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's picture

Leeannmikes@yah... said:

A foster child was upset and panicked when she saw a man talking to her foster dad. This man reminded her of a different abusive person. We didn’t get mad at the child for the outburst. We instead talked to the child informing the child that the man wasn’t the abusive person. It took several months to work with the girl but she stop the outburst. She never did trust the man but she trusted us to keep her safe.
DHedge's picture

DHedge said:

Reinforcement of good behavior
kathy butcher's picture

kathy butcher said:

avoid any triggers that could take the child back to their trauma .
oaktomas's picture

oaktomas said:

It is important to avoid or minimize any triggers that could bring the child back into their trauma instead of bringing them into a place to talk about other ways to behave. Example: Time outs can feel like neglect to a child.
Capt Vegetable's picture

Capt Vegetable said:

The adult can use the knowledge of the reason(s) behind the maladaptive behavior to respond and not react - creating an opportunity for growth and restorative justice. Teaching a child how to reflect on their choices, feelings, reactions, triggers and behaviors and how they can recognize them is valuable for all children, especially those who have experienced trauma.
Ryguythesciguy's picture

Ryguythesciguy said:

Trauma is real and happens. Our awareness and training in it will help us be better parents to the kids in our care.
KimmersA8's picture

KimmersA8 said:

Being aware of the trauma and responding appropriately is hugely important. Get to know your kids and what are triggers for them so you can help them grow and heal.
apriljackson11's picture

apriljackson11 said:

I no how to take care and child with trauma all I have to do is give the child tender and care because I have and hold lot of patience for that kind of child and the child needs is and hold lot of patience and care
MrRp's picture

MrRp said:

We currently have a young child who is just learning how to speak, so communication is still difficult. The key is patience, creating good routines, laying out easily understood rules that can be followed, and recognizing good behaviors.
beanhead41's picture

beanhead41 said:

A big key is patience and predictability with rules/boundaries!