Trauma informed care is one topic that has increasing interest in receiving training, especially around principles, practical application and resources. There is much work going on in Iowa around trauma informed care. One of our goals is to create a common understanding – which is why our focus will be on Understanding Trauma. The National Child Traumatic Stress Network is excellent source of information. Their definition of trauma and child traumatic stress is a good foundation.
Child traumatic stress occurs when children and adolescents are exposed to traumatic events or traumatic situations, and when this exposure overwhelms their ability to cope with what they have experienced.
Depending on their age, children respond to traumatic stress in different ways. Many children show signs of intense distress—disturbed sleep, difficulty paying attention and concentrating, anger and irritability, withdrawal, repeated and intrusive thoughts, and extreme distress—when confronted by anything that reminds them of their traumatic experiences. Some children develop psychiatric conditions such as posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, and a variety of behavioral disorders.
While some children "bounce back" after adversity, traumatic experiences can result in a significant disruption of child or adolescent development and have profound long-term consequences. Repeated exposure to traumatic events can affect the child's brain and nervous system and increase the risk of low academic performance, engagement in high-risk behaviors, and difficulties in peer and family relationships. Traumatic stress can cause increased use of health and mental health services and increased involvement with the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. Adult survivors of traumatic events may have difficulty in establishing fulfilling relationships, holding steady jobs, and becoming productive members of our society. Fortunately, there are effective treatments for child traumatic stress. (http://www.nctsn.org).
In response to that need to offer training on trauma and child traumatic stress the Training Academy (through the Coalition) has entered into an agreement with the International Center for Disaster Resilience (local partner is Midwest Trauma Services Network) to provide trainings to support this need.
- Illinois Childhood Trauma Coalition White Paper: Child Trauma as a Lens for the Public Sector
- Infants of Depressed Mothers Living in Poverty: Opportunities to Identify and Serve
- Secondary Traumatic Stress: A Fact Sheet for Child-Serving Professionals
- Adverse Childhood Experiences Reported by Adults: Five States, 2009