Trauma-informed child welfare is a set of practices and approaches to working with children, youth, and families who have experienced some form of trauma, such as abuse and neglect, by recognizing the effects of trauma and understanding how it impacts the behavior, feelings, and beliefs of children and their families Trauma-informed child welfare centers around providing a safe and supportive environment that understands and acknowledges the effects of trauma and works to help children, youth, and families to move forward in their healing process.
The five best examples of interventions that are trauma-informed in child welfare are:
1. Family Group Conferencing: This intervention is designed to bring together all those involved in a child’s life to discuss how best to meet the child’s needs and to develop a plan of action. It is a strengths-based approach that emphasizes the importance of family and community in providing care and support for the child.
2. Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF–CBT): This intervention is designed to help children learn new skills to cope with and reduce the symptoms of trauma. It is a structured, therapist-led approach that includes processing the trauma, managing emotional and behavioral difficulties, developing cognitive and coping skills, and working on improving relationships.
3. Cognitive Behavioral Interventions for Trauma in Schools (CBITS): This intervention is designed to help children, youth, and families cope with traumatic events by providing information, relaxation techniques, and problem-solving strategies. It is designed to be completed in a group setting, with a focus on developing the ability to identify and cope with feelings related to trauma.
4. Trauma-Informed Care Coordination: This intervention is designed to provide comprehensive, coordinated, and focused support to ensure a holistic approach to trauma treatment. It involves assessing and identifying relevant needs, linking children and families to appropriate services and supports, advocating on behalf of the child, and monitoring how the child is progressing.
5. Trauma-Informed Parenting: This intervention is designed to help parents understand how trauma can affect the child’s behavior and to provide them with tools and resources to help their child heal. It promotes a better understanding of how trauma has impacted the child and helps to create an environment of safety and support.