What is Trauma-Informed Care?
- The seminal research on trauma’s effects on children was the CDC-Kaiser Permanente Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study
- The ACE study, conducted between 1995 and 1997, surveyed more than 17,000 people on their childhood experiences and current health status and behaviors.
- A growing body of research has since developed on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs).
Trauma-informed care is defined less by specific measures than by general principles. According to the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, a trauma-informed child and family service system is one in which agencies, programs, and service providers:
- Routinely screen for trauma exposure and related symptoms
- Use evidence-based, culturally responsive assessment and treatment for traumatic stress and associated mental health symptoms
- Make resources available to children, families, and providers on trauma exposure, its impact, and treatment
- Engage in efforts to strengthen the resilience and protective factors of children and families impacted by and vulnerable to trauma
- Address parent and caregiver trauma and its impact on the family system
- Emphasize continuity of care and collaboration across child-service systems; and
- Maintain an environment of care for staff that addresses, minimizes, and treats secondary traumatic stress, and that increases staff wellness.