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: 

Overview of Reducing the Trauma to Children

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 web page 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.


Training

Children’s Justice Act Power Point and Training Manuals

Presentation (PPT) »

Trainer's Manual (PDF) »

Trainer's Manual (DOC) »

Note: PowerPoint slides were not converted to pdf because it contains a slide with an animated picture that doesn’t work in the pdf version.

 


 

Children’s Justice Act Handouts

Children’s Justice Act Training Curriculum – Reducing the Trauma of Investigation, Removal and Out-of-Home Placement in Child Abuse Cases

This 3 hour curriculum is adaptable to various audiences. It includes training modules with basic information about trauma in general, the trauma of investigation, removal and placement, and the effects of trauma on children that provides a common foundation across all disciplines or systems. The curriculum also includes omponents that can be customized utilizing different handouts and written material to educate participants from various different professions about strategies they can utilize to minimize further trauma to children during investigation, removal and placement.


 

Children’s Justice Act Videos: Stories of Removal

Three parents and a foster youth tell their stories of children’s removal and placement along with highlights of what was done that was helpful in reducing trauma and suggestions for what might have been done differently in their cases to reduce trauma.  The video is arranged so that one or more short sections may be selected for trainings or presentations.


 

National Child Traumatic Stress Network

View NCTSN website »

View Child Welfare Trauma Training Toolkit (2008) »

 

Children’s Justice Act Training Contact

For information about ongoing training and presentations on this topic for caseworkers and foster/adoptive parents please contact Linda Bello and Sandra McIlhenny at the Child Welfare Partnership, Salem Office.

Linda Bello
Child Welfare Trainer
(503) 315-4271
bellol@pdx.edu


Resources and Products

General Info about Trauma and its Effects on Children

What is Child Traumatic Stress? 

Many children will experience trauma during their lives, and some of them will develop traumatic stress. Although many of us may experience reactions to stress from time to time, when a child is experiencing child traumatic stress, these reactions interfere with his or her daily life and ability to function and interact with others. These resources provide detailed information about what trauma is, why it occurs, and what to look for in your child after a trauma.

Trauma and its Effects on Children – Overview »

For All

Age Related Reactions to a Traumatic Event, and How to Help (PDF) »

NCTSN Understanding Child Traumatic Stress Brochure (PDF) » 
12 pages, Includes signs and symptoms in children of different ages

Project Information and Discussion Guide (PDF) »
This booklet contains information about the project and where to obtain other project materials.  It also contains the “Briefs” developed from the interviews and focus groups – What is the Trauma of Investigation; Removal and Placement; TIPS for Caseworkers, Foster Parents, Law Enforcement, Educators, and Parents – and several documents from NCTSN providing basic information about trauma, its effects on children and signs and symptoms of traumatic stress in children of different ages.  It was designed to be flexible in use and adaptable for various settings (e.g., discussions at meetings or staffings) and participants. 

Additional External Resources

For additional information not included on this page, we've listed organizations that provide information on trauma informed care:

Child Trauma Academy (CTA) »

California Center of Excellence for Trauma-Informed Care (CCETIC) Resources »

National Child Traumatic Stress Network »

Oregon Health Services Trauma-Informed and Trauma-Specific Services »

SAMHSA National Center for Trauma-Informed Care (NCTIC) »

Trauma Informed Oregon »

 

FOR CHILD WELFARE WORKERS  

Trauma of Investigation and Removal (PDF) »

Trauma of Initial Out-of-Home Placement (PDF) »

Tips for Caseworkers (PDF) »

 

FOR FOSTER PARENTS

Child Traumatic Stress – A Primer for Resource Parents (PDF) »

Coping with Trauma Reminders (PDF) »

What Children and Youth in Foster Care Want You to Know (PDF) »

Helping Traumatized Children: A Brief Overview for Caregivers (PDF) » 
By Dr. Bruce Perry

Special Considerations for Parents, Caretakers, and Teachers (PDF) »
Brochure created by Ally Jamieson from Dr. Bruce Perry’s work.

