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

Ratworld3's picture

Ratworld3 said:

Trauma children often have a more severe connection to property so punishment by taking items away can cause additional stress of losing something. A good strategy could be to place the item in site but out of reach so that the child knows it isn't gone but just a temporary state.
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.