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

tiamnichols's picture

tiamnichols said:

Our children are young so for us it is looking at the behaviors that they are having and when a visit has happened. Usually the behaviors are fussiness and irritability. Instead of "disciplining" for screaming or tantrums like you might a typical toddler I will give her the attention and reassurance of safety that she needs.
frenchy78's picture

frenchy78 said:

You would want to make sure you new the child's "triggers" so you wouldn't mistake something as simply defiance or misbehavior but be able to identify the underlying issue.
katiejfrench's picture

katiejfrench said:

Talking to children about good choices and bad choices. Helping them to understand the consequence that comes from their choices. Trying to find out if there was some emotion behind their decision that led to a bad choice and addressing the cause of the emotion.
Truth and Love's picture

Truth and Love said:

Helping a child to know what is right and wrong. Helping a child to heal from being wronged. Helping a child to trust again..... takes time and a lot of effort from an adult.
bryantae's picture

bryantae said:

We try to keep structure and reinforce good decisions versus poor decisions. When emotional triggers set off 12 yr old we are teaching him to find ways to calm down before he blows up. He will go to his room or outside to calm down.
Cweber8347's picture

Cweber8347 said:

Try to involve the child as much as possible in the discipline process. Ask them, “Remember what we said would happen as a consequence if you failed to do this, etc.?” Do not use corporal punishment as it is even more traumatic for them.
lanne's picture

lanne said:

Great question. I love the ideas I've seen here about involving the child in creating discipline responses. When the child needs discipline, you can reinforce the fact that this discipline tool was created together. As in, remember, XX, what we agreed would happen when you lose your temper? We're going to do X now. I could have used this approach with a previous placement--a child who really struggled with regulating his emotions. This child needed lots of guidance and positive reinforcement. Also, it's important to get professional help whenever indicated.
JW's picture

JW said:

Have them be part of decision making process for consequences.
Mikaylla1's picture

Mikaylla1 said:

I involve the child in establishing what the consequences should be for what the negative behavior was. Such as if they break a rule concerning internet use. I have my daughter decide what the consequence should be. She understands action and consequences both positive and negative.
shaaleen's picture

shaaleen said:

Always use understanding and patience. Knowing the trauma in the child's life will help with triggers. Teaching a child resilience is fundamental.