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

teamgile's picture

teamgile said:

One of my son's grew up on in orphanage in a foreign country. Food was often an issue when he came home. In the orphanage there was little food and the weaker children (including my son) had to eat very fast and guard their food or it would be taken by others who were quicker than others. Upon arriving home my son ate without chewing and FAST! He didn't hoard food as many do, but he was very weary of anyone trying to take his plate away until he was done. We gave him a lot of grace and room to eat in peace and not go near his plate. We allowed him to eat until he was full and to show him that dinner time was suppose to be a pleasant experience. We laughed and talked while we ate. It took a long time, but he eventually came around. He is cognitively delayed, so he was really not able to tell us what he was experiencing or had experienced. But being informed of the possibility of a struggle with food we watched and reacted appropriately. This helped his healing. He has been home with us 15 years and he still eats FAST! and rarely chews, but he lingers at the table and laughs and talks with us. This is just his way. We encourage him to eat slower, that there is plenty of food for him. It is just a very deep trauma that will probably never go away. We love him, regardless.
gdmj0311's picture

gdmj0311 said:

Wow, It is such an eye opener to see how traumatic events can truly scare someone for life. learning all this has explained some issues that we have with our foster child. great information.
CaryMitchell's picture

CaryMitchell said:

Giving them a safe, loving environment and being very observant of what sets them off will help them tremendously.
rhiannon's picture

rhiannon said:

try to understand where they are coming from and have patience. its hard sometimes for them to open up and it takes time for them to build that trust.
Bobby47's picture

Bobby47 said:

Patience and understanding. More time ins then time outs. Research and read up on trauma in children.
jeanette tawbush's picture

jeanette tawbush said:

Be patient understanding and don't sweat the small things,
joerobinette's picture

joerobinette said:

You have to keep in mind the child’s past when making decisions and corrections on these children.
rrobinette58's picture

rrobinette58 said:

Discipline for a child that has experienced Trauma sometimes has to be altered based on that child’s experiences and what works best for them.
tom Yockey's picture

tom Yockey said:

You need to provide clearer expectations prior to going into a situation that is difficult for the child. Repetition and consistency is very important. Patience is key.
tom Yockey's picture

tom Yockey said:

You need to provide clearer expectations prior to going into a situation that is difficult for the child. Repetition and consistency is very important. Patience is key.