Many children in the child welfare system have experienced complex trauma. Complex trauma occurs when children are exposed to multiple traumatic events over time that are severe, pervasive, and interpersonal in nature, such as repeated abuse and neglect, and cause long-term harmful consequences (National Child Traumatic Stress Network, 2014). Complex trauma may interfere with a child's ability to form secure attachments to caregivers and many other aspects of healthy physical and mental development. In this section, find trainings and resources to help support children in your care who have experienced complex trauma, including ways to promote attachment.
Caring for Kids: What Parents Need to Know About Child Sexual Abuse
The National Child Traumatic Stress Network
Provides parents and caregivers with tools to help them support children who have been victims of sexual abuse, information on the importance of talking to children and youth about body safety, and guidance on how to respond when children disclose sexual abuse.
North American Council on Adoptable Children
Provides articles and webinars on childhood trauma, the impact of trauma on children, and trauma-informed parenting practices.
Childhood Traumatic Grief: Information for Parents and Caregivers
The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (2019)
Provides information for parents and caregivers on their role in helping children learn healthy ways to manage their feelings, specifically as it relates to grief and loss.
Data at a Glance: Completing Treatment Vs. Ending Early is Better for Kids - What Caregivers Should Know
The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (2019)
Explains to parents and caregivers the importance of completing therapeutic treatment in order to remediate the negative effects of trauma in the lives of their children and youth.
Data at a Glance: Dissociation and PTSD - What Parents Should Know
The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (2018)
Informs parents and caregivers about how they can support children and youth experiencing posttraumatic stress disorder and dissociation, including learning more about trauma, paying attention during times of dissociation, and communicating with a doctor or therapist.
Sesame Street in Communities
Provides resources for providers and families to help children in out-of-home care cope with their separation from their parents, their placements in care, and reunification.
Helping Children Heal From Trauma: What Parents and Caregivers Need to Know [Webinar]
North American Council on Adoptable Children (2017)
Engages participants in a discussion of the strengths and challenges of fostering children who have been exposed to trauma. Additionally, strategies are shared to help foster care professionals and resource parents become more trauma informed.
Parenting After Trauma: Understanding Your Child’s Needs
Explains common behaviors and disorders exhibited by children who have experienced trauma. This resource provides tips for parents and caregivers to equip them in their response to these behaviors.
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Parents and Caregivers
Center for Child Trauma Assessment, Services and Interventions
Provides guidance to parents and caregivers on how to speak with children and youth about their experiences as well as five key behaviors that parents and caregivers can adopt to create a supportive environment.
Attachment and Trauma Network, Inc.
Explains how providing highly structured and highly nurturing parenting can help to alleviate trauma-related symptoms.
Provides trauma-informed care training for people who interact with children frequently, from foster parents to school personnel. The trainings are provided in multiple languages and continuing education units are available. A cost is associated with purchasing or attending a training.
Iowa Foster and Adoptive Parents Association
Compiles information and resources on the impact of trauma on children, how children in your care may exhibit symptoms of trauma, the benefit of trauma-informed parenting, and a list of national resources.
Trauma-Informed Care Training
Texas Department of Family and Protective Services
Offers a free, 2-hour online training on the impact of trauma for professionals and caregivers. The training is available in English and in Spanish.
Trauma Systems Therapy for Foster Care (TST-FC)
The Annie E. Casey Foundation (2017)
Offers a four-part training on a trauma-informed curriculum for foster parents, including a foster parent resource guide and a guide to help children manager their emotions.
Trust-Based Relational Intervention®
Texas Christian University, College of Science and Engineering, Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development
Provides information on an attachment-based, trauma-informed intervention for children that can be used by parents, caregivers, and professionals in a variety of settings.
Discusses treatment modalities for children who have experienced trauma and connects to additional resources on the topic.
API's Eight Principles of Parenting
Attachment Parenting International
Outlines eight ways in which parents can form healthy emotional bonds with their children. The website also includes information on helping adopted children form attachments.
Creating a Secure Attachment in the Adopted Child
The Attached Family
Outlines the attachment process and provides examples of how families cope with a child struggling from an attachment disorder. The article also provides principals of adoptive parenting as well as parenting solutions for helping children who misbehave as a result of an attachment disorder.
Educational Trainings for Parent Groups and Professionals
Center for Adoption Support and Education
Provides multiple trainings for caregivers and professionals on a variety of topics related to parenting adopted children, from adopting older youth and teens to attachment disorders.