Child welfare systems that are trauma informed and healing centered are better equipped to recognize the impact of trauma on children, youth, and caregivers and respond to it, supporting whole families' ability to thrive. In these systems, child welfare professionals understand that families are essential in preventing and recovering from trauma while also acknowledging that all families experience trauma differently.
Trauma-informed agencies improve child welfare outcomes, including fewer children requiring crisis services or residential treatment; decreased prescriptions for psychotropic medications; fewer foster home placements, including reentries; and enhanced overall child functioning and well-being.
Because trauma intersects with culture, history, race, and language, trauma-informed systems are culturally responsive to the needs of the diverse families they serve. Child welfare professionals should adopt an approach focused on healing and resiliency that acknowledges the multigenerational effects of historical and racial trauma. Agencies should aim to authentically engage with parents and caregivers and meet them where they are to equitably support them in building the capacity to protect and nurture their children.
Use these resources to learn about the importance of trauma-informed practice and explore trauma-informed approaches in child welfare.
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The Importance of a Trauma-Informed Child Welfare System
Learn about the importance of cultivating a child welfare system that recognizes and responds appropriately to trauma. The brief concludes by highlighting how cross-system collaborations can help to promote trauma-informed child welfare practice.
Healing-Centered and Trauma-Responsive Care Across Child Welfare For Better Youth Engagement
Learn how agencies can improve engagement of child welfare staff and young people in the child welfare system experiencing burnout and traumatic stress by focusing on access to trauma-responsive and healing-centered care.
A Trauma-Informed Guide for Working With Youth Involved in Multiple Systems
Find information on implementing trauma-informed practices when working with youth involved with child welfare and other systems. Youth involved in multiple systems are disproportionately exposed to trauma and may experience traumatic stress.
Recommendations for Trauma-Informed Care Under the Family First Prevention Services Act
Examine provisions of the Family First Prevention Services Act that require trauma-informed approaches in casework practice and provides recommendations for child welfare professionals and others for better understanding the Family First law.
Child Welfare Trauma Training Toolkit
Find a training toolkit for caseworkers and supervisors on implementing trauma-informed language, knowledge, and practices into their day-to-day work, services, and organizational culture. The toolkit includes two foundational trainings.
Trauma-Informed, Healing-Centered Approaches
Learn about the importance of trauma-informed child welfare systems that provide healing-centered support for children and families and find resources that acknowledge the multigenerational effects of historical and racial trauma.