Training and Professional Development on Child Trauma

Training and Professional Development on Child Trauma Providing adults (staff, leadership, families, and community partners) with training and professional development on childhood trauma is an important component of implementing TIC. It is essential that adults become aware of the prevalence and impact of trauma, and learn to apply a “trauma lens” (i.e., gain the capacity to view children’s difficulties in behavior, learning, and relationships as natural reactions to trauma that warrant understanding and sensitive care). In addition, adults can learn key strategies to manage trauma-related problems in childhood. These include:

 creating environments that feel physically and emotionally safe.

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 teaching children self-regulation, language and communication skills, and how to build healthy relationships.

 learning each child’s trauma triggers and how both the child and adults can limit, anticipate, and cope with them.

 supporting the development of healthy attachments with parents and other caregivers, as well as positive relationships with peers.

Evaluations of TIC initiatives also indicate that when parents, service providers, and programs share a common language and view of trauma, they are better able to work together to meet children’s needs.

Training and professional development opportunities are also important for increasing the capacity of adults to attend to other aspects of TIC, including:

 family engagement.

 practices that are responsive to culture, gender, and sexual orientation.

 collaboration with community service providers (e.g., mental health providers who can screen for childhood trauma and provide evidence-based treatment).

 developing and integrating emergency and crisis response protocols.

 and establishing trauma-informed policies that support positive youth development despite exposure to trauma.