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 they care for.

In this course, you can expect to learn:

  • about the connection between adverse childhood experiences and health outcomes
  • how response to stress can impact child and adolescent development
  • features of trauma-informed services
  • the perspective of young people who have experienced trauma
  • ways that 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 young people 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 obtain valuable trauma informed parenting information. 

Step 5

Learn what the impact of untreated trauma has on a young person, understand your child’s behavior in reaction to trauma, and practical tips to help your child 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 use a real-life example, if you have one (but please don't use any names in your story).

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Course Discussion

PaulaSchafer's picture

PaulaSchafer said:

I had a foster child who had experienced a great deal of trauma in her life. When she came to live with us, I disciplined her the same as my own children but I was also careful not to cause any triggers of her past trauma. I mostly used the loss of privileges such as, internet use, phone use, attending extracurricular activities.
briancampbell7066's picture

briancampbell7066 said:

Discipline is very often tailored to the trauma the child has faced, not only to avoid triggers but also to hopefully healing in the child. That can be very difficult when you have multiple children of similar ages because they may think what you are doing is "unfair" when what you are doing may be the best fit for that particular child.
josehunter's picture

josehunter said:

Dealing with foster children, it is amazing to see the whole affect that trauma has on children in every respect of their life even the physical growth of that child. We (foster parents) are just one cog in an intricate wheel that a foster child needs. We must be consistent in helping in the child's growth in a positive manner.
Janieb814's picture

Janieb814 said:

Discipline should be handled separately for each child, trauma or no trauma. What works for one child, may not work for another. Regardless of they type or method of discipline, it should always be done in the most loving way possible.
pjohnson's picture

pjohnson said:

Physical punishment is not always effective whether the child has been physically abused or not. Discipline has to be determined by the personality of the child. Taking a phone or toy away may be more effective.
joenangel's picture

joenangel said:

i had 3 teenagers at one time the boys would fight all the time so I had to keep them separated and grounf them the girl I would have to takeher phone away.
Joenangel14's picture

Joenangel14 said:

I had 3 teenagers at one time the boys were very mean to each other so I had to keep them separated and the girl just yelled a lot. The girl I took her cell phone away with the boys I had to ground them.
Joenangel14's picture

Joenangel14 said:

With my daughter I take her phone away depending on what she did.
LindsayMeyer's picture

LindsayMeyer said:

It is different based on each child's needs. I think discipline needs to start with prevention and then move into conversation. There is a place for discipline, but it must happen in the context of a relationship.
Tinymutt's picture

Tinymutt said:

I will know that his behavior is not intentional and I have to take in consideration the trauma he has endured.