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
Take the Course:
Estimated time to complete: 2.5 hours
A: Learn how childhood trauma unfolds across a lifetime from Pediatrician Nadine Burke Harris in the video: How Childhood Trauma Affects Health Across A Lifetime
B: 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." CLICK HERE
C: Review: "Youth and Family Perspectives on Trauma-Informed Care" and learn how identifying trauma may help to overcome it: CLICK HERE
D: Review: "Trauma-Informed Parenting: What You Should Know", to obtain valuable trauma informed parenting information: CLICK HERE
E: 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": CLICK HERE
F: Continue the conversation on the supportive adult forum, add a comment to course discussion topic question: CLICK HERE
Want to take the quiz and receive credit for this course? Please subscribe below.
My own disciplinary experience is around talking and writing to work through problems. While it doesn't work for all age children I think helping a child express why they did something and how there are other options both verbally and in writing can help calm the situation down and give them a stronger language with with to communicate.
Discipline, of necessity, usually has to be "in the moment". Being prepared with an understanding of trauma that your child may have experienced, and anticipating at least some common discipline situations, would help avoid known "triggers" (such as physical punishment's relation to physical abuse), ensure that you are disciplining from an understanding of the child's history, and allow you to react confidently and appropriately.
That said, for any kind of discipline, it's better to acknowledge and reverse a mistake, if you made one, rather than bulling through a poor disciplinary choice. In the case of traumatized children, a mistake may be really hard to anticipate, but it may be evident by an unusual or extreme reaction from the child. In our family, we usually find that creative disciplinary approaches work better anyway -- do-overs, ways that the child can help make up for an outburst, etc. Once a situation is no longer ongoing, we also find that not being in a rush to impose a consequence -- taking time to consider -- is important.
our 8 year old foster daughter came to us with the able of being difficult. after learning her story we understood it was important for her to know she can "count" on us and she is safe in our home. at bed time we would tell her you are safe here and hold her hand unill she relaxed. she would have flashbacks and then act out we soon recognized the warning signs and helped talk her through it . the things she may need was just a simple hug. the simple statement of "you are part of this family"
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