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

Lisahays's picture

Lisahays said:

It is an incredible phenomenon to see how much trauma and adversity can effect us in our health and every way throughout our whole life.
Erichays's picture

Erichays said:

That first video was so thought provoking. It is interesting to see how it can effect the overall health of a person throughout their life.
ShaaleenAP's picture

ShaaleenAP said:

Understanding behavior is important. Being able to demonstrate appropriate behavior is equally important. Its guidance's picture

[email protected] 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.