Biology of Trauma: How Trauma Impacts the Developing Mind (PDF) »
Brochure created by Ally Jamieson

Tips for Foster Parents (PDF) »

 

FOR PARENTS

Helping Traumatized Children: A Brief Overview for Caregivers (PDF) »
By Dr. Bruce Perry

Special Considerations for Parents, Caretakers, and Teachers (PDF) »
Brochure created by Ally Jamieson from Dr. Bruce Perry’s work.

Biology of Trauma: How Trauma Impacts the Developing Mind (PDF) »
Brochure created by Ally Jamieson

Tips for Parents (PDF) »

 

FOR EDUCATORS

Tips for Educators (PDF) »

A Child Trauma Toolkit for Educators

Complete Child Trauma Toolkit for Educators (PDF) »
The Child Trauma Toolkit for Educators is a 21-page booklet comprised of the following components which can be accessed individually:

Trauma Facts for Educators (PDF) »
This one-page fact sheet is designed to help educators learn more about the impact of trauma on children’s behavior and performance in a school or classroom setting. It also provides specific recommendations for teachers to help mitigate the impact of trauma on children in the classroom.

Understanding Child Traumatic Stress: A Guide for Parents (PDF) »
This easy-to-read brochure provides parents and caregivers with a basic overview of child traumatic stress, outlines what they can do at home to help a child who has been traumatized, and provides instructions on how to advocate for their child within the school setting.

Psychological and Behavioral Impact of Trauma: Preschool Children (PDF) »

Psychological and Behavioral Impact of Trauma: Elementary School Students (PDF) »

Psychological and Behavioral Impact of Trauma: Middle School Students (PDF) »

Psychological and Behavioral Impact of Trauma: High School Students (PDF) »
These comprehensive documents are intended for educators who work primarily with preschool, elementary, middle school, and high school students, respectively. They describe how to identify children in the four age groups who may be experiencing traumatic stress reactions. They also teach educators how to manage these children within the school and classroom settings.

Self Care for Educators (PDF) »
Working daily with children who have been exposed to trauma can be very difficult for school professionals. This handout defines secondary traumatic stress, compassion fatigue, and vicarious traumatization: three reactions that educators who work with traumatized children may have. The handout describes why these reactions are so important to prevent and address, and outlines specific recommendations for appropriate self-care.

Suggestions for Educators (PDF) »
This document provides a list of simple and straightforward strategies educators can use to accommodate a traumatized child in the school setting. It also teaches educators how to determine when traumatic stress reactions are severe enough to merit a referral for additional help.

Brief Information on Childhood Traumatic Grief (PDF) »
This document defines child traumatic grief and distinguishes it from normal childhood grief following the death of a close friend or family member. Some of the key features of child traumatic grief are discussed, along with examples of how it is similar to and different from normal grief. The document offers guidance for adults who encounter a child with child traumatic grief, including how and when to seek professional help.

Brief Information on Childhood Traumatic Grief for School Personnel (PDF) »
This information sheet focuses primarily on how teachers and school personnel can identify and assist children in their school who are experiencing child traumatic grief. While acknowledging that most children who have experienced the death of a close friend or family member do not develop childhood traumatic grief, the information sheet  identifies specific signs and symptoms of childhood traumatic grief for teachers to look
for. This resource also outlines strategies that school staff can engage in to help students with child traumatic grief.

Acknowledgements:
The Child Trauma Toolkit for Educators was developed by the Schools Committee of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network.

 

FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT

Keeping Children Safe When Their Parents are Arrested (PDF) »
From California State Library, California Research Bureau

Tips for Law Enforcement (PDF) »     

 

FOR JUDGES

Safe Babies Court Teams: Building Strong Families and Healthy Communities (DVD) »
This video articulates the needs of maltreated infants and toddlers to professionals in Safe Babies Court Team communities and beyond.

 

FOR MEDICAL EXAMINERS

Tips for Medical Examiners (PDF) »