Training Matters


Vol. 13, No. 3 • May 2012

Trauma-Informed Child Welfare Practice: Training Resources

Children’s Services Practice Notes (v. 17, n. 2) provides information and practical suggestions agencies can use to ensure their child welfare practice is trauma-informed. As a complement to that issue, we share with you the following learning resources related to this important topic.

North Carolina Training
The NC Division of Social Services makes a number of trauma-related courses available to all child welfare professionals in the state, including:
Child Development in Families at Risk (online)
Describes the impact maltreatment and trauma have on development and attachment and considers mitigating factors, including resiliency. 12 credit hrs. Mandatory for all child welfare staff.
Child Mental Health (online)
Teaches causes, symptoms, prognosis, risks, treatments, and interventions for common child mental health conditions seen in child welfare, including posttraummatic stress disorder. 14 credit hrs.
Effects of Separation and Loss on Attachment
Describes secure and insecure attachment between children and caregivers, the effect of trauma on attachment, and specific skills for forming and enhancing attachments. 12 credit hrs.
Introduction to Child Sexual Abuse
Teaches approaches that avoid retraumatizing child victims; also explores preventing and responding to compassion fatigue/secondary traumatic stress (STS) in staff. 36 credit hrs.
Practice for Cases Involving Domestic Violence
Explores the traumatic impact of DV on children and teaches
effective strategies to use with families. 12 credit hrs.
Trauma-Informed Behavior Management for Child Welfare
Explains how trauma impacts child behaviors and teaches staff how to support caregivers around this issue. Coming winter 2012.
Understanding and Intervening in Child Neglect
Explains why neglect can be a traumatic experience, especially for young children; teaches ways to intervene and promote resiliency. 12 credit hrs.
NC child welfare professionals who want to learn more about or register for these courses should log into their account on
Center for Child and Family Health
Hosts research projects to better understand child development, chronic stress, traumatic stress, and bereavement. Offers Trauma and Attachment Issues in Children, a 2-day course relevant for child welfare practitioners. Visit:

National Trauma-Related Training Resources

Child Trauma Academy
A nonprofit working to improve the lives of at-risk children through service, research, and education, the academy has a website ( with articles on trauma, child development, and child maltreatment and features the work of Dr. Bruce Perry.

Of special interest is the academy’s free online “university,” which offers four courses:

  • Surviving Childhood: An Introduction to the Impact of Trauma teaches about the physiological and psychological aspects of trauma, the effects of this trauma on our society, and how you can help.
  • The Cost of Caring explores secondary traumatic stress (STS) and the impact of working with high-risk children and families.
  • Bonding and Attachment in Maltreated Children provides an overview of attachment and bonding, discusses the impact maltreatment has on attachment, and explores ways to help at-risk children.
  • The Amazing Human Brain and Human Development explores the hows and whys of the human brain and helps learners gain a better understanding of brain functioning in maltreated children.
    These free courses offer the opportunity to discuss course content with instructors and other students via interactive message boards.

Trauma-Informed Care Tip Sheets
Reprinted from CB Express July/August 2011, Vol. 12, No. 6

Children exposed to violence are impacted in ways that can be difficult to detect. Safe Start Center has developed and made available eight tip sheets aimed at those who care for and work with children who have been exposed to violence. Each tip sheet provides users with a list of age-specific warning signs, how to help, and advice on mandated reporting. Such a diverse topic needs multipronged approaches and resources, and Safe Start’s tip sheets cover a range of trauma exposure scenarios and situations. Tip sheets include:

  • Tips for child welfare staff
  • Tips for engaging men and fathers
  • Tips for teachers
  • Tips for agencies working with immigrant families

Find Safe Start’s trauma-informed care tips sheets at

National Child Traumatic Stress Network
A leader in this field, the NCTSN seeks to raise the standard of care and increase access to services for traumatized children and their families. Their site ( has curricula, tip sheets, and other resources for child welfare. Highlights include:

  • Child welfare trauma training toolkit: Essential elements of trauma-informed child welfare practice
  • Birth parents with trauma histories and the child welfare system: A guide for child welfare staff
  • IMPACT newsletter’s issue on culture and trauma (Spring 2012)
  • Caring for children who have experienced trauma: A workshop for resource parents
  • Birth parents with trauma histories and the child welfare system: A guide for judges and attorneys
  • Resilience alliance: Promoting resilience and reducing secondary trauma among child welfare staff
Zero to Three
Informs, trains, and supports professionals, policymakers, and parents in their efforts to improve the lives of infants and toddlers.

Child Welfare Information Gateway

  • Supporting brain development in traumatized children and youth (2011)
  • Understanding the effects of maltreatment on brain development (2009)

Center for Excellence in Children’s Mental Health (University of Minnesota)
This center focused on trauma and child welfare systems in a several issues of its newsletter eReview:

  • What is trauma and why is it important? (March 2010)
  • Historical trauma and microaggressions: A framework for culturally-based practice (Oct. 2010)
  • Creating trauma-informed systems of child welfare (March 2011)
  • The impact of trauma on infants (Jan. 2012)

National Clearinghouse on Families & Youth
NCFY links you to the information you need to effectively serve youth and families. Trauma-related resource:


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