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

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!
DValois's picture

DValois said:

We had a foster child who was a failure to thrive case. It became immediate to us that the child withholding food from the child was one of the inappropriate disciple procedures (and traumas) the child experienced. In the beginning, it was heartbreaking to watch the child guard the plate with his body and even put some of the food from the plate into his pocket (for later). Knowing what had happened to the child helped us to understand how to help him.
MelissaMM's picture

MelissaMM said:

We need to find out as much information from the caseworker about what they know about the way the child was disciplined before and make sure the discipline we use won't cause a trigger.