Credit hours:

Course Summary

Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are potentially traumatic events that can have negative, lasting effects on health and well-being. These experiences range from physical, emotional, or sexual abuse to parental divorce or the incarceration of a parent or guardian. Many foster children have experienced multiple traumatic events in their childhood. It’s imperative that foster parents and other child welfare stakeholders be informed about how trauma impacts the children and youth they care for.

In this course, you can expect to learn:

  • The connection between Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) and health outcomes

  • How responses to stress can impact child and adolescent development

  • Considerations for facilitating trauma-informed services

  • Perspectives from young people who have experienced trauma

  • How foster parents can provide trauma-informed support to children and youth

Step 1

Learn how childhood trauma unfolds across a lifetime from Pediatrician Nadine Burke Harris in the video "How Childhood Trauma Affects Health Across A Lifetime."

Step 2

Learn what trauma is, how young people respond to trauma, and how trauma-informed services benefit children and youth in foster care by reading the article "Trauma-Informed Practice with Young People in Foster Care."

Step 3

Review the JBS International article "Youth and Family Perspectives on Trauma-Informed Care" and learn how identifying trauma may help to overcome it.

Step 4

Review the Fostering Perspectives article "Trauma-Informed Parenting: What You Should Know" to learn valuable trauma informed parenting information. 

Step 5

Learn the impact of untreated trauma on children and young people, understand some of the behaviors exhibited in reaction to trauma, and explore practical tips to help children and youth overcome trauma in the article "Parenting a Child Who Has Experienced Trauma."

Step 6

Join the discussion in the comments below to answer the following question:

How might a parent manage discipline differently for a child who has experienced trauma? You are encouraged to share real-life examples, but please don't use any names in your story.

Step 7

Finished the module?  If you are logged in as a subscribed user, take the quiz to earn your Continuing Education Credit hours and certificate!

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Course Discussion

Brebre2063's picture

Brebre2063 said:

How do you help your child overcome childhood trauma?
Courtneymiller304's picture

Courtneymiller304 said:

you want to ensure that the discipline matches the “wrong doing” and makes sense for a child. You want them to know that there is a problem with their behavior/actions, not with them as a person. It is also important to stay calm and be empathetic when the child is explaining what happened.
rlcmurphy's picture

rlcmurphy said:

Always be calm and loving. Haven't experienced this yet we have an infant.
AJDAUCK's picture


Consider the information you have been given about the trauma they have endured and adjust discipline accordingly. Also having clear and consistent rules helps children to know boundaries to decrease the need for discipline.
vw329's picture

vw329 said:

I think consistency and open communication will potentially avoid the need to "discipline". It is more of a conversation and modeling positive behaviors than punishing negative ones.
beks1375's picture

beks1375 said:

If a certain form of discipline is traumatizing, I would reevaluate my methods of discipline and find something different that is effective. I would allow them to feel their feelings in a way that is not harmful to themselves or anyone around them.
Katchick's picture

Katchick said:

0foster youth have a lot of trauma. there is no normal. I've had children come in on so many meds that they are high as heck. But once i get them into therapy, groups with peer's routine stability. they seem to lose the behaviors. Trauma plays such a huge part in their health
CharlieLang's picture

CharlieLang said:

Take into account the trauma they experienced. Have more patience try to put yourself in their place, and guide more than yell.
celestialstina80's picture

celestialstina80 said:

Talking Things through is very important, but you also need to explain that there are still consequences to the actions when mis-behaving.'s picture

sarahhmiller197... said:

Discipline for foster kids cannot just be actions means consequences - there is a lot of trauma and emotions and reactions that have tolearn to be managed - by kids and parents alike.