parents that may be involved with the child welfare system or have experienced trauma. The guide defines trauma, discusses how trauma may affect parents and their parenting, provides suggestions for what parents can do if they have experienced trauma, and explains how therapy can help. (2012)
- A Guide for Child Welfare Staff
Developed for child welfare professionals, this guide describes how trauma can affect parents, provides suggestions for using a trauma-informed approach when working with birth parents, and addresses secondary trauma in child welfare professionals. (2011)
- A Guide for Judges and Attorneys
Aimed at judges and attorneys, this guide describes the signs of trauma, how trauma affects parents, secondary or vicarious traumatic stress in those working in family court, and explains how to use a trauma-informed approach working with birth parents. (2011)
- A Guide for Resource Parents
This guide for resource parents discusses the effects of trauma on birth parents, describes how resource parents can work together with birth parents, and provides suggestions for what resource parents can do to protect themselves from secondary traumatic stress. (2011)
- Safe Start Center: Trauma-Informed Care Tip Sheets
The Safe Start Initiative is funded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. The Safe Start Center website offers a variety of tools and resources, including the following trauma-informed care tip sheets:
For Safe Start resources in Spanish, see the Publicaciones en Español section.
- Trauma-Informed Care: Tips for Youth Workers
The National Clearinghouse on Families & Youth (NCFY) published this guide which emphasizes the importance of unique individual responses to trauma, discusses triggers, and highlights how youth workers can incorporate a trauma-informed approach in working with young people.
- Understanding Child Traumatic Stress
In this brochure from The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN), child traumatic stress in young children, school-aged children, and adolescents is discussed. Information on the development of trauma, responses to trauma, recovering from traumatic stress, and on the NCTSN are also provided.
Addressing Trauma in American Indian/Alaskan Native Children
- Adapting Evidence-Based Treatments for Use with American Indian and Native Alaskan Children and Youth
This article from Focal Point, from the Regional Research Institute for Human Services at Portland State University describes the adaptation of several evidence-based treatments (EBTs) for child traumatic stress for use in Native American communities. The EBTs that are discussed attend to the broad cultural, historical, and intergenerational traumas that are part of the life experience of many Native American youth. (Winter 2007)
- Indian Country Child Trauma Center
The Indian Country Child Trauma Center (ICCTC), operating out of the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, is a project funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and part of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network. ICCTC was established to develop American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN)-specific trauma-related treatment protocols, outreach materials, and service delivery guidelines. Their website provides an array of information and resources specifically designed for AI/AN children and families.
Secondary Traumatic Stress
- Addressing Secondary Traumatic Stress Among Child Welfare Staff: A Practice Brief
Developed by the ACS-NYU Children’s Trauma Institute, established by the New York City Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) and the New York University (NYU) Langone Medical Center, this practice brief discusses secondary traumatic stress (STS) among child welfare staff. It examines how STS is addressed in New York City, as well as throughout the nation, and concludes with recommendations for agencies to approach STS with their staff. (2012)
- CW360: Secondary Trauma and the Child Welfare Workforce
The Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare has developed this edition of the CW360 on Secondary Trauma and the Child Welfare Workforce, in recognition of a major challenge faced by many child welfare professionals. CW360 takes a look at the topic from various perspectives, with an overview of the topic, implications for practice, and a review of perspectives and collaborations. (2012)
- The Resilience Alliance: Promoting Resilience and Reducing Secondary Trauma Among Child Welfare Staff
The Resilience Alliance is a project undertaken by the Administration for Children’s Services-New York University Children’s Trauma Institute (ACS-NYU CTI) to mitigate the impact of secondary traumatic stress among child protective staff in New York City, and thereby increase staff resilience, optimism, self-care, social support and job satisfaction, and decrease stress reactivity, burnout and attrition. While this intervention was conducted with child protective staff, it is relevant to child welfare staff generally. This project is called the Resilience Alliance because its goal is to work together with child welfare staff to build their ability to protect themselves and their co-workers. This is not a one-directional training provided to staff, but rather an intervention that is done in partnership with child welfare staff at all levels, from the front line to the senior leadership of the agency. Download the Training Manual and Participant Handbook. (September 2011)
Resources from the States
In light of the tragic shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, the Connecticut Department of Children & Families (DCF) provides this resource with valuable information on trauma-informed care. It includes an overview of child trauma, information on how trauma affects children and caregivers, the importance of trauma-informed care to DCF, effective treatments for child traumatic stress, essential elements of trauma-informed child welfare systems, guiding principles for trauma-informed child welfare practice, and additional resources and websites. (December 2012)
- Florida Department of Children and Families (DCS): Trauma-Informed Care
This webpage from Florida DCS describes the importance of organizations implementing trauma-informed care, explains the concept of trauma-informed systems, and provides relevant websites and resources.
