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

Riahray89's picture

Riahray89 said:

Patients and connection! Respond instead of react!
ncfostermama's picture

ncfostermama said:

In my experience with our foster son, showing patience and consistency, as well as unconditional love & support, helped to develop a positive relationship and allow for a safe space for healing.
ckieber92's picture

ckieber92 said:

You need to have a good understanding of trauma. understanding how it can impact a child's behavior and affect the way they think. If a child was locking in his/her room for long periods of time, you shouldn't use that as a discipline.
justinandjenn100's picture

justinandjenn100 said:

A reward system for good behavior/ good days seems to work well.
jerry83joyner's picture

jerry83joyner said:

You have to be aware that their behavior may be born out of said trauma and therefore reacting to it aggressively or without empathy can actually make the problems worse.
G.Brown's picture

G.Brown said:

Make sure you have a lot of patience with them, understand it may take some time for them to understand that they are not longer in any danger, and are now safe. Reassure them that everything is going to be okay and know that certain behaviors are a defense mechanism.
sedadianette's picture

sedadianette said:

"How might a parent manage discipline differently for a child who has experienced trauma?" First of all, understanding (if possible) what experienced the minor so I can avoid triggers. Second, allowing my self to learn positive discipline techniques and have resources available to assist with the situations. Listening to the young person's concerns and points of view and acknowledging their reasoning, but adding a different point of view. Making the young person part of their discipline process.
carrieleasteele's picture

carrieleasteele said:

Listening, staying calm and putting the child first have been key in my experiences.
jeffsteele's picture

jeffsteele said:

Connection and Patience are so important. .
Brebre2063's picture

Brebre2063 said:

My child picks his fingers, rocks, self harms himself. How do help your child with that ? Could the picking be a strategy to calm himself down?