For many people, simply hearing the word trauma causes a strong and immediate reaction. Perhaps a quick intake of breath or a shudder down your spine; or maybe a picture that flashes through your mind. Whatever it is, it is likely not a positive reaction. Sometimes, for some parents, our own reactions to trauma — even just the word — can make working with children who have experienced trauma scary.
If you have been around the world foster care or adoption for any amount of time, you have likely heard about Trauma Informed Care (TIC). TIC means taking a child’s past trauma experiences into consideration when thinking about how to care for him today and in the future. Trauma experiences manifest differently in every child, and not all concerning behavior is the result of trauma. However, for some children, certain behaviors were learned and adapted as a response to abuse, neglect, or mistreatment he or she child was facing. These behaviors become maladaptive once the child is in a safe place.
As parents and caregivers, it’s sometimes difficult to know if a certain behavior is typical or not. This website from the Child Welfare Information Gateway may be a helpful starting point to learn more about child development and may help you determine the care plan for the child or youth in your home.
Featured Tip Sheets
- Helping Children in Care Build Trusting Relationships
- The Journey of Forgiveness: How to Teach Your Child
- What Do These Behaviors Mean?
- Working with Children Who Have Been Traumatized