Credit hours:
2.50

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

CharlieLang's picture

CharlieLang said:

Take into account the trauma they experienced. Have more patience try to put yourself in their place, and guide more than yell.
celestialstina80's picture

celestialstina80 said:

Talking Things through is very important, but you also need to explain that there are still consequences to the actions when mis-behaving.
sarahhmiller1970@gmail.com's picture

sarahhmiller197... said:

Discipline for foster kids cannot just be actions means consequences - there is a lot of trauma and emotions and reactions that have tolearn to be managed - by kids and parents alike.
wrmiller13@gmail.com's picture

wrmiller13@gmail.com said:

We learned rather quickly as foster parents that the concept of "discipline" does not mean controlling behaviors (i.e. your actions will lead to consequences) but rather that we were trying to help our children learn how to control / manage their behaviors and emotions and reactions.
daveferg1388's picture

daveferg1388 said:

My most recent placement has been having behavioral issues at visits, to a point where his CW and myself have had to talk with him. While talking did address it, it didn't really help him or us get to the why of the matter. So, I had him write in his notebook about why he has been acting that way - and it was a huge help for myself, his CW and his therapist. Knowing what we know now, it's been able to be turned around so that we can start labelling and understanding the complex emotions that he has from the trauma he experienced. Who knew such a simple thing could make such a big splash!
HEIDI PRIESTLEY's picture

HEIDI PRIESTLEY said:

A parent would most be most effective if they were able to remain very calm and address the situation with a kind heart. Encourage deep breathing techniques and help the child work through his/her emotions. These are the most immediate techniques we employ in a school environment. Most importantly is to not remove the child (unless he/she is in an unsafe situation) for he/she may perceive themselves as being "bad". Instead offer a calming seat or area where both the parent and child can sit and begin to decompress and/or discuss what the child is feeling.
ksmith120's picture

ksmith120 said:

I wouldn’t think of it as punishment but an opportunity for them to improve. For a child that has experienced trauma the most important thing is to get them to calm down and acknowledge their feelings. Then help them identify the choices that were made, the result of those choices and how they want can make a different choice. They could write, draw or use any format of their choice to reflect and express themselves - like a journal.
G.Brown's picture

G.Brown said:

Allowing them to express themselves in an excepable manner
Lisamarie Guidry's picture

Lisamarie Guidry said:

Remain patient and calm with them. Do not take their behavior personally.
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.