- Trauma-Informed Care Overview
Created by the Gabriel Myers Workgroup, a special initiative of the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCS), this Power Point Presentation provides an overview of trauma, explores the impact on child development and functioning, and presents effective prevention and treatment strategies and practices. (March 2010)
Practice and Policy Lecture Series: Trauma Informed Child Welfare
Sponsored by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) Office of Planning, Research and Statistics and the University of Oklahoma Center for Public Management, this presentation features Lisa Conradi, Psy.D., Clinical Psychologist of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, Chadwick Center for Children and Families in San Diego. “Dr. Conradi will provide an overview of the essential elements of a trauma-informed child welfare system. She will discuss how these essential elements have been applied at CW jurisdictions across the country, focusing specifically on a Breakthrough Series Collaborative (BSC) focused on using trauma-informed child welfare practice to improve foster care placement stability. She will provide participants with concrete practice changes they can take home to their own jurisdictions” (September 13, 2012)
Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS): Trauma Informed Care Training
This free online training provided by the Texas DFPS seeks to promote greater understanding by families, caregivers, and other social service providers of trauma informed care and child traumatic stress. (November 2012)
VCPN: Evidence-based Treatments for Childhood Trauma
Volume 95 of the Virginia Child Protection Newsletter (VCPN) focuses on evidence-based treatments for childhood trauma. It provides information about specific evidence-based treatments, the impact of trauma on children, what child welfare workers can do to offer trauma-informed services, and resources. It includes a listing of questions to ask treatment providers, highlights State Practice Improvement Projects in North Carolina and South Carolina, and discusses INVEST for Children: A Community-Based Learning Collaborative in Virginia. (Fall 2012)
- A Social Worker’s Tool Kit for Working with Immigrant Families – Healing the Damage: Trauma and Immigrant Families in the Child Welfare System
Written by the Migration and Child Welfare National Network, this tool kit provides public child welfare and community-based agencies working with immigrant families with guidelines for integrating child welfare practice – from engagement to case closure – with trauma-informed care and trauma-specific services. In addition, the tool kit describes strategies to build an organization’s capacity to better respond to the needs of immigrant families exposed to child maltreatment, domestic and community violence, and other traumatic stressors. It responds to frequently asked questions illustrated by case examples and provides website links and other resources. Download the Executive Summary and tool kit. (2010)
- The National Child Traumatic Stress Network Toolkits
The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) offers a variety of educational and training resources and products for professionals. Toolkits and materials offered by NCTSN cover a variety of trauma areas:
- CTG Web: A web-based learning course for Using TF-CBT With Childhood Traumatic Grief
A free web-based training course for using Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) with childhood traumatic grief (CTG). This course was developed with support from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services by NCTSN member sites: the National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center of the Medical University of South Carolina, the Center for Traumatic Stress for Children and Adolescents at Allegheny General Hospital, and the Child Abuse Research Education and Service (CARES) Institute at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. (2008)
- TF-CBT Web: A web-based learning course for learning Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
A free web-based training course for learning Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), an evidenced based treatment for traumatic stress. This course was developed with support from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services by NCTSN member sites: the National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center of the Medical University of South Carolina, the Center for Traumatic Stress for Children and Adolescents at Allegheny General Hospital, and the Child Abuse Research Education and Service (CARES) Institute at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey's School of Osteopathic Medicine. (2005)
- Assessment-Based Treatment for Traumatized Children: A Trauma Assessment Pathway (TAP)
This free web-based training course developed by NCTSN member, The Chadwick Center for Children and Families with support from through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is designed for therapists and program administrators who work with traumatized children. TAP is an assessment and treatment model that incorporates ongoing assessments of child and family functioning into the selection and delivery of trauma-focused interventions.
- Recognizing and Addressing Trauma in Infants, Young Children, and their Families
This tutorial from the Center for Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation with support from Office of Head Start, Administration for Children, Youth and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, was developed to help early childhood mental health consultants as well as Early Head Start and Head Start staff understand what is meant by trauma, recognize the developmental context of trauma in early childhood, and extend their own knowledge for intervention through consultation.
- Child Welfare Information Gateway
The Child Welfare Information Gateway, a service of the Children’s Bureau, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, website offers resources and information pertaining to trauma in the following areas:
- The National Child Traumatic Stress Network
In 2000, Congress established the national Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN), funded by the Center for mental Health Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, US Department of Health and Human Services through a congressional initiative: the Donald J. Cohen National Child Traumatic Stress Initiative. NCTSN is a unique collaboration of academic and community-based service centers whose mission is to raise the standard of care and increase access to services for traumatized children and their families across the United States. Combining knowledge of child development, expertise in the full range of child traumatic experiences, and attention to cultural perspectives, the NCTSN serves as a national resource for developing and disseminating evidence-based interventions, trauma-informed services, and public and professional education.
- National Clearinghouse on Families & Youth
The National Clearinghouse on Families & Youth (NCFY) is a resource of the Family and Youth Services Bureau. NCFY offers articles, publications, podcasts, and tools on various topics relating to youth and families.
- The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, aims to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on American communities. SAMHSA offers a variety of resources on major topical areas including trauma and justice; and disaster, trauma, and behavioral health, as well as information on their technical assistance center, the National Center for Trauma-Informed Care (NCTIC).
- Safe Start Center
The Safe Start Initiative is funded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. The goal of the Safe Start Initiative is to broaden the knowledge of, and promote community investment in, evidence-based strategies for reducing the impact of children’s exposure to violence. The Safe Start Center website offers a variety of resources and tools.