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Reducing the Trauma to Children

Children's Justice Act: Reducing the Trauma To Children during Child Abuse Investigations, Removal and Out-of-Home Placement

The Foster Care subcommittee of the Oregon Children’s Justice Act (CJA) Task Force identified the need to address the trauma to children associated with the investigation of suspected child abuse and neglect and the initial out-of-home placement. They contracted with PSU’s Center for Improvement of Child and Family Services to design and conduct a project to address that need.  Work on this project was conducted from January 2008 through July 2009 and focused on addressing that need through the following project objectives: 

Overall Project Objectives

  1. Defining and understanding the nature of the trauma to children, at different ages and developmental stages, associated with the investigation of suspected child abuse and neglect.
  2. Defining and understanding the nature of the trauma to children associated with the initial out-of-home placement.
  3. Identifying effective practices for reducing the trauma to children during investigation and initial out-of-home placement.
  4. Dissemination of this information to members of the various systems involved in investigation and initial placement through training, education, or other strategies.

The first three objectives were accomplished through a review of the literature, consultation with local and national experts, and focus groups and interviews with child welfare caseworkers and supervisors, tribal workers and supervisors, police officers and detectives, foster parents, birthparents, teachers and school counselors, medical examiners, mental health providers, juvenile court staff, child welfare trainers, and foster youth.  Once this information was collected, various types of materials and resources were identified and developed for dissemination.

This website was developed as a tool for dissemination of the various products developed in this project as well as links to resources on other websites, especially the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (  The various resources and materials may be accessed through the links below.

» Trauma Training
» Trauma Resources