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

Joenangel14's picture

Joenangel14 said:

With my daughter I take her phone away depending on what she did.
LindsayMeyer's picture

LindsayMeyer said:

It is different based on each child's needs. I think discipline needs to start with prevention and then move into conversation. There is a place for discipline, but it must happen in the context of a relationship.
Tinymutt's picture

Tinymutt said:

I will know that his behavior is not intentional and I have to take in consideration the trauma he has endured.
PattiH's picture

PattiH said:

Depends on age but my group responds to loss of electronics
Cheferin84's picture

Cheferin84 said:

Our discipline has always been loss of privilege but with an explanation on why. We then discuss feelings. There is no yelling or anger.
Lori Kerchenfaut's picture

Lori Kerchenfaut said:

A parent can manage discipline differently for a child who has experienced trauma by differentiating the actions based on that child's previous reactions, triggers, and experiences. In this process, it is important to validate your child, and their emotions in order to successfully deescalate the situation, and find a solution.
Lmcelheny's picture

Lmcelheny said:

Acknowledge and validate feelings and emotions in order to help promote a safe environment to develop appropriate coping skills.'s picture

mikenjulieclark... said:

we create a safe environment so they dont hurt themselves. sometimes you got to let it pass and let them calm down
heatherwood's picture

heatherwood said:

A way I manage discipline in children who have experienced trauma is to first calm them, then identify why the behavior is wrong and harmful. This has helped them not repeat the behavior rather than just telling them no.
Ginarc's picture

Ginarc said:

A parent might handle discipline differently by trying to understand what triggers the child or try to identify the emotion the child may be experiencing in the moment. EX: if a younger child is familiar with verbal or physical abuse and they do something wrong, they may be triggered by someone yelling at them. A parent can change this discipline to be a positive outcome by trying to explain to the child what they did that was wrong and how to correct the behavior in an even tone opposed to yelling and screaming while the child may not understand what they are being chastised